Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 53-- Exam/Review Week Day Two


The exam questions for both days are in gif form here.
The transcript for his answers for the second day is over here.

In the morning, Kieron and Aidan had dental appointments in town, so we left home at 8 and didn't get home till after noon. I told Kieron that we were going to continue our exams today but that we had gotten the more difficult stuff out of the way yesterday (namely, Math!) and today would be more like an interview or a discussion.

So after making a fire we sat by the fireside and I gave him this sheet as a preview -- (right brained learners and introverts usually need a bit of time to process and retrieve) and basically reassured him. He didn't seem to need reassuring though -- he liked the questions and was looking forward to answering them. In fact, for some, he wanted to answer more questions.

I also told him that if he was drawing a blank on the question, he could make up one of his own and answer it instead. (This is one of the things Charlotte Mason said was an advanced form of narration -- formulating and answering your own questions, so I wasn't being "easy" on him -- I was curious to see what questions he might come up with, but in fact he liked my questions and stuck with those, though sometimes I would rephrase or fill them out a bit).

The whole thing took 45 minutes to an hour. I took down his answers on the Palm with the keyboard attachment. I am going to format them a bit and then upload them to google docs, but I think it would take a monster post here unless I divided them up by topics, so I don't think I'm going to just post them here. Rather, I'll link to them so that if you are interested you can see.

We skipped the "draw a picture" "find on the map" and "Greek letters" questions since we both figured that he could do these some other time.... probably tomorrow. And the narrating momentum was so good, I didn't want to waste it. We were both getting a bit restless by the Literature section so since the Science questions were answered so thoroughly, I telescoped Literature and asked him to describe a character -- he described a Bionicle from one of his stories.

In general, not too bad for a first effort.

It was really fun just celebrating what he remembered and I can see the helpfulness of periodic exam/reviews like this. I know a lot of people do the same sort of thing by means of lapbooks and end of unit projects, but this was quite simple -- just me and him and the keyboard. Maybe next time we'll try something more creative like an end of term lapbook or portfolio or notebook packet. We'll see.


  1. Thank you for sharing these (and for the hint about rirgt brainers) - I love this form of exam but tend to freeze when it comes to thinking up appropriate questions. I need examples like this. :)

    (thanks for letting me know my PM box was full at 4real too - I've emptied it! I really don't get many PMs -- I just save them all for years, lol --so I'm always surprised when it is full)

  2. LOL, that should say RIGHT brainers ...holding baby and unskillfully typing one handed. :)

  3. Very helpful. Especially to see the questions and some of his answers. Thanks for posting all this detail.

  4. I hesitated whether to make his answers "public" -- and asked his permission to do so. He was OK with it.

    I think that even if the narrated answers are informal and not exactly perfectly composed, it's still a very valuable thing to do because it gives him a chance to reflect and gives ME a chance to see how his mind works.

  5. I'm glad you found your way over here, Amy -- I hate one handed typing too! Yes, I used to freeze trying to think up questions too. I think part of it was that I was trying to find a "right" way to do it 0--lol, no pun intended but it works better for me to do it the "right brained way" instead.