Thursday, March 15, 2007

J's testing experience

Wednesday J had his 3rd grade test. For confidentiality's sake I won't post his scores here. But I was pleased.

We had done some practice tests and he had worked in the "Spectrum" Test Prep series of books, so he knew what to expect. Still, he was nervous. The morning of the test he told me he had dreamed that "paper airplanes made of test papers were attacking me" but he was pleased to report that he shot them all down, "except the math ones."

And math - specifically subtraction and division -was his Achilles' heel, as I'd suspected. Also "language mechanics" which is basically punctuation and capitalization - also not a surprise. His superior vocabulary (sorry, but it's just true) and his ability with "language expression" pulled him up. I can only say that the years of reading aloud, and talking to him without talking down to him, have paid off. (If only I could get E to stop the baby talk.) His reading comprehension was higher than I would have expected, given his early struggles to read. Our abandonment of phonics surely helped this - though I should note that spelling was not included on this test; had it been, we might not have been so pleased with the results.

More important than his scores, his attitude was good after the test. He found it wasn't so horrible. He could see the value (so he said, anyway) of continuing to work on his skills.

And it is skills, after all, that these tests show, at least at the 3rd grade level. There is no measure of intelligence here. So no one really know about the vast amount of knowledge and number of facts he has amassed on his topics of interest: airplanes, predatory birds, plants, history, war, weapons. That can't be measured so easily, and certainly not on a fill-in-the-bubble test.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What did we do in Feburary?

We read a lot - continuing in the Swallows and Amazons books. And others.

We progressed in math - J is on lesson 16 in MUS, E still on 13. It's time to separate them now.

We finished Psalms and Isaiah and are just going through Proverbs now.

We progressed with catechism.

We finished Pilgrim's Progress and are now reading Rascal with a study guide (loving the book, hating the work).

J is working on model airplanes - plastic and paper - like crazy.

E is reading Wisdom and the Millers and other "Millers" stories, among other thing, like crazy.

J is listening to GA Henty.

We are progressing slowly through history and the history of science. Timelines are converging now - late 1600s.

J continues with PE; E had a 4-week gymnastics class.

We are going through stuff getting ready to move. C and I went to Philly; the kids went to friends and did some work and had some big fun.

We've stopped on Latin and grammar and spectrum for now. Back to it RSN.

I read a whole book. And parts of many.