TruthQuest History and testing
See also discussion of this topic in the Frequently Asked Questions section.
Kimberly from North Carolina says:
"It is a real change of mindset to go from textbooks and tests to just loving learning. The thoughts of how will I know if they know? go through all of our minds at some point! It doesn't always show up right away; however, what I have seen in my children is a love for history that no textbook could have ever fostered. Now, can they name every important date in US History? No. But do they have an appreciation for God and HIS hand in this country? Yes!"
"As for retention, I think that depends on what we want them to retain. Do we want them to understand the ebb and flow of life in the United States? Or, do we want them to know on what date the battle of Breed's Hill occurred? Do we want them to recognize the positive characteristics of men like Patrick Henry and be inspired to develop similar qualities, or do we want them to be able to answer the Jeopardy question, "At what time did British soldiers land on Moulton's Point?" ...History when I was in school was a matching of names and dates…and that is not HIStory."
"Just so I don't steer you wrong, my 7-year-old can generally get within 20 years of when a major event in American History occurred, not because we have drilled it, but because we have read wonderful books and 'lived' the period. So, he associates things with certain periods of time. As he gets older, I would imagine this would improve…since my over-35 brain is learning much with TruthQuest History. I know more dates now than I ever did in school when I 'crammed' them for the test and forgot them. I'm not trying to memorize them; they are just easier when related to the people and books we read."
Terri from Pennsylvania says:
"When I start to doubt this approach, it is not hard to take a close look at what my children are really learning and to realize their education is far superior to what I as a public school student received. My children are able to remember more of what they have encountered than I ever did in school. My children are better able to critically evaluate what they are reading…and they devour books!"
Lyn from Nebraska says:
"My kids are far more knowledgeable about history than any of their peers and most of the adults they know."
April from South Carolina says:
"I did not want to use traditional tests in history, so what I chose to do is assign a semester project, several written essays (from the ThinkWrite excercises), and four book reports (oral and written) which will give him his grade!"
Dawn from Indiana says:
"We might feel undone when we see that TQH does not give daily assignments (or tests, in this context) to 'verify' that learning is taking place. This fear showed me that my heart was straying back to 'Egypt,' when I found myself tempted to look to the world's methodologies to define education taking place in my home. But I rather need to look to God for understanding of His way of teaching (which is really discipleship). Otherwise, I get caught up in the 'what' of education, as I was indoctrinated under it as a student, that education is a series of things to do, rather than a state of the heart/mind."
"So, for some of my children, discussion reminds them of what we just read. Some remember better as they work on their notebooks. Some of them remember when they tell Dad what they learned. Some of them remember when they draw. Remember that Michelle's entire vision for TQH is that each family would determine what the Lord is calling them to do with it."
Melanie from Iowa says:
"Here are some ideas for 'proof' of what has been learned in TruthQuest History:
But, I also think that whenever your student answers discussion questions well, by willingly responding with understanding, this can earn a grade. It doesn’t have to be a lot more complicated than that, because, for example, my college philosophy professor gave extra credit for contributing to class discussions. Is that really any different?
You can let your student offer ideas on how to demonstrate his learning, especially when he/she is old enough to have a sense of ownership for their education. For example, if they accomplish assigned readings, that earns a good grade!
My point? What your child is learning with TruthQuest History is truth that is worth remembering... and sharing with others. Maybe I sound overly simplistic, but 'just do it' seems to apply both to starting with TQH and recording something about it on paper. It is good to simply begin."