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We are approaching the end of our first term. As I plan out our exam week, I would love to hear the different ways you ladies implement exams in your home. How do you record oral exam answers? What benefit have you seen from exams? Did you do anything special during exam week? Basically, what does exam week look like in your home?TristanParticipant
We don’t really do an exam week but we update our portfolios every 6 weeks, so at the beginning of each 6 weeks kids are made aware of the goals for each subject (for example, have one paper ready to go in the portfolio for creative writing, have three science narrations, etc). For us the portfolio update is a time to browse through their binders and see what they’ve done, reminisce, and for me to listen to them narrating again unknowingly.
Oral narrations don’t get recorded for us. I know what they’ve shared and it gives me an idea of the relationships they’ve formed with the subject.Mrs. KParticipant
Celeste Cruz at Joyous Lessons blogs a lot about their exams. Maybe reading through some of her posts would be helpful? Here’s the link to her exam category posts:
Hope that helps!
Thank you both so much for your reply. Celeste Cruz’s website is such a treasure trove of information. I watched her exam webinar. Wow! Thanks for sending me her way.MichelleParticipant
Celeste’s exams just made me feel completely inadequate. 🙁
We’ve never focused much on exams. We just read and discuss and enjoy. I feel like I should make a better effort in this area.
Michelle, I certainly don’t expect my kid’s exams to look as great as hers. She’s got some real artists in her family! I did really appreciate the webinar. As with most things Charlotte Mason, once I understand the reasonings behind a practice and the principles at play, it seems much more doable to implement a system that works for my family. The Charlotte Mason method is exhausting to me at times. The implementation is wonderful once I understand what I’m doing and why. Trying to learn what I should be doing and why can wear me out though!!!! I’m hoping now that I put in some work to understand exams my week will go well. Fingers crossed.ClaireParticipant
We’ve done exams all along so I guess it doesn’t seem like too much of a big deal. I think they are extremely valuable and I would encourage everyone to do them at least twice a year. But note below our mood behind them too. These exams are not a “school” thing. They are a tool (one of many) that we can use to grow and strengthen what we’re doing in our homeschools.
No one fails when they don’t know material. I simply note that they clearly did not make a connection with that material and I do some evaluation of how that material was presented, what methods we used in narrating that material, what was going on for each kid personally during this period, etc.
I have had exams where I have been so delighted and exams where I’ve thought we just wasted a whole term/semester/year! It seems to me to be a very fluid thing.
I loved browsing in AO exams and Joyous Lessons. I’ve always modeled my exam questions in the same format as theirs. One or two questions per subject. Maybe in science I go overboard with questions … curious to see what they’ve retained. Not very CM of me. I think that both AO and Joyous present a very classical CM model for exams.
We’ve never done Nature Study in the CM way and so we’ve never had these delightful notebooks of drawings, sketches, etc. However, my kids both have a deep connection to nature and animals via the lifestyle of our family over the years. They know a thing or two too … mostly because they’ve been interested enough to look it up or because someone close to them is interested enough to share it. They are both kind and respectful and now as teenagers, very aware of the social, political aspects of nature. That’s good enough for me.
Update: Thia was our first day of exams. Today was honestly one of my top 10 favorite school days. I was delighted and amused at what they connected with. After listening to narrations all term I didn’t expect to be surprised by what they said, but I was. I also saw one subject that I obviously need to teach differently since every child struggled with that exam. The kids were so very, very proud of themselves. It was cute. Much more like “Kids Say the Darndest Things” than the school testing I remember. Hoping the rest of the week goes just as well.TristanParticipant
Thank you for updating us Kayla! What a treasure of a memory. And I agree, it is helpful to see what the kids didn’t connect with too.
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