Saturday, April 12, 2008


Dd16 took the ACT this morning at the local high school, and it was interesting to see the reactions it provoked among us.

My husband came home after dropping her off and immediately said how glad he is that she's who she is. He then described the kids he saw, specifically how they were dressed (skimpily in today’s spring snowstorm), and how they drove into the parking lot (he worried about getting hit).

Meanwhile, dd16 was forming her own impressions. She said the girls seemed pretty calm, but the boys hung together in loud groups, with lots of yelling and swearing. The first thing she said to me when she got home was, “Thank you for homeschooling me.” That’s always appreciated :)

She also mentioned that she said a quick “Thanks!” to the proctor when she left, as everyone always thanked the teachers after class when she took homeschool classes at the community college where we used to live. But today, the proctor looked at her as if she had said something strange. Guess he wasn’t used to a student being polite to him.

Finally, she said that there was not a single cute guy there. Not one of our concerns, but it ranks on her list.

As for my reaction to her taking the ACT (you knew I’d have one, right?), it came when she told me what the essay question was (she took the ACT writing test after the main test). She was asked to write about whether schools should limit kids to one extracurricular activity. Mind you, the practice question on the ACT web site for the writing test asks the kids whether they think students should have to attend a fifth year of high school.

Good grief! Is that all these people can think about…school? Whatever happened to asking kids to describe their favorite character in literature, or their favorite historical figure, or to choose sides on a current social issue, like global warming or free trade? Aside from the fact that “school” questions are biased against homeschooled students (who are admittedly a tiny minority of those taking the test), they’re just dumb questions that really don’t require a lot of thought.

Anyway, she should be able to look up her scores online fairly soon. She doesn’t know if she wants to go to college right after high school or ever, but as we learned from our son’s experience, you need to take the ACT at least once in order to skip some college placement tests and even to help qualify you for scholarships. So taking it is a necessity if there’s any chance at all a teen might go to community or four-year college.


Brumbemom said...

My oldest DD also took the ACT on Saturday. She didn't really say anything about the kids or anything else, but she apparently had the same essay question as your daughter. She told me that she answered the question with this idea. The amount of extra-curricular activites that a student participates in should be determined by the parent and the student. The school board shouldn't really have a say in it. I said, "That's my little "rebel" homeschooler."
Of course, the graders are probably school officials and will not be very fond of her answer, but what a little persecution anyway :-)

Renae said...

Thanks for sharing this experience.

I agree about the writing assignment. How much creativity will come out of an essay about school extracurricular activities?

Peace to you,
Life Nurturing Education