Thursday, November 15, 2007

Exam Week

Last week was exam week for my oldest. (My second oldest only started his term three weeks ago so I didn't bother doing exams with him.) I was interesting to see how well he is doing and see where we need to change things a bit. It was fun to be surprised at some of the details he remembered. Exams were done orally and I recorded the questions and his responses in a composition notebook. For every exam week we have, I'll add questions and responses. I will be able to keep quite a few years recorded in one book.

I'd say his strongest area is Bible. He remembers much of what we have read. (Why did Joseph's brothers hate him? Because he got most of the attention and he dreamed dreams that made his brothers mad. The dream that really made his brothers mad was when he dreamed that eleven piles of hay bowed to one pile of hay. His brothers talked behind his back about how they didn't like these dreams.)

We are slowly making our way through Pilgrim's Progress. It is a tough read but our oldest seems to enjoy it. He's understanding the plot and we discuss how it relates to our lives as Christians. (Who is the main character and where is he going? Christian is fleeing his death. He has a burden on his back and wants to get it off.)

For math we used four pages of review work from his workbook. That was not a pretty sight. :) Math used to be his strongest area but now he doesn't have the patience for the longer work the problems require. We are working on that though.

History didn't fare much better. He remembered a lot from the historical fiction book we are reading based on the real-life Richard, duke of Normandy and grandfather of William the Conqueror. (Why is Richard called The Little Duke? His father died and he's only a little kid. He became duke after his father so that's why he's called the Little Duke.) But he didn't remember much from the actual history books we are using.
(Who were Harold Godwinson and Duke William and why did they not like each other? Um....I don't know.) From now on, he will be writing his own narrations after we finish reading the chapter in history. I'll ask more questions as well. He did remember something of Thomas a Becket. (Why did Henry II fight with Thomas a Becket? What was the result of their fight? Thomas didn't agree with him on everything. Some knights killed Thomas. Henry said, "Can't anyone get rid of this man?" The knights thought Henry meant it but he really didn't.)

I'm very glad we did an exam week. I plan on doing them again. It was a learning experience for both of us!


Rhonda said...

I've wanted to do exams, but am a little scared of them. LOL Maybe I'll do a few questions next week. I'd be interested in seeing what the kids remember.


Christy said...

I was afraid he would remember nothing. :) What I like about Charlotte Mason's recommendations is that exams are to find out what your child knows rather than what he doesn't know. That's a more positive way of thinking about it!

my5wolfcubs said...

I didn't really do exams when we did AO, but I wish we had! And I wish we'd stuck w/ AO also... The Little Duke was such a good, good story! I hope you look back at your exam book in 10 years and see it as the treasure it is!