Those of you who have been a part of this forum (is it actually a forum? forum-ish I think) for a while know that I have been teaching a group of 6th graders and have been sharing my thoughts and observations from time to time here.
This morning I gave the class a hybrid test/quiz. I explained to them the difference between a quiz (short snappy questions and answers) and a test (something who stretches them and requires deeper knowledge). Had they had a test before--yes, they said, for geometry.
I asked if it had been timed--they looked horrified and said no. So I said I wanted them to have the experience of a timed test--that at the time when I wanted them to end I would say so--but that I would give them a little longer so that they could finish as this was something new to them. A timed test (when given at the right time and in the right way) can help a child focus his thinking and really stay on task) (at the wrong time and in the wrong way it can make a child nervous and undermine their confidence).
Then we--or I really--talked about how to take tests. I told them to first read all the questions--and asked them why I would say that. 'So that we could see what we could easily answer' said one child. Yes--exactly. And so they could pace themselves--I explained that a bit.
And I reminded them that I had to be able to read what they wrote--they would get no points for things I could not read even if what they had written was correct!
And off they went.
Those of you using our middle grades materials know that I am quite keen on good tests. I am utterly and totally against anything which resembles regurgitation of facts, which is not age appropriate, which has no scope for creatively answering questions....
What I like about good tests used appropriately is that they help a student wake up a bit, focus and gather their thoughts in a pithy and appropriate way. I left a few questions 'open'--'When did Charlemagne and Haroun Al-Rashid live'--they could put dates or the century. I asked them to describe feudalism--I received paragraphs and also charts of the hierarchy of feudalism. Either works.
Poorly designed tests/quizzes given at too early an age are a disaster---they can either make a child into nervous wreck; push them into looking for outer confirmations of their abilities; kill creative thinking; and/or make the world seem like a place where something is THIS or THAT (a serious danger in our present world). A well designed test given at the right time promotes self reflection and helps a child expand her thinking not contract it as she figures out the clearest and most concise way of answering a questions--it can help her discern the essential from the non essential (writing a report also helps with that...and I will describe the process we are going to go through next week involving report writing--and of course there is a lot in the curric about that from about 4th gr on).
Sigh….I’m not going to say we cracked the livestream thing just yet….but I got a new iPad (whole new world for me) and let’s hope I can now easily livestream!!!!!!! I am going to talk a bit about the conference and see if this works….feel free to ask questions or give feedback if you are here now or if (assuming this works) you want to chime in at a later time.
The talks in this series (‘Parenting in Dark Times’) are all related. This one is mainly focused on us, on parents.
If we understand that freedom is a quality which is latent in every human being but can only come to meaningful fruition in adults, then we can support children as they develop, being patient in the trust that freedom takes many years to ripen.
If anyone wants to listen to this and start a conversation, let's do it!!🙂
I was scheduled to give 2 livestreams today, one on 'Balancing on the Abyss' and the other, 'Help from the Spiritual Worlds'. I am unwell, not up to engaging with such full-on content...so apologies to anyone hoping to be present for those livestreams. I will, of course, record those 2 talks at some point very soon and everyone can listen then!
And if anyone has any comments or questions for me to ponder in advance of those talks, I would be very interested in what you might say! I can try to weave in a response as appropriate.
OK....this is the third time I have written a greeting to our newest members and supporters---I keep pinning it to the top and it lingers for a few days and then disappears despite the fact that the pinning I chose was/is permanent!! Grrrrr....
So--hello new folks. I encourage those of you who are supporters to introduce yourselves and say hello! (and hello to new members who are not supporters---you are able to read but not post. Just want you to all know your presence is valued too!)
Do know that locals is very much a work in progress---even in the past couple of months it has gotten a little less glitchy and has improved---but it has a long way to go. Please be patient--and don't feel dumb or weird if you get lost or can't find where things are--it is not a completely intuitive (so to speak) platform...
We're on!!!! Weekend of 10 December at the Threefold Community in Spring Valley NY. This conference is only for people comfortable without masks and such as I need to really connect intimately with people and see their full facial features. Also, this will not be like other Christopherus conferences---there will be a lot more emphasis on coping with the challenges of our times and really getting to grips with how to maintain the health and joy of our families. So it will be pretty full on. It will not be everyone's cup of tea.
Next week we will have a page on the Christopherus website where folks can read through the details--I will be asking folks to read through a few things so that we are all more or less on the same page---it would be good for those not completely in the know about my angle on things to listen to the 6 talks (4 as of writing) that I have recorded.
So.....next week registration opens. All details then! I will announce here (and probably send out a special email to ...
Welcome to the new Christopherus locals group ! This is an experiment which I hope goes well--looking forward to chat and conversation, support and sharing. This place is for all of you to share as Christopherus homeschoolers and to also work with me. Videos and perhaps live chat to follow once I get the hang of this!
Click on this text anywhere and that will open a comment box so you can introduce yourself!