Hi Tanya,purpletanya wrote:I have 7 children in my home - 4 under the age of 4! We will be using RTR this next school year. We have used MFW for the past two years. I have a 5th & 7th grader who will be using this program. They are very independent learners. I will miss doing the reading with them but realistically know that I just can't with all my little ones. My question is: How do I check their knowledge base and know that they are truly grasping what they should be learning from the program??? I know that they will do the readings just how do I check it?
I have been in a position this year where my ds has had to do more of RTR on his own than I would like. (My husband has been in the hospital of-and-on all year.) However, I have been reluctant to have my son learn the early Christian history on his own. So my solution has been keeping up on all the basics (math, reading, English, writing, Spanish, & some extras in co-op), and we are spreading out the things that connect to RTR (Latin roots, history, Bible, art, read-alouds) and the science over more than one year. The MFW grid helps me see where I am at on both the basics and the RTR. I basically add in pages between the "weeks" in the teacher manual. Since RTR covers two complete science programs and tons of topics that can be expanded upon, I have still felt ds received a solid 5th grade education. There are tons of videos and library books in the book basket lists that our whole family has enjoyed this year.
However, if I were to try to have him do it all independently, and all in one year, I think that the notebooking would provide a good means of evaluating his learning. You might even add notebooking pages, and use them instead of some of the writing in their language arts program.
Conversation (& narration) is also an excellent benefit that homeschooling provides! At the top of the grid each day you will see the topic of the day. You can open up a conversation by asking, "What did you learn about _____ today?" This is a good skill for students to develop.
As for science, every week they will study a different system of the body during the first half of the year. They will notebook those first few weeks, and then build models. It should be easy to ask them to explain what they have built.
I think it would be ideal if you all did Bible together in the evening. But if you are unable to do this on a regular basis, I would strongly encourage you to at least be involved in new topics, such as when they start reading Trial and Triumph near the middle of the year. The first stories especially are of early Christian martyrs and may benefit from parental guidance. And my son needed some guidance through the Book of Revelations readings.
Well, some long-winded thoughts there as we wrap up our year here :o)