Tag Archives: test

Reassurance

earthe_01After John took his geography test on Monday, he was sure he did very poorly. The test involved naming the countries in northern Africa, and though he did study a little, he quickly realized it wasn’t nearly enough.

A good learning experience, I thought. Next time he’ll be more prepared.

Then John did something that surprised me. On his way home from scouts with his dad Monday night, he told him about the test. He told his dad he had failed, that he probably made a zero on it.  Naturally, my husband expressed his disapproval and was quite frustrated that I wasn’t more concerned. But that got me thinking…

Why would a boy tell his parent about a bad test score, even before he knew just how bad it was? Especially when he knew what the reaction would be? I believe John told his dad because he needed reassurance.

John needed to know that although he did poorly on a test, everything would still be okay. It’s still early in the semester, and there will be opportunities to bring his grade up. He might even ask the teacher if he could do an assignment for extra credit if he was really concerned about it.  He needed a cheering section, and he was hoping that it would be us.

And I’m happy to say, when we understood, we did cheer him on. I told him how this was a good lesson for life, for learning how to organize yourself in such a way that you are able to meet deadlines and come prepared. I told him how some adults forget to pay their electric, telephone, or credit card bills, and how they’re fined because of it. Sometimes people will miss an appointment, too, just because they don’t write it down.  What he’s learning now, then, will only help him when he’s grown.

John went to bed feeling a little better that night, and all this week he’s been studying and studying those African nations. He received the test back today; he didn’t do as badly as he thought, and to his relief, it was actually a quiz, so the grade won’t count as much toward his final grade. Now we have to tell Dad, so he can have some reassurance as well.

Ready for the Test?

october_27_001This morning, John had his first test in his Geography co-op class. The class meets once a week, and he was given a syllabus at the beginning of the course, so he knew the test was coming up. The class meets on Mondays, and we were all headed out of town for the weekend; I knew he wouldn’t have much time to finish his homework. I reminded him all week that he needed to get it done early (I realize now I reminded him too many times), and he said he would.

Off we went for the weekend, arriving home again Sunday afternoon. “Are you ready for tomorrow?” I asked him again Sunday night. He answered in the affirmative, so I went on to help the others prepare for the next day.

This morning we got up later than expected and rushed around to get out the door in time. In the midst of the fray, John calls out, “Oh no, I forgot to study for my geography test!”

“But I reminded and reminded you,” I replied.
“Yes, but you were going to email the teacher to ask her about the website.” There was a certain website that would help with studying, but he forgot the web address.

I grumbled as I continued rushing around, and he went off to study as quickly as he could. I had told him that I’d get the website address for him, but it was still his job to keep up with things.

He went into class, and I saw him just for a moment afterward. “I didn’t get any of them right,” he whispered before heading off down the hall.

I think he probably answered more of them correctly than he thinks he did, but either way, we both learned some valuable lessons from this experience. He learned that he is responsible for his homework and his tests, even if I fall short in emailing a teacher. And I learned that I shouldn’t take on his responsibilities; he knows when his assignments are due, and if he has any questions, he can email the teacher himself. After all, he is the one who receives the grade, not me. If I had to receive one, I’d have given myself a B+ for my efforts. But I probably would have made a C- in Laundry for the week.