What did your child learn to do this year that isn’t on a standardized test?

Our schools worry now far too much about how well our children score on standardized tests. They stress the importance of reading, writing, math, and other subjects. But they ignore the amazing achievements students make that aren’t on those tests. As homeschoolers, we can choose to acknowledge what our kids achieve whether we give them a test or not.

Below is a list of accomplishments that your child may have made this year. It has ones for many different age levels. Take a moment and note what your kids did this year. Write it up, and save that. Those memories are wonderful and worth writing down!

  • Climbed a tree higher than they are tall.
  • Hiked a trail or joined a scout group.
  • Learned to sing a new song.
  • Created a Tik-Tok video.
  • Wrote something to share—a blog, a family newsletter, or something else.
  • Learned to take themselves to the bathroom.
  • Learned to use deodorant.
  • Learned to cook something new. Brownies, cookies, waffles, pizza, or sandwiches. They all count!
  • Spent time learning to play an instrument or gaining music skills.
  • Played on a sports team.
  • Made a friend.
  • Made plans with their friends all on their own.
  • Joined a chat group online.
  • Learned to dress themselves.
  • Developed their own sense of style.
  • Went to camp.
  • Made crafts that were unique.
  • Created art on their own.
  • Learned to dance—from a class or from Tik-Tok, both count.

My favorite memories are of the things my kids did that were not on anyone’s lesson plans or timetables. We look back on our homeschooling years and remember the art, field trips, park days, and exploration that made it unique. If your child struggled with reading, writing, and/or math this year, take time to appreciate what they did learn. Real life is just as important as academics!

About the Author

Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.

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