DIBELS actually stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills.
In short, it is a reading test. Public school children in grades K – 3 are required to submit to this test 3 times a year; beginning, middle, and end. It is meant to gauge the students reading progress. As a virtual home school student, “J” must take this test.
The oral exam encompasses reading fluency, phonetic awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension. Government standards mandate that students should be able to read at a certain level by each of the given tests. The DIBELS is a standardized test for the earliest grades.
“J” is 6 years old. He began the school year in kindergarten, but completed the required curriculum quickly and will complete 1st grade by the end of the school year. Because of his age and where he began the year, he is technically considered a kindergartner; thus, he is required to complete the kindergarten DIBELS test.
This makes no sense to me and, fortunately, his teacher agrees. She administered the kindergarten test as required, but also had him complete the test for the end of 1st grade. According to the government, “J” should be reading at a rate of 40 words per minute. This is according to the 1st grade test. He blew those scores out of the water and read at an astounding 90 words per minute. This was 90 error-free words. She then tested him on his comprehension and recall. Not only is he able to read fluently, but he remembers and comprehends what he reads.
These little tests only serve to reinforce what I have believed all along — that “J” will flourish in our virtual homeschool world. Had I allowed him to be “taught” in a traditional public school setting, he would not be where he is today.
Traditional schools attempt to mold students into something that society deems as “normal”. When children fall below this box, they are fixed. When children perform above this box, they are stifled.
The beauty of our virtual world lies in the ability to learn outside the box, whenever and however we want!
God Bless 🙂