To a homeschooler, there is nothing more thrilling than standardized achievement tests.

…Okay actually this is way too blanket a statement and is vastly over-applied.

To myself and my daughter and perhaps a few other homeschoolers, there is nothing more thrilling than standardized achievement tests.

I adored them every year when I was a kid. I looked forward to them with much excitement. I loved that my Mom took me to the store and let me pick out whatever snack my heart desired – she said I needed as much brain power as possible to help me to do well during my tests.

(10 out of 10 kids do best when they get to pick out their own snacks.)

And oh, the random snack I chose every year.


Potato Sticks.

I don’t know why I picked these – I actually don’t remember eating them at any other time except for achievement tests, but they were my standardized snack of choice.

(Maybe it was peeling that plastic seal off that allowed the metal ring to pop off in such a satisfying way. Maybe it was the film of oil on every surface of the inside of the can. Maybe it was the closest thing I could get to Fries in a Can.)

Anyway. Between my beloved Potato Sticks (do they even still make those?), the delight of filling in rows and rows of bubbles, and having a few days in a classroom with other homeschoolers, testing season was the best.

And it thrills my heart to see my daughter find the same joys as I did.

She asks me at least once a month, “How much longer until achievement tests?”

And, with much excitement and glee, they arrived this week.

I of course let her pick out her own snacks. She went with these attractive looking creatures:


Just as her mother before her, this is not something she normally eats, nor is it something she’s asked me to buy at any other time.

Also? They look like literal dog biscuits. So at least we share extremely questionable standardized snacking taste.

Anyway. She’s taking tests this week, and I’m proctoring tests (for a different grade), because if I’m not allowed to take standardized tests anymore, proctoring is second best. At least I get the joy of seeing other people scribble in beautiful little bubbles.


As such, I’ll be back next week, fresh off the oh-so-addictive high of helping little minds compare their smarts to all the other little minds out there in the world.

In the meantime, let’s discuss:

1. Did you love/like/hate standardized testing?

2. What unusual snack would you pick out today if you had a week of blissful multiple choice bubbling?

I think I’d go with Potato Sticks. For old time’s sake.

10 thoughts on “The Super Bowl of Homeschooling.

  1. I had to eat some crumbled chips last week and was reminded of potato sticks! I was not homeschooled, but I can remember testing in fourth grade (I think since Quinn is in fourth grade I’m stuck there with my anecdotes). Ritz Bitz with cheese (cheeze?) for snack, and my mom let me have ice cream for breakfast because she knew I would actually eat that. I was not a breakfast eater – I needed more wake-up time than I could get. I always enjoyed doing the tests, and I did well. Now that I’m thinking about it, that’s probably why I liked it…

  2. Being dyslexic (except with numbers instead of letters) there was a quiet relief in taking a test I could NOT fail. (Well in my little mind I felt that I could not fail it as by the time I received the results, I would have forgotten about the test anyways). I only got to take it a *few* times. My dad felt that performing poorly on the test would keep me out of college, so I mostly sat in the librbary by myself and “fell into a book” which was awesome, but a little weird and lonely. I was not blessed with any special snacks, but being IN the library meant I could never run out of material, which was SUPER exciting. I also loathed that I would never understand which questions I got wrong or right – which was always BEYOND frustrating. In short I liked and loathed testing equally!

  3. When we were homeschooling, my kids LOVED standardized test time! Now they are I school, not so much! What is the difference? Maybe getting out of the house and seeing all your homeschool buddies that you don’t see often enough?

    Snack of choice: jalapeño kettle cooked potato chips! Or fruit snacks. Those are my guilty pleasures.

  4. I always loved standardized testing as a kid – I even liked taking the SAT and PSAT in high school.

    Now I teach at a small Christian school and we’re doing our standardized testing next week. My students always love it because I ease up on everything else and I provide little treats – usually rationed out as one peppermint or small candy per section of the test. I’ve even given them – gasp – GUM. It’s funny how that becomes their main memory of testing. I teach first and second grade and even when the kids get to higher grades, generally their first question is if they get mints during the test. :-)

  5. Oh I love Scooby snacks! I can’t buy them. Because then I would eat them all. :P I do NOT like Standardized testing. Not not not. What kind of test are you taking that you still have the bubble sheets?? All Washington testing is on the computer. Which is not helpful when they have to write an essay and type it out, but their school doesn’t offer a typing class. K has to go up to the local school soon (two separate days) to do the big “Smarter Balance” testing. We also have to do MAP (measure of academic progress) testing at home, but online. That one is three times a year. I do not think standardized testing gives an accurate assessment of a child’s knowledge. So many times I notice that they have read the question wrong or not understood what it was asking for. They pick the wrong answer and I bite my tongue since we are not allowed to help them at all. They always score well but I still don’t like it, and I never liked taking them myself either.

  6. I hated it, but that’s probably because I was smart and in public school…I was always the first person done, and while I didn’t mind that part because I was totally cool with reading quietly, it was always WAY too cold in whatever classroom we were stuck in, and desks are not comfortable.

  7. I loved testing and looked forward to it every year. So it was with a heavy heart that I opted my 3rd grader out of it this year. As a mother and teacher I wanted to be able to see how he did on the tests. But I’m not allowed to see the results, only useless generalizations like ”your child is not good at reading”. This pissed me off enough to opt out this year. I’m hoping to find an option next year that allows me to see usable results, but I suspect my children will never have the fun I did with testing.

  8. Oh standardized tests… eh. I have always wished there was more depth to them, like ok, you can tell me what pattern comes next in this series, but hey- do you know how to iron a shirt, or cook yourself something when you’re hungry?

    Snack of choice would be Lemon Creme Nekot cracker things. Those are shamefully addicting.

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