Friday, December 03, 2010

Week 12 in Review: Wonderful!


This week was such a wonderful week.  Perhaps we were bearing the fruit from having taken a week off for Thanksgiving, but regardless of the cause, the week just seemed to flow, and a lot of learning happened this week.

The highlight of the week was capitalizing on week 11's Shakespeare theme.  We memorized some lines from Henry V, read a beautifully illustrated version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, watched Much Ado About Nothing and downloaded King Henry V which we plan to watch tomorrow night as a family.  Of the clip shown above, Matty memorized the last part, starting with "We few, we happy few, We band of brothers..."  When he watched it he said, "That's what I want to do.  That really stirs me."  Then again, I doubt that I will ever forget the sound of my son's voice saying, "Mom, please can we have pizza and watch Shakespeare tonight?"  Um...sure.  Sounds fine to me.  We also completed all of the math, writing and science and (gasp!) even worked in a science experiment, and did a very thorough review of CC work.

As I have been reflecting on this week, I have been thinking about the things we covered, and why things unfolded as they did.  I believe that not formally testing my child on what he knows is so liberating, and in all honesty frees us to pursue the things we really love without worrying about how he will perform on an assignment or a test.  He doesn't have to write a paper about Shakespeare, he doesn't have to answer fill-in-the-blank questions about his life, and yet he has his stories stored up, lines from plays memorized, and an appreciation for the man himself because he is familiar with his life.  He genuinely loves Shakespeare.  I believe I am able to engage / indulge these interests with impunity because there is no test looming over our heads, no standards of learning to fulfill, no one telling us how many school days we have to have.  This is the time in childhood when learning can happen as learning will and building solid foundations.  Tests will come soon enough.


  1. I love your last paragraph.It should be about learning and not about testing.

  2. Ditto! It's all about that lighting a fire, not filling a bucket thing. If you focus on testing children become buckets!

    Maybe we'll watch Henry V today! You've inspired me!

  3. I totally agree testing is the pits!!!

  4. Since we opted out of the VA school system with religious exemption, we no longer have to "darken that bubble," as the case may be. I do plan to prepare them thoroughly for college entrance exams, but that will come in time.

  5. Unfortunately, we have to test yearly here. However we place no emphasis on it other than to do your best. I LOVE being able to teach the kids in a free way... the way we want to learn! It's a freedom we should not take for granted! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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