Everybody around me seems to have testing on their minds at this particular time of the year, and I am often asked about how I know that we are finished with a particular course, or how do I know that my child passed from one grade to the next. The Charlotte Mason method doesn't leave a lot of room for things like numerical grades. There is very little that could actually be graded in the traditional sense, and the fact that Charlotte Mason teaches us to expect excellence, means that if a lesson isn't done correctly, then it isn't finished. Therefore, there is really nothing to rate or grade other than things like grammar, spelling words, and math problems. Be that as it may, we do have a simple way of testing how much a child knows about a given subject. Unlike most exams that are given in traditional classroom settings, there is nothing to jog her memory and no clues to help her answer the questions. She is given blank paper with no multiple choices or fill-in-the-blanks for submitting her answers. Without further ado, I'm going to share Abbey's final exam for 7th grade, which is Y6 on amblesideonline.
*In your own words, tell about your favorite character that you read about in your Bible reading this year.
*In your own words, tell about your favorite event that you read about in your Bible reading this year.
Write 2-4 lines of a poem that you read this year.
I will read a paragraph of my choice, from a source of my choice, and her task to is write neatly with correct spelling.
Describe your favorite scene or character from a Shakespeare play that you read this year.
Underline the subject and circle the predicate in the following quote: (quote of my choice)
Tell all that you know about your favorite subject in U.S. History that you learned this year.
Tell all that you know about your favorite subject from World History that you learned this year.
Tell everything that you know about David Livingstone.
Tell everything that you know about Einstein, Archimedes, or Galileo. You may do one, two, or all of them.
Tell all that you know about Plutarch.
Describe your favorite picture from this year's picture study.
**Criteria based on the math program that we used this year.
As you can see, there is no room for "cramming" for a test. There are no test questions to memorize. The test is to show how much the student knows rather than trying to prove how much she doesn't know. She can not take this test if she didn't establish the habit of paying attention to her studies, because there is nothing anywhere on any part of this test that could assist her in any way. She can't cheat, because the answers require too many details. In order to pass, she has to have actually spent some time reading and learning about each topic.