Tomorrow my oldest baby will be 16 years old. She was eligible to get her learners license last April, however we put it off until after we moved. Once we moved to Texas, she had to complete their "parent taught" drivers education course, which I could not order until I got MY Texas license. I got that in the fall, the ordered the packet - which we got in November. We made a long trip to WV, then there was Christmas and one thing after another until here we are - almost to her 16th birthday. I woke her up this morning and told her I was going to take her to take the test to get her permit. "But MOM, I haven't studied." I asked her if she'd read through the book, which she had, and then I told her if she didn't pass she could just consider it a practice test. She missed one more than you were allowed to miss, and so we go back next week for her to retake it. No biggie. It's not a secret. She doesn't have that serious sense of failure that I would have had in a similar situation, and I have to wonder if the difference is her personality or the fact that she's been homeschooled most of her life. We have similar personalities so I would lean more towards the latter.
As she was testing, I realized something as I watched her sitting at that little desk, struggling to concentrate through the ADD in a chaotic office, knowing that she would have been medicated heavily throughout elementary school or held back so her teachers could manage to make the child walk in line or not have to assist her in keeping up with her backpack - I realized that as a mother, my goal has been to teach her how to drive. What the state wanted was for her to "take a test". While I understand it is necessary to have some gauge in measuring the whole of society to determine road-worthiness of the individual, most of what was on her test had NOTHING to do with actual driving. She said about a third of the questions were about the amount of fines incurred for specific offenses such as DUI, etc. What does that have to do with driving I ask you? There are no sour grapes here - it just smacks of the stupidity of the system. There are some who may be able to recite the fines forwards and backwards - but whether or not they should be on the road remains to be seen. I think this is another HUGE piece of evidence that points toward what a warped idea we have as a society of education.
A month or so ago someone sent me this link of a song by Tom Chapin called "Not on the Test". It is a humorous look at what I'm talking about here. Hope it gives you a chuckle. On the homefront this week is to learn how to bend your brain around "the test"!
After all this ranting, I do have a warm fuzzy to share with. As Kendra and I were walking up to the DPS office for her to take her test, I said, "I just want to hold your hand and walk you in there like it is your first day of kindergarten." A few seconds later, this precious little hand - not much smaller than my own now, reached down and grasped mine. She may be almost 16 but she's still my baby!