The curve is on the rise in NC, so I feel as if it is time for a quick update. SMW Unlimited is still closed until stage three of the reopening plan in NC is initiated. I am starting to receive more and more inquiries about my ACT Prep services, so I wanted to send out a quick post about where I think this crazy COVID-19 testing world is heading. Simply put, if the testing industry has its way, testing will eventually go online. However, if higher education steps in now and calls an end to utilizing big testing in admissions then the testing industry might be forced to completely retool (my biased preference). Any of you that know me know that I am not a huge fan of high stakes testing. Ironically, I do indeed offer test prep for students. I specialize in the ACT. I am good at helping students slay this beast, but I would much rather be educating them. I will be ecstatic the day these tests simply go away.
In all honesty, I am hesitant to take on new test prep students at this time (or to encourage paid test prep in general) because the ACT’s testing centers are not running in a predictable manner. I highly encourage all students to get test prep materials off of Amazon and to read up on the tests and attempt some practice problems to keep their skills honed and their minds fresh, but I do not suggest paying coaches at this time-too much is changing, too quickly.
I am not able to predict right now if schools will even give a pre-ACT to sophomores this year. Then there is the layered relevance that many schools are waving ACT scores for the admission cycle for this year (2020-2021), and that they are moving forward with reevaluating how they will utilize these big tests in future admissions. Duke recently issued a press release stating just this, and it is revolutionary. Over the last couple of years, several smaller liberal arts schools have already made their admissions process test free (run a simple Google search to find them). It is extraordinary that a process I thought would take us another 10 to 15 years (phasing out high stakes testing) is happening now. I hope the trend continues.
So, what does that mean for you and your student? I think now is a good time to wait and see. The best practice your student can embrace to be prepared for college is to read anything and everything, follow their passions (computers, gaming code, horticulture, animal husbandry, arts, music, architecture, anything that brings them joy), complete logic puzzles, and practice math using Khan Academy to fill in the gaps. The rest will take care of itself.
I will be here to help when the chips fall and when higher education and the testing industry have found a way forward. I will resume tutoring, supporting home learners, facilitating education, and hosting (safe, distanced, and responsible) workshops for all learners, once NC hits phase three and it is safe to reopen.
Be safe and stay smart!
How long has it been since you have checked in with your kiddos (or yourself) during these trying times? Perhaps today is the day. Consider using the PIE wellness check (or some variation of it) to easily begin a discussion with your kiddos about how everyone is holding up under these unusual circumstances.
We will be closed until further notice. Our highest priority is keeping our students and our communities safe by doing our part to help flatten the curve.
I know a lot of you are frightened, because you have suddenly found yourselves running and operating a homeschool you never wanted.
So I will spend my "new" free time gathering quality sources here (and on our facebook page), in order to help everyone in a small little way. My first list of resources on our facebook page was intended for educators only ... this one is useful for everyone!
I will add all of the resources I gather under our "new" resources page above. I will only add FREE educational resources that I would personally use myself.
You’ve got this. We’ve got this.
Yes, the business is closed for now, but I am here should you need any help. I have taught at every level of education (preschool - college) and have been trained and utilized online learning platforms on the front lines for the last 20 years. I can and will help anyone who needs it, but I will not profit off of others misery.
Stay smart. Stay safe.
Join us for this eight hour exploration of the ACT on Saturday (February 1st) at Roxboro Community School. After we all take a full-length released ACT for practice, we will explain the basic test structure of all five subject tests and share our best tips and strategies to slay this monster. This is proven test prep at less than $10 an hour.
When: February 1, 2020
Where: Roxboro Community School
Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.