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We finished evaluations yesterday afternoon. Yeah! 🙂 I always have a love/hate relationship with this part of CM. I tend to want to avoid grading and evaluating in our homeschool. For me, it feels like something I wanted to steer away from by taking the kids out of schools in the first place. That said, I evaluate them each year either once at the end or each semester. I always walk away from these feeling a bundle of conflicting emotions.
What about you all? What are your experiences with evaluations? Good? Bad? Helpful?
How do you use this information after you gather it? I know I’ve asked this in past years, but I guess I’m still at a loss as to the real meaning of evaluations and exams in this educational philosophy. I’ll be eager to hear new and old voices on this one. I see we don’t even have “exams” or “evaluations” in our most popular cloud! 😉
We finished up our year several weeks ago. I gave my daughter her first CM style exams and I was so pleased with the results! She has grown so much this year. We had to carry her math over into the next year because she still has about 1/5 of the book to finish. She’s still working on it as we school year round.
We have formal evaluations every year with a certified teacher but that won’t take place until next month. She always encourages us to spend more time on math. She recommends 1 hr. in middle school and 2 in high school. We disagree on that matter so I just thank her and continue our 35-45 minutes of daily math work. 🙂ClaireParticipant
Thanks. I agree with you on those Math hours – ouch, 2 hours! I don’t know anyone with that attention span. 😉
For me, the exams are just a way to see how much progress we are making. I found them to be very rewarding. It was an encouragement to see how much my daughter retained from the previous year. I guess I don’t feel that they are incredibly revealing because I really already know how my daughter is doing in various subjects since I work with her every day. The exams only confirmed what I already knew. They also confirmed the effectiveness of Charlotte Mason’s methods. I was so pleased that my daughter could remember so much and even write a detailed, page and a half essay on material she had read months before.
I think Charlotte’s exams took the place of more traditional forms of testing used in other schools. When you have a classroom full of children, you do need a way to monitor their progress more closely and individually. I think the exams helped to accomplish this.
They were also probably a good way to test the more long term results of Charlotte’s methods. In fact, maybe the exams were more about helping the teachers to evaluate their methods and the effectiveness of their books?
Or maybe they showed the parents how much their children had progressed? All of the above? 🙂
Now I’m inspired to go read Charlotte’s writings on exams.
I found some information on Ambleside online concerning exams. The consensus seems to be that the exams serve the same purpose as the initial work and narrations-they help to cement the information in the child’s mind. Knowing that they will be required to narrate further on their school material at then end of a term, and again at the end of the year, is thought to help them focus more and apply their habit of attention to a greater degree.
It was mentioned that there is some good information regarding exams towards the end of Volume 6 of the Original Homeschooling Series. I’m going to reread that portion today for more information.
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