Friday, October 1, 2010

How do you?

Teach your children to study?

How do you teach them to prepare to take tests?

How do you teach them to learn the material we are reading and working on?

What resources, tips do you have to help me and others learn this without reading tons of material!?

Thank you all in advance!   This stage of testing is new to me.  First year I have to prepare a child for testing and I am not sure how to do it.

I can’t believe it is OCTOBER – hello??? Where did September go?  Although, we are thrilled Fall has finally arrived!

Blessings to you all!

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  1. I have incorporated a simple workbook into our daily routine. It covers many of the topics that might be included on a standardized test. However, I strongly encourage you to NOT focus on the test. As a public school teacher I watched as the life of learning was sucked out by teachers teaching the entire year to a test. A test will not tell you how adept your child is at learning. It will only pin them to preset standards along with other children to rank them. And I believe that God’s Word cautions us about not comparing us to one another as if one of us were better and another worse ... Goes for testing as well. Yes I know we have to at times, but I use it as a judge to see how well I AM teaching. If my boys fall below the norm for their grade level then I know I NEED to change some things, not them. Testing is not wrong and can help us make appropriate changes as we teach.

    My suggestion, simply give them some fundamental strategies (bubble in, eliminating multiple choice questions) and get them excited about test day. Then, let them go in full of the love of learning that you have instilled and marvel at what they can do!

    Hugs for your day,

  2. I have combined my 4th & 6th grader into 5th grade for the following subjects and it helps out SO MUCH- English, Science & History. This gives them a study partner. We review all our "practice tests" before taking the REAL test. I think it depends on the curriculum you use too

  3. Thank you both!

    I'm not testing to prepare for state tests. I'm trying to teach them how to study.

    Every week they take a quiz for God's Great Covenant. They have yet to do well on one test. So I know I need to something to help them learn it better - outside of our doing it together and review.

    I am looking for techniques on how to teach your children to study.

    I don't give spelling tests either. We are HUGE readers here and we do spelling worksheets all week long. I can tell if they need help in that area.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! What type of workbook are you using Sara?


  4. Phew, now I understand a bit more. Seriously friend I am NOT a fan of tests. My boys are amazing and for some reason they like worksheets (probably because I have used very little :) I don't do spelling tests either and in fact, I never did them as a public school teacher either. I would let them use a dictionary as that is a real life skill and it took away all anxiety and they would actually be able to use the words in their writing. Like I said, it's all about what you are working towards. Being able to memorize words for a spelling test or using the words correctly in real life situations as they are very different situations with very different ways to teach.

    In case you have yet to realize, I am not a traditional teacher. This year we bought a math curriculum (the first curriculum I have ever bought as I love making my own). First time for 'tests' with my oldest. We bought him this because I knew he was ready for more and able to go above and beyond my one lesson a day. Basically, he has finished 12 weeks of math learning in 20 days! He has a gift for numbers, reading, both of my boys. So on his first test (he has to take one to make sure he has mastered the concept before moving on) he aced and got 100% He has yet to miss a question on any of the tests. For him the tests are a fun game. I made them that way. No pressure. Like I said they show me if what I am teaching is working. I firmly believe that tests show us as the teacher if our students are mastering a subject.

  5. As for the tests in your curriculum ... what type of tests are they? Are they reading and comprehension, logic, simple multiple choice? Depending on the format, depends on the strategies that I would use.

    Have you tried different formats of presenting the tests. For example, do they read it on their own and have to answer. Some kids are more aural learners. Try reading the questions and having them respond verbally. In my class I always had a few learners like this and they could shine and show me that they had mastered the material but could not do as well with paper pencil. You might also want to evaluate the necessity of the tests. Are you teaching about God's Word, instilling in them a love for it? For example my Joshua wanted to compete in a Bible trivia game show at our church. We did not push him but let him take the lead. He loved it and literally blew away everyone (including the 6th graders) as a 2nd grader. He simply loved it. It was like a test, but he chose to work at his own pace and the subject matter was definitely something we didn't mind encouraging him in:)

    If you could tell me a bit more about the quizzes and what it is testing, then I can offer more suggestions friend.

    Love you (and love that you are reading this book),

  6. Thank you Sara for taking so much time to share! your boys sound pretty amazing :-) Not surprised you are such a dedicated momma!

    Oh our children LOVE the Word of God. We don't want simple head knowledge of the stories or facts - but to instill His truths and stories into their hearts to apply them for life.

    I like the idea of having them use the dictionary for words they do not know. I do this with Lilly and it is helping her tremendously. Her favorite books to read are the children encylopedia and dictionaries.

    But I do need them to learn how to take a test because our state does them in the grades the girls are in and I don't want them stressed for it. I also want them to learn how to study - not for short term memory but long term - because it is a needed skill as they get older. I want them to learn how to memorize things long term. Like math facts - our children can do the math and they too get almost all of their problems correct. However, they still have yet to master the skill of memorizing adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing facts. They have to think about it for a minute. Trust me when I say I have done so many different things to help them learn the facts - from songs to games. But they still don't know them off the top of their heads without thinking.

    Our kids LOVE math! They love grammar too. They LOVE to read. Our family as you know does NOT have TV either, no video games or hand held ones either. The kids read, play make believe or on the swings...swim when warmer. They would LOVE to be in a bible trivia game. :-)

    Thanks again for your time! Love you heeps!


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