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    Exam Questions for Year Three, Term Three

    May 29, 2011 by Brandy Vencel

    Whew! We made it. The past couple weeks were tough for me to push through. I was mentally done for some reason. Thankfully, I get more of the summer itch than my children, who were happily oblivious to their mother’s internal struggles to make it through the day without ditching school and going to the park.

    Or something.

    As if it isn’t hard enough to finish the year without a certain boy having a birthday, and company in town to boot! My school year is bookended by birthdays {Toddler O.’s birthday invariably falls during our first week of school}, so it will be my lifelong battle to both start well and finish well.


    As I’ve said before, we here have two types of exams, written and oral. The written exam questions are spread out over three days. The oral exam takes place one evening, and we treat it like a little party. We invite my parents over, have dinner together, examine E., and then eat dessert or a snack or something. It is an enjoyable time for all, though I must confess I’m not exactly sure how we’ll do it when we have more than one student who needs to be examined, but I suppose we still have a year to figure that out {because I don’t examine until Year Two}.

    Here are the written exam questions:

    1. Tell about when a woman poured ointment on Jesus’ head. {Bible}
    2. Write Psalm 71:5 in cursive. {Cursive}
    3. Describe your favorite painting by Mary Cassatt. It is okay to go and look at it–I want you to focus on using your best words to tell about it. Don’t tell the name; see if I can guess which one based upon your description. {Picture Study}
    4. Tell about the founding of Harvard College. {History}
    5. Write a fairy story about kindness. {Composition}
    6. Tell the story of Hamlet. {Literature}
    7. Write The Cow by memory. {Poetry Memorization}

    And here are the questions for the oral examination:

    1. In your own words, tell about one of the battles that Joshua and the children of Israel fought. {Bible}
    2. Tell us the story of John Henry. {Literature}
    3. Tell us a story about the Pilgrims. {History}
    4. Tell us about Mason and Gorges founding Maine and New Hampshire. {History}
    5. How did Theseus slay the Minotaur? {Literature}
    6. Who was Flora McDonald? What did she do? {History}
    7. Tell us everything you know about Renee, Duchess of Ferrara, and the Huguenots. {History}
    8. Using the globe, please describe Marco Polo’s journey home from China to Florence. {Geography}
    9. What is a partridge like? {Natural History/Science}
    10. Tell us about your favorite invention you read about this term. {Natural History/Science}
    11. Recite Opportunity by Edward Roland Sill. {Memory Work}
    12. Recite the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price and the Parable of the Net together (Matt. 13:47-50). {Memory Work}
    13. Sing This Is My Father’s World. {Hymns}
    14. Show everyone your needlepoint coaster. {Handicrafts}

    The above oral questions are not in the order we will ask them. I try to use Mason’s priciple of varied lessons in examining, so we alternate the different types of questions. Basically, we’ll intersperse the history and geography questions with everything else. After particularly difficult questions, I like to use memory work or handicrafts display because it allows the mind to relax for a minute or two.

    Is anyone else writing an exam this weekend? If you post your questions online, please link to them in the comments; I’d love to read them!

    Read More:
    Examinations: What’s the Point?
    Examinations: Reflections, and Two Sample Answers
    Post-Exam Troubleshooting

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