Monday, March 17, 2008

Treasure and Study Island

I think the title says it all about what we've been doing this week .

All week we've been working on the online program called Study Island . The unfortunate part is that since we are with a cyberschool we have to participate in the state testing that comes along with it . I along with alot of families and even teachers from our cyberschool definitley donot agree with testing young elementary aged children . Why you ask ? Because you aren't going to get accurate results . Children elementary aged are still learning . They are still learning to master important skills such as reading , learning how to spell , to write , learning their math facts . One is just not going to get accurate results at this age . Some children at this level are more hands on with their learning . My oldest is a smart little cookie . Put a test in front of her and she becomes mush and begins to drool . Now my middle child scares me . I worry about her as she can give me so many irrelavent answers when I ask her a question it makes me wonder if anybody is home . Put a test in front of her and she becomes " Katie the test taking wonder ." Which at the same time makes me wonder if she is really smarter then what she leads me to believe most of the time ( as I say with a big smile ) .

Both Marilyn and Katie are taking these tests this year so I'll be curious to see what come out of it . But to me it doesn't mean anything and its not the end all either .

But anyways before I went off on that Study Island is a program to help teach children to learn how to take tests ... ugh , I could go off on that too . It is helpful though . They go through topics , can play simple games to master the skills and move on . Marilyn and Katie's big goal though is to be able to have their names put in the raffle for the Nintendo WII . Big motivator can you tell ?

I think though that the thing we are enjoying the most is reading "Treasure Island " . After reading Robinson Crusoe they are really getting into the classical stories , and "Treasure Island" is proving to be a big hit . We all are really enjoying the story . I am hoping to come up with some activities to do along with the story too to cement some of it in their little impressionable brains . I'm sure I'll find something or come up with an activity .

I'm finding when we stray away from the Calvert we tend to be more relaxed and learning has become more enjoyable for all of us . It really has .

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