Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Exams (the Charlotte Mason way)

We've just finished term 1 of Year 2 and had our exams yesterday. Rebekah LOVES exams! Why? I think in large part it's because we do them the Charlotte Mason way. For those not familiar with this let me explain:

When I was at school I memorised facts to produce at exams. It was all about how much I could cram into my little brain to reproduce accurately come exam time.

Charlotte Mason's exams though are the opposite. They are not to test on what one doesn't know but on what one knows. So, our exam questions are often open ended as in "Tell me the story of ........" or "Tell me all about......." This leaves Rebekah to tell me what she remembers and not what I want her to remember.
How freeing for her! No wonder she loves exams. She gets to tell me things that she knows from what she's learned during the term.

Winston Churchill said “I would like to have been examined in history, poetry and writing essays. The examiners, on the other hand, were partial to Latin and mathematics. And their will prevailed ... I should have liked to be asked to say what I knew. They always tried to ask what I did not know.” :)

I agree! (Though I'd reverse the subjects in the quote. I would have liked to be examined in maths and geography not history, poetry and writing essays lol!)

So, all in all, how did Rebekah do I hear you ask:)
She did very well. She told me all about stories from the living books I've only read to her once (yes just once) from the last 12 weeks. For some of them she remembered more details than others but this is ok with me because Charlotte Mason did say "The question is not how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?"

Right now Rebekah cares a great deal about a lot! :)

So Rebekah has passed her exams with flying colours! Good job Rebekah!

16 comments:

Jeanne said...

Well done, Rebekah...and well done Rebekah's mummy as well!

Beloved's Bride said...

That is awesome, Rebekah! Congrats.

I enjoyed your post on your exams for her! Very informative.

Sarah said...

Well done Rebeckah! Exams are sooooo fun! xxx

Butterfly said...

Well done to you both. I've learned a great deal from this, so thanks! We do informally assess some subjects this way, but I didn't know it was part of Charlotte Mason's way. Cool!

Jo Princess Warrior said...

Hooray! Well done Rebekah & well doen Rosemary. I love using Living Books for our homeschooling. Wish I was taught that way ;)

Mommy Of Two Little Blessings said...

Thank you for sharing how your family does end of the year testing. It sounds more like review. I have looked into Ambleside a few things though...what do you do for math and the other "subjects"? I know there are a lot of free ideas for Science, Art, Math, Music, and "foren" language online but what do you do other than the reading? Am I missing something? I was told about Ambleside some time back but I think I am missing something with it. Thanks for sharing as I am new to reading your blog. *smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two little blessings & so much more!

Rebecca said...

Yay! You sound so pleased with Rebekah, and with your HS method. And you should be pleased. Well done!

Oh and I love the perspective you've reminded us of - how much do we *care* :)

Richele said...

Isn't it so refreshing to have children love exams?! Those are some great quotes.

joyfulmum said...

Thanks my bloggy friends:
Mommy of two blessings, Ambleside Online is based on the philosophy of Charlotte Mason. She used narration, short lessons, etc as her method which is very different to how school is traditionally done. Yes one needs to add in maths, foreign language, phonics etc where you can pick your own resources. AO has many free online resources for other subjects though like art, composer, etc. I think the FAQ section on the website will answer a lot of your questions:)

Jo said...

Very interesting Rosemary, this is very different to the traditional schooling. I was always dreadful with exams, it wasn't that I didn't know the information, I just had a poor memory when it came to exam situations. I always got very stressed.

Amy said...

Great job, Rebekah!

Bek said...

well done, love the concept and yes I can leave comments again woohoo

joyfulmum said...

Thanks ladies! Bek, I had the same problem as you on some other blogs I follow so after googling the issue I decided to change the way comments are left on my blog. It appears it's now letting you, yay!

Val said...

Sorry I haven't been by in awhile. I do think that this sounds like a lovely way to examine a student. I remember always liking the essay questions on my school tests best, as they would allow me to produce just as much information as I could.

A Joyful Chaos said...

Well done! I always find it interesting to hear about other families homeschooling methods.

Thanks for sharing.

Penney Douglas said...

I love that style of examination! I was a straight A student and always did great on tests, but I didn't really retain the information I memorized for the tests. I feel that my children are learning so much more from narrating and discussing the topics we are studying than I ever learned from textbooks, workbooks, lectures and tests.

Great job!
Penney