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Practical Helps

Understanding Achievement Test Scores

Once you have chosen an achievement test and administered it, the final step of the annual process is interpreting the score report. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that this can be the most intimidating step. The typical score report seems to have more columns of numbers than a tax schedule!

Raising Renaissance Kids

When I was growing up, many of the families I knew had pizza night and game night. Not mine. We had go out to dinner night, usually every other Friday on payday. We didn’t have any other family nights, though. With my own homeschooling family, we’ve committed to family nights but changed them as the children have grown through different stages and interests.

How to Choose an Achievement Test

Many parents have questions about which achievement test would best fit their students. There have been several factors to take into consideration, but today, there is a new one: Do you want the test to be aligned to the Common Core? If you do not want a test aligned to the Common Core, then choose a test that was designed and normed before 2009.

Let’s Talk about Achievement Tests

Achievement testing is the educational topic most likely to incite questions and concerns among homeschoolers. Homeschool parents have questions about the nature of achievement testing and why some states require testing for homeschoolers. Many parents also become concerned that their children pass their grade at the end of the year. Given these concerns and questions, it is no wonder that some parents become quite contentious altogether about the topic!

Learning in the Autumn

One of the freedoms I cherished most about homeschooling was that my kids could discover the adventure of learning rather than the boredom of school. To actually break through the bonds of boredom and into that learning adventure, however, may require some out-of-the-box thinking and a willingness to try something new.

So, if you are ready, I’d like to start with a bit of a poetic meander through the obstacles of learning outdoors in autumn.

Remember

The Math around You: Helping Young Children Learn to Think Mathematically

Despite popular opinion, math is not a creation of evil masterminds plotting the demise of students and mothers everywhere. I often get the feeling from comments I hear and read that many people think that math isn’t a natural part of our lives, that it’s boring and that it’s something that we just have to make our kids do simply because we’re expected to. None of these things is true—math is all around us! Just as we learn more about God through nature, music and art, we learn about God through math. It’s part of the world that He created!

Why We Love Classical Education

Classical education is distinguished from other models of education in at least three ways. First, classical education recognizes and embraces three stages of learning and seeks to teach in accordance with those stages. Second, it values history, especially the great conversations of the past, and places a priority on helping students benefit from and engage with those great ideas. Third, classical education values education for its own sake and seeks to develop students who are well-rounded with a wide breadth of knowledge across many disciplines.

Why I Am Passionate about Charlotte Mason

Many factors may influence our decisions on educational curriculum, including our own journey through life. As a product of traditional public schooling, where my pursuit of high scores on tests outweighed any personal development, I found that delving into the hows and whys of learning was not intuitive. Furthermore, the concept of homeschooling never entered my mind until our twins were approaching kindergarten. As we looked into options other than a full day of school, God opened doors and windows to the Charlotte Mason philosophy.

Surveying the Sites

Not everyone has the time to scavenge around the Internet to find informative, fun, and educational websites for their family to enjoy. That’s why we offer this column. By dividing it into four sections, we work towards our goal—to provide something for everyone. We hope that you will enjoy what we’ve mined for you this month.

Balancing Act

How important is balance in your life? On a scale of one to ten, I’d have to give it a high ten! We all have a need for balance—we even expect balance in our lives, and why not? We serve a God of balance.

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