Thursday, September 22, 2011

Systematic torture

I have found that there are certain academic skills that I HAVE to do with my kids even though they seem sort of drivel like.    Answering multiple choice questions does not come naturally to all kids.     Giving them a certain amount of practice or a LOT of practice A few of my kids have needed little to no practice with this sort of skill as it seemed duh obvious to them.    It never ceases to amaze me how different my learners are.  

I do think I failed my eldest children with some of this.   Getting through every school day can be so tedious and time consuming that I know I had an aversion to something more tedious that seemed like busy work.   Busy work happens in the academic world.   If the child needs to take a standardized test or even a drivers permit test.....they need to know how to read and answer questions and interpret what they are asking.    Seems like a silly thing to blog on but having been down this school road for quite some time, I am just saying my rebellion against busy work may have harmed the older kids.   I spent so much time teaching one to read and write that this little skill escaped us.   There is a purpose to the workbooks after all.   Rats.  

A friend of mine who has kids who were National Spelling Bee and Geography Bee finalists taught their kids writing skills mainly by having them answer questions in history and science in complete sentences, paragraphs etc. and in a convincing manner.   This information was somewhat of a relief to me.   Yes, I want the kids to learn to write papers but when I stop to think about it, the questions found in most texts include skills in  persuasion and comprehension proof.    Discussing books together also helps teach them to convince others of their knowledge of the subject.

So.....we should sleep well.   We lose sleep panicking over whether we have our bases covered.   Teaching them how to study for tests is another skill that I am going to attempt to figure out how to teach them seeing as I tend not to give tests.......oh joy.    Breathe.   

1 comment:

  1. If we had an infinite amount of time (if IF if IF) then there'd be a place for kicking ourselves because we didn't teach test-taking skills. And there IS a place for it. But practicing and practicing? Personally, I'd rather skip some of that busy work and spend more time on teaching thinking skills, chores, how to evaluate things, and how to speak/listen.

    Some things might have been easier and simpler for your older children had you chosen a different focus in their younger years. But if you HAD, then other [different] things would be harder for them. It's a trade-off; you can't have everything. And I think the young people you have a pretty nifty.