We just completed our portfolios for this past year. I tend to dread these each year because it seems like such a daunting task because the boys tend to do so many different things and follow all these different tangents of learning with their interests. It seems to not get easier as they become older~
Every year when I do these I am always so glad that I actually do have to get these done or choose to do these, because I find out things that I probably would not have discovered, if I hadn't taken the hours to go through all the information.
I wanted to share my thoughts on what I realized this year just in case some of my own readers might be falling into the same situation~
I had been working on the "yearly work samples" of their portfolios and started to pull out pages from the beginning, middle and end of the courses to add to the binders. I quickly noticed a few things with my older teen. His pages that came from the more traditional approach ( specifically his AOP Lifepacs) had much lower grades than I am used to seeing with him. The different sections were ok but just mediocre, in his writing of answering the questions and the grades were a bit to be desired, usually in the 70's not something that is very common for him especially in the area of History. Then I began to look over and pull out his narration pages. The writing was exceptional. I could see how he understood and enjoyed writing about the information. There was a huge difference between the two ways of doing History.
I talked this over with my older teen and we both realized that working the more traditional way of reading the "text" and answering the questions, or doing the matching words doesn't really work toward his strengths at all. He is able to just read a chapter from a book and sit down and write down all the important and interesting information about that topic. He displays that he knows the material far better than a worksheet or textbook question would be able to provide to us. I have often said: Once we read something and can write about it and even teach it back we know it~
Many might be concerned about ( not attempting to try to use a more traditional method) this, however, I am not at all. In the higher years of learning, in college, when you think of how they do things in the classroom it fits my son's strengths exactly. In class, your sitting and listening to lectures and discussing issues and topics. While listening, many will take notes and write up summaries of the information being learned. ( writing about what you learned and know) We call this narrations, plain and simple. Telling /Writing back what you learned. Its really quite simple.
So moving forward, we won't be changing things in our Highschool because we feel like we need to go back to a more traditional school approach.( to prepare him better for what is to come) It doesn't work. How my older teens does things work best for him and his learning strengths.
I think the most important thing I took away from this is to realize how working as they need to can really make that huge difference between success and just getting by~ doesn't it make more sense to work as they feel they need to? Especially as they are getting older in the highschool years?
Share your thoughts~
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