and Cons of
My son John did not begin reading until he was 7 years old and in the sec- ond grade. He had mastered the basic phonics skills, and testing
revealed he had a high IQ. But for the
life of him, he could not put the sounds
together to actually form words. ;is
wouldn’t have bothered me except for
the state homeschooling law we had back
in 1987. ;is law required me to take
John to a public school he had never attended, leave him with a teacher he had
never met, and take a standardized test
Standardized tests should
be used as diagnostic
tools, not as yardsticks to
determine the worth of
the student or the teacher.
he couldn’t read. And, if John’s scores
were deemed inadequate—whatever that
meant—the local school board could
deny our request to homeschool John the
next school year.
Out of a desperate need for help and
advice, I called my good friend, Dr.
Loreen Ittermann, then chairman of
the Department of Elementary Edu-
cation at Columbia International
University. She tested John to see if I
were to blame for his inability to read.
(As a young, insecure homeschooling
mother, I needed to know that.) After
her evaluation, she assured me that
John’s only problem was that I had
been pushing him too much; if I would
leave him alone, he would be fine.