Iowa On My Mind

This week at my kids’ school, they’re conducting the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills(ITBS).  By the way, every time I see that acronym, I want to say “Itsy Bitsy”.

Anyway, this is a BIG deal at the school, to the educators, the parents, AND the students.  For the school, they get a quantifiable measurement of their work to put in the school brochure.  Parents get the joy of saying that their kid tests in the 99th percentile and is at a “n-grade level” (n usually being 4 or 5 grades above their actual grade level).  Students get a whole week of everyone treating them like they are little princes and princesses. (No homework!  Make sure to eat 2 good meals and have a snack!  Get plenty of sleep!  Parents, make sure little johnny has no distractions at home!)

It’s actually been pretty nice this week, and I’ll miss going back to the grind next week (till spring break the following week, of course).  In a few months, I’ll be posting my kids’ astronomical scores – if they continue along the path they’ve followed in the Iowa’s so far, my 4th and 5th graders are both about ready to graduate high school (skills-wise).  I’m not bragging, because I take very little credit for it.  I only take credit for their good looks 🙂

Trillian is still very especially talented in math.  Off the charts talented.  I’m so happy that getting a new teacher has eliminated those “I hate math even though I’m great at it” sentiments.  Interestingly, when you ask her what she wants to do when she grows up, none of the paths is tied to advanced mathematics at all (design or architecture, zoology or veterinary medicine, chef). 

It is amazing that we do not share any DNA, but are just alike.  Both of us have high aptitudes in logical skills, yet prefer endeavors that are artistic or “caring”. (Although you might consider zoology “scientific”, you’d have to understand my daughter to understand her motivations.) 

My son has an extreme aptitude in language, yet is gearing himself toward some kind of science.  No accounting for taste, I guess.  Personally, I think he’d be a great lawyer or politician.  That boy can never lose an argument – and the funny thing is, he’s outsmarting me and winning more and more of them lately.

Of course, 6 years is a long time, and even then, many people have no idea what they’d like to do with their lives when they get to college.  All I can do is celebrate them for who they are, and ensure that they understand that no road is closed to them, no matter which path they choose to take.


3 Responses to “Iowa On My Mind”

  1. 1dumblonde Says:

    I had no idea they still used these tests. In 4th grade I was reading at a 12th grade level, according to the Iowa tests. By the 12th grade I realized that in 4th grade, because I knew nothing about sex, I had completely misread everything. So it goes…

  2. Susie Says:

    And the cool thing about your kids is, even though they are so smart, they are still super human beings!!!

  3. bridgett Says:

    My kid does the Iowas in April sometime. They’re handled very differently at her school, almost as a reward time…lots of playground sessions punctuated by brief bursts of filling in the dots. The kids think they are fun because they perceive the tests as pretty easy.

    I wonder if your son is starting to feel some “Asian boy” pressure (or attraction? is that the word?) to go into science where there are already a lot of kids who look like him. Maybe he doesn’t see the role models in law, politics, and language arts. Lord knows that I can’t see my kid finding many people to admire in our current political system.

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