Newbie Question:Tests and Skill Mastery w HOD

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TNT
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:22 am

Newbie Question:Tests and Skill Mastery w HOD

Post by TNT » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:23 pm

Newbie question:I haven't noticed any tests to check for mastery in HOD? I'm using everything suggested by HOD for Bigger and LHFHG.

How do you check for mastery when homeschooling and using HOD.

I hope that wasn't a really dumb question!

Thanks in advanced!

Rhyah
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:13 pm

Re: Newbie Question:Tests and Skill Mastery w HOD

Post by Rhyah » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:36 am

I don't know what everyone else is doing, but I am doing spelling tests on Friday and creating my own math tests every other week using the skills learned in Singapore. My state requires some sort of evaluation proof in your yearly portfolio, so any sort of testing works. When it comes to reading comprehension, I think the narration is a great way to test mastery of what's being read. If you wanted hard copy proof, you could type up a question and answer type thing and call it a 'reading test' I guess. I know in 3rd grade (we're in 1st/Beyond) I will be ordering the Iowa Basic Skills test just to see where she stands. Hope this helps some.

pjdobro
Posts: 1491
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:45 pm

Re: Newbie Question:Tests and Skill Mastery w HOD

Post by pjdobro » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:07 pm

I don't do any sort of tests during the school year unless you count the reviews in R&S English and Singapore math as tests. I suppose if a person needed to they could use those as written tests, but we don't. I don't feel the need because I am right there with them everyday seeing what they do and correcting any problems on the spot. Here we are required by the state to do a nationally standardized test yearly. My dc have done well on that every year. Each year though it hasn't been a surprise to me how it all worked out. It's amazing how well you get to understand what your dc are learning using this method. :D
Patty in NC

b/g twins '02 Rev2Rev 2014/15
previously enjoyed LHFHG, BLHFHG, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, RTR
******
Nisi Dominus Frusta (Without God, frustration)
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

my3sons
Posts: 10593
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Newbie Question:Tests and Skill Mastery w HOD

Post by my3sons » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:39 am

TNT wrote:Newbie question:I haven't noticed any tests to check for mastery in HOD? I'm using everything suggested by HOD for Bigger and LHFHG.

How do you check for mastery when homeschooling and using HOD.

I hope that wasn't a really dumb question!

Thanks in advanced!
This is a good question, TNT! :D There are many ways to check for mastery, and testing is the way most of us were checked for mastery in our own schooling. I'm not sure about you, but for me, the test was something to study for and forget. So, though I received "A's", I truly had not mastered the concepts to the level of retention (as evidenced by the prompt forgetting of the material after the test). :wink: Not to mention - this type of schooling stole the life right out of the learning and made the goal simply to receive an "A".

However, this is what I knew, so even during my first years of ps teaching, I checked for mastery by giving many, many quizzes and tests. Time and time again, however, I saw my students were just like me, and often after they took the test, they forgot the material supposedly learned. :? Plus, whenever I was teaching, the constant question was, "Will this be on the test?" If not, then, most tuned it out. Why listen? Why participate? Why try to learn it, if it wouldn't be on the test? Depressing, indeed.

When I did my master's program in educational leadership, my eyes were opened to a whole new way of checking for mastery. Why? Because I was required to use it. There were not "tests" per say, but rather portfolio assessments, that included essays, photos, "experiments", grants I had to write, research I had to do, etc. Tests were non-existent, except for the law-type legalities scenarios as an administrator that I would be asked to deal with - and even these were more essay-like in nature. This kind of checking for mastery was much more difficult than taking a test! I quickly learned, there was no cramming, no study/forget it mentality, because portfolio assessment partnered with research, essays, projects, and lively discussions left no room for flying by the seat of my pants.

