I am starting to find our nitch on what type of learning suites my babies best but I'm not sure what you would call it. Maybe you guys can name this for me;) So, I wanted to share with you what we have learned these past few months and how I believe is the best way to determine the efficiency of our learning...ie, grading. Now, I posted in a previous post about how I feel about learning, you can find it here, so I won't go into detail now. My goal today is to encourage anyone who is feeling stuck or having a hard time not knowing if your kiddos are getting it.
To begin, I will say it again, I despise regurgitation of info to receive a letter grade. I'm not dissing grading in itself, or I hope I'm not;) I do give my babies grades, namely for college transcript and sport eligibility purposes. It has, however, taken about a good 3 months to retrain my babies on what grading is. They have been getting so down on themselves when they miss work, mainly math or "tests". Finally, I sat them down individually and explained to them, in their own way, that getting a problem "wrong" is not bad (thanks public school for indwelling fear that it means they are not smart!) but that missing a problem is learning. Even Albert Einstein had problems with learning, that is until he found his nitch to how he learned; ie didn't get board. It took Thomas Edison multiple times, some say 100's, to innovate the light bulb. He didn't fail but learned what was not the best way to make a light bulb (thanks National Treasure for that, love that movie, but I looked it up and it is true). Thomas Edison was not successful because he got it right, he was successful because he persevered through not getting it right. Anyway, that helped them a lot.
To get back on track. I am training my babies to be critical thinkers and how to find their nitch on how to remember and recognize info they have learned, not just repeat it back for a test or grade only to forget. I don't want my babies to be the kid that says "oh yeah, I remember now" when someone explains info they should have known in length only to recognize it at the end. I want my babies to say "the Mayflower Compact was written before the starving pilgrims even got off the Mayflower because to have the right to govern themselves and live according to the Scripture was that important. That's why they prayed before doing anything, even writing the Compact. And that's why they came to America because they loved Jesus and Scripture so much they were willing to die for it but they were getting tired of dying for it. That's what a pilgrim is you know, a person who takes adventures for what they believe."...actual conversation my Beauty had. That my friends is knowledge! That is an A+ in my book:)
My goal is to train them the way they need to study and understand so that college is not a struggle. If they can remember and recall the info at a later time, then they know their stuff and therefore they get an A on their "test". Note some times Science calls for an actual test so they do get those but I have them explain the answer so I know they get it. For example, my Beautiful "got the answer wrong" but she knew what she was talking about because I taught her to explain herself. In that explanation, she was able to fully define the answer in correct terms, just the name was wrong. We went over the answer as a great explanation but pointed out why the "answer" was wrong and how to better look for what the test was asking. Learning Win Win! She does get credit for those times. We spend a lot of time where my babies read back to me their answers. They love to share what they learned and see mine and my Lovers faces light up when they "teach us"; yes even my high schooler.
I think of it that getting something wrong only better instills the right answer. It helps you remember how not to do it therefore remembering how to do it right when you have to recall it at a later time. This is helpful with math for us. I let my babies retry a problem they get wrong immediately and if they get it wrong again, they are explained how to get the right answer having to write it right next to their wrong equation and point out the discrepancies. After all work is done, they go back to what was wrong with a fresh paper and do it again. This works wonders. My Beauty who struggled in public school math has excelled greatly. She went from making "D's" to having a 99.02% off of the programs tests alone. My Buddy is able to skip ahead to pre algebra as a 6th grader cause he tested out of the other 2 years of math, no more being bored!
I hope that this helps anyone who struggles with if they are doing a good job teaching their babies. Or anyone who doesn't know if they can teach them, on the fence about homeschooling. Or struggling with wondering if their babies are retaining the info. Or have public schoolers who are struggling with the fear of grades. Please let me know what works for you in the comments:)
Welcome! Marie is a wife, mother of two teens, and a fur baby. Marie and her family live in the north-central US. She is a homeschool Momma, avid outdoors man, and is disciplined in the study of Jewish and Christian Scriptures along with Hebrew and Greek dialect. Marie has been asked for years to share herself, so, welcome to Marie' life:)