It is early on our little island, and my two girls are awake. The baby has been up since the 5’s and my 6 year old followed suit. Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you live, somethings never change, and some things should change. Early April on Hilton Head is usually a dream, the weather is beautiful, the pools are open, the beaches are not crowded, except for today. Today it is grey.
April, is also the block of time the public schools administer the MAP tests. Measure of Academic Progress. My earliest post college career was as a teacher, so I am well educated in measuring academic progress, I am not however a fan of standardized testing starting in Kindergarten.
Last night my 6 year old called me back to her room close to 9 o:clock, which is past her normal bedtime, I was surprised she was still awake. When I asked her what was bothering her, she, without hesitation told me, “my MAP test is tomorrow, and I don’t know what the symbol means.” Feeling like a detective I told her I did not know what symbol she was talking about, she immediately sits up and draws an X with her fingers on her covers. Multiplication, she is laying in her bed stressing about multiplication, she is in kindergarten. I tried to explain to her that she was very smart, and the only reason why the “X” was showing up on her test was to see how far she could stretch with her knowledge and if she didn’t know the answer to the “X” questions no one would care. Again, her tears started flowing, and she told me that she cared. I guess there is something to be said about a child who puts more pressure on themselves then their parents do.
Now, I don’t do stress, I learned this from www.ChicksWithMagnetude.com, and I certainly don’t want my children to do stress. So I let her get up, watch the end of American Idol and then had my husband carry her back to bed. She fell asleep immediately, but woke up abnormally early. This little girl is stressing about a test and it breaks my heart.
There is only one thing to do on testing day, and that is to make a hearty breakfast, I didn’t say healthy, because the cinnamon buns she requested are far from healthy, but add a little fruit and the meal will stick with her for most of the morning. There are four days of MAP testing, and a few nights ago, she told me she had MAP testing the next morning. So that morning, we all wake up and I make a BIG breakfast. When I picked her up from school I asked her how MAP was and she started giggling like only a little girl can giggle, she tells me she didn’t have MAP testing, she just wanted a big breakfast. Little Stinker.
So this morning, I sent her off with braids in her hair, a belly full of food, an extra long hug and warm wishes to not worry about her MAP test. Beach, City, Suburbs, sometimes it doesn’t matter!