The Dreaded History Test

Today Kiki had a spelling test, and as usual, she aced it.  Tomorrow she has tests in English, Math and History.  She should do fine in English and Math, she always does….History, however, is turning out to be an issue.  Math seems to be easy for her – you work the problem, you get the answer.  No big deal.  (She does not get that from me.  I still can’t recite my times tables. And don’t even get me started on Algegra.)  English is not a big struggle.  You see why homeschooling works for me?  My child is just bright, I guess, so it’s easy on me!  Her History quizzes, tho, have been another story…if they were graded, it wouldn’t have been pretty.  The thing she struggles with most is ‘focus’, so I don’t know if she’s not paying attention when we read the History book, or if she is in such a hurry to get through the test she doesn’t really think about the answer, or what.  We did alot of review today, and I did notice one thing…once she has an answer in her head, it’s stuck there…right or wrong.  "Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand were the rulers of Portugal.  True or False?"  "True."  "No, it’s false…they were king and queen of Spain.  That’s one you missed on the quiz, okay?"  "Okay."  Five minutes later…."Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand were rulers of what country?"  "uhm, Portugal?"  "Noooo…Spain, remember?"  "Oh, yeah."  We went over this – and other questions she’d missed – and for the most part, she stuck with the same wrong answers….uhg.   I tried to do some associations… "hola, Queen Isabella"  (she’s taking Spanish lessons, too) so this is what I got then…."Huh??"  "You know, because they speak Spanish in Spain, so that’ll help you remember."  "No they don’t, they speak Spanish in Mexico!"  I got a good chuckle out of that one…so did Kiki, after I said "uh, ‘Spain’, ‘Spanish’, get it?"  She was like "oh, duh…!" 

7 responses »

  1. Sometimes I read your entries and relate so completely that I just have to sit and giggle.  Thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment.  You have wonderful words of wisdom presented with a fabulous sense of humor.  Also, on occasion, I do believe we may be married to the same man….hehe!

  2. Anne,
    Thanks for stopping by.  The blog wasn\’t anything that happened to me, personally, but was one of those things that just needed to be said.  It did involve those I care about, so that was why I was so burdened about it.  Anyway, I want to tell you that I admire you for home schooling and don\’t think home school parents get enough praise or respect.  I am a retired elementary teacher and your daughter\’s response just cracked me up.
    History is a favorite subject of mine, and it can peak the interest and memory of the "Do I have to study this?" minded, if you pick a few good selections from the library.  I wish I had my children\’s books that I kept after retiring, out of storage, but I don\’t.  There is an excellent book on Columbus with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in it, with a beautiful pop-out feature, and is historically accurate. There is another funny one, called NO PIGS ON BOARD, and it is not too young for a 9 year old.  I am sorry, my brain is too tired to remember the author.  Just a suggestion.

  3. Sounds a lot like my son… little concentration for the things he doesn\’t enjoy or come easily to him already.  Sounds like a reading comprehension thing to me.  If you can pair her history lessons up with a really good reading assignment (read "something she really wants to read"), or some drama or even some math/science, she might take away a better understanding.  I have found that it\’s just about the framework for my son… if he has enough of a framework to put the needed knowledge in, he\’ll remember it better and make his own connections.
    Tammy Bailey

  4. You are so much braver than I.  I would never have the patience to teach my own.  Wednesday Night Youth is enough for me.  🙂

  5. You wouldn\’t by any chance use ABeka, would you?  It occurred to me today, as I was preparing my son for his History Test, that I had seen that question somewhere before.  It took me a moment & then I realized that I\’d read about it in your entry!  Once again, you\’ve made me giggle. 😉

  6. Hello!  I love your live space… thanks to Meg\’s Garden!  I am a novice at this and have just started my own.  I am currently trying to learn how to customize my space, so I do hope you visit sometime.   I like your format too, the colors remind me of autumn in Colorado.  Have a great day. <><

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog again.  Salt Lake was a GREAT place to be during the Olympics!  I will never forget the feeling I had during those two and a half weeks in February 2002.  It is one of my favorite memories.  I bet you will have an enjoyable time when you return for a visit next spring.
    There is an IKEA store opening near my house soon.  I\’m looking forward to shopping in it.  I haven\’t been in one before, but I have heard how neat they are.
    I\’m having the same struggles with my 17 3rd graders as you are having with your daughter.  We are doing a unit on economics and we have gone over the vocabulary 3 or 4 times now, plus we have done a lot of reading and discussion.  Today, I told the class I was going to divide them up into groups(companies), and each company was going to invent a new kind of sneaker for the shoe industry.  Simultaneously, two of my students asked, "What is an industry?"  I could have screamed!  That was one of our vocabulary words, which they apparently hadn\’t learned yet.  I wish I could give you some advice to help with your daughter\’s studies, but as you can see I haven\’t been very successful on my own yet.

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