Needless to say, I was excited to start this type of assessment in my classroom. My principal was 100% supportive. My last 3 years of teaching ps were spent using these methods of assessment. The funny thing was, using this type of assessment all year long BETTER prepared students for standardized testing anyway. I know, because I "looped" my class. I had them one year, and then moved up with them the next year, keeping my same exact class. Their scores climbed substantially. This was not a fluke, because my dear sister, Carrie, also had her own classroom she'd looped, and she saw the same results. :D At the time we ended our ps teaching career and began homeschooling our own dc, we were job sharing, and so excited about the results we were seeing in our class we taught together. We literally spent until midnight planning for those around 30 students, which was exhausting. The reason planning took so long is because it is much more difficult to take a textbook/workbook/testing curriculum (which our ps used in nearly every subject), and make it work as a living books, portfolio assessment, research, essay, discussion type curriculum. :D

"Drawn into the Heart of Reading" was the first result of all of this journey through different assessments of learning. Carrie was always more the writer, me more the ideas person and the organizer, and as she wrote her reading plans out on legal paper, I knew it was something special. My oldest sister's homeschooling friends were asking for copies of it - and it was on a legal pad. "You need to make this a book available to homeschool moms, Carrie" I remember saying, and she said, "But, how?!?" "We'll figure it out together, and Mike will help too." And so, DITHOR was born. A formal reading program that includes assessments such as hands-on projects, discussions according to Bloom's Taxonomy, living books, graphic organizers, round table talks, etc. It was loved from the start, and was quickly chosen in Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks - the Lord's leading for Mike and Carrie to continue their work with Heart of Dakota. :D

About this time, during the writing of DITHOR, Charlotte Mason entered our lives. Carrie told me I just had to read about her, that she was inspirational, and that her theories of education were higher level without being dry. Oral narrations and written narrations - just what we had been looking for! :D Very high level forms of assessment without condensing learning to an encyclopedia-like format of test and forget. We tried it ourselves - very difficult. Retelling what is read in oral or written form is difficult. There are no "helps" as there are with quizzes and tests. :wink: There is no guessing. There is just you, sharing what you've remembered. It is a skill that takes a lifetime to hone to its highest potential. Written narrations are the same - though they require even more of a meshing of higher level skills because they involve writing, editing, attempting to emulate an author's style, etc. Dictation was yet another find. A higher level of spelling that really impacted dc's writing! That was an incredible find. It still is. :wink:

And so the story goes. :D Within HOD, you have the highest forms of assessment available, written into a format that is easy to teach from, that is enjoyable for the dc, but that stretches their minds and broadens their learning to the capacity of their fullest possible retention over the span of their education. :D It is true that any educational program is limited somewhat by dc's IQ, but by using higher levels of assessment routinely, I believe HOD helps each child attain their fullest potential possible. This potential is not the same for every child, as the Lord has gifted each one of His dc in different ways, but it is there nonetheless to be encouraged and developed as much as possible. In the past 9 years I have been homeschooling, I have seen this kind of assessment help each of our dc grow and mature in each of their own unique ways, and that has been incredibly exciting to be a part of! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! :D

I'll leave you with a link that Carrie has written herself that does far better of a job of explaining the higher level thinking HOD employs than I have done justice here...
Higher Level Thinking in HOD from Carrie:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8178

HTH! :D
In Christ,
Julie
Last edited by my3sons on Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

Lynnw
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:33 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: Newbie Question:Tests and Skill Mastery w HOD

Post by Lynnw » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:24 am

Julie,
I just sat down at the computer to take a short break from housework (It's Saturday), and read this thread even though I wasn't particularly concerned about testing (nor did I have an answer for the original poster). I'm so glad I read the thread anyway. What an inspirational glance at the path that you and Carrie have traveled! So fun to read how the Lord used different things in your life to lead you. I'm glad I checked in today and read your post here!

Lynn
Married 19 years to Dh, Detective and Army Reservist: 1 tour in Iraq, 1 tour in Afghanistan
ds 12.5 (7th grade) RevtoRev
ds 9.5 (4th grade) Preparing

dd 8 (3rd grade) Beyond
ds 6 (K/1st grade) Beyond
dd 3

TNT
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:22 am

Re: Newbie Question:Tests and Skill Mastery w HOD

Post by TNT » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:53 pm

Thanks Julie for your answer.

and thanks for so many other times you've answered my questions!

you have really helped this mom of 4 hs newbie get started...from the message boards, your schedules, organizing, etc...

i'm very thankful for your insight and help. just know what you do helps so much! THANKS!

my3sons
Posts: 10593
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Newbie Question:Tests and Skill Mastery w HOD

Post by my3sons » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:43 pm

Thanks for your kind words, TNT! :D I love the ladies on this board. I know the Lord put all of us in each other's lives to help each other on this homeschooling journey. It is a blessing to travel the road with ladies like you. :D

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

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