Apr 9, 2011

Looking ahead to High School - Part 2

If you missed part 1 be sure to check it out HERE.

As I continue to think about and discuss with KM what the upcoming years will look like, the biggest thing that she would like to avoid is redundancy. Her biggest pet peeve is repetition and I can totally understand why she would feel that way. If you have already learned something - truly learned it - why on earth would you want to keep going over it again and again and again. I know that there are times when you might forget something and need a refresher to get your brain on track again, but if you actually know it then you don't need to relearn it, you just need to brush up on it.

With this in mind I have been looking at a lot of areas in which things might be repeated and one of the most common areas is language arts, grammar to be specific. Now I have mentioned about a bazillion times in past posts that writing is really a difficult area for us, but when it comes to grammar KM has things down pat. She knows parts of speech, can diagram sentences, knows all the mechanics, and can easily edit other people's work - this really blows my mind since she struggles so much getting her own words down, but hey whatever. So I am thinking that since I have a few more books from the Straight Forward Advanced English Series - that I have stockpiled from Paperbackswap! -  that I will have her take the assessment test, if she passes them with an 85% or higher then I am going to give her credit for completing them, just like you would get on college level entrance tests. If she scores below that we will focus on the areas that she had trouble with and she can retest. This seems like the most logical time efficient course of action.

We actually took this route with Geography for next session. I had planned on having her do a Geography workbook over the summer to brush up on it since we haven't been getting into the map skills as much with Volume 3 & 4 of Story of the World as we had with the earlier volumes. I had gotten The Basic Not Boring World Geography - also through Paperbackswap - and when KM took a look through she said quite confidently "I know this stuff" and I replied "OK, show me." She took the final test at the back of the book and scored a 98%. The only thing that she stumbled on was some landform identifications, but really what is the difference between a bay and a gulf? or a strait and a channel? This showed me that there was no need for her to work through another book, when she knows the information.

I think testing out is going to cut down on a large portion of her academics and will allow her to explore more delight driven areas. Only time will tell how this will work out, but I have high hopes!
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