Training for Life, Not for Tests

Jenny/ August 29, 2019/ Family Life

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links of products I love and use!

If I had to answer honestly I’d have to say that most of my school days were spent in the following pursuits: fitting in, staying out of trouble and getting the answers to tests right.  That’s not an incredibly beneficial way to spend 13 years of your life. And sadly the things I actually use from those 13 years of “learning” are even more minimal. I’ll be quite frank here, that’s not what I want for my children!  I want these years to count for something more than a letter grade on a piece of paper that’s essentially worthless after it’s been graded.

Do you need tests to measure success?

Just the other day my car broke down and my little 5 year old son immediately hopped out and told me he was going to see if our tires had fallen off. ????. They hadn’t thankfully but he was all set to repair it if he could. The next day when my husband actually did go to repair it he took our oldest son who is 8. They spent the next 4 hours repairing our car. My son had a wonderful time and was actually disappointed when they had it fixed because he enjoyed the mechanic work with his dad so much!  This kind of learning isn’t wasted and will be useful the rest of his life!


And that’s exactly one of the reasons I homeschool. I want to tayler my kids education in a way that brings forth their strengths and interests. I don’t want all those foundational years wasted! 

How does it work?

But even when you homeschool it can be difficult to separate learning from worksheets and textbooks if you aren’t very careful. It looks so easy to buy a great curriculum and stick your children in a box.  But that may not be best. At least not for my kids.

Want to homeschool Charlotte Mason style?  Check out my post on that HERE!

We have 4 children and though they are all being raised the same basic way they are each incredibly individualistic!  Our oldest loves being read to and he learns great that way. He despises sitting still and bookwork. He is a history fanatic and can’t get enough of adventure stories. My greatest school struggles with him involve getting him to write. I’ve found he does enjoy it more if it has a purpose so we use his history and science for writing practice instead of tests or writing word lists endlessly. 

Our youngest son is totally different. He actually likes some bookwork and doesn’t seem to care much for history yet or audiobooks. That may change as he gets older but he is the engineer, mechanic and wild man in our family!  This is the kid who has more bruises than not on his legs from climbing, running, riding and jumping constantly!  I see mountain climbing, paratrooper or something similar in his future.  Check out my post on outdoor learning HERE

Lilly is our very advanced 2 1/2 year old daughter. She was singing and talking at 1. She knows how to count to 20 or more, her ABCs, numerous songs, colors, shapes ECT.. and we’ve taught her none of it!  I can put her on a chair and give her directions and she can mix up cookies, muffins, waffles or biscuits already. 

Daisy is too young for me to really know her strengths and bend yet but the awesome thing is I’ll be here to assess them and work out an IEP for her!   Yes, that’s exactly what homeschooling is, an individualized education plan. 

So, without testing is learning important?

So, about my title…yes I want my kids to learn!  Lots and lots of things!  Maybe they won’t use all of them everyday but I want most of it to be practical learning and the other to be learning that excites them and encourages them to learn more, not a constant memorizing of useless facts soley for tests!  Let’s train for life!

Here are some really great resources I use to excite my kids love of learning:




Pathway to Liberty

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About Jenny

Jenny is a homeschooling mom of 4 and wife to a wonderful husband. She enjoys reading, a good cup of coffee, and spending time outdoors with her family. You can find her writing about Jesus, homeschooling, and life on her blog Our Inconvenient Family, and contributing regularly at Lifeschooling Conference.