Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Exam Questions

CM-style educators often enjoy comparing exam questions, since there aren't a lot of CM-type examinations floating around. I have been writing questions this weekend, and here is a sampling-- it is a sampling because I still have quite a few to write! The kids generally answer three to six questions per day, so I will write the rest tomorrow while they work on the questions I have already finished.

CM exams are intended to celebrate what the student knows, and I also use them to assess strengths and weaknesses. I have been rereading _For the Children's Sake_ by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, and can see where my zeal concerning requirements has stolen some of the joy from our learning life. I am working on putting that back, and pray the Lord is in the effort.

I used the vintage PNEU exams as inspiration for the questions this time-- a humbling experience! It is interesting to see the progressive expansion of the questions, from basic retelling questions for the younger students, to questions of intent and application for older ones.


Cornflower (3rd grade)


1. Describe the solar system.
2. Tell what you know about the atmosphere.
3. Describe three types of rock and where they are found.

Artist Study (John Singer Sargent):
1. Describe Oyster Gatherers of Cancale, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, or Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

1. Tell one of the adventures of the Argonauts, or about Medea.
2. Tell about Davy Crockett, or Johnny Appleseed.
3. Tell how the Duke, disguised as Friar Lodowick, befriends Isabella and helps her rescue her brother.

1. Tell about the English Civil War.
2. Tell what you know of Leonardo da Vinci.
3. What do you know about the colony of Virginia?

1. What countries did Marco Polo go through on his journeys? On which continents?


Mariel (6th grade)

1. (a) “It is not good that man should be alone.” (b) “What is this that thou hast done?” (c) “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee.” On what occasions were these words used? Tell the whole story in two cases.

2. Describe the duties of the high priest in the temple. How did Jesus fulfill the office of the high priest in His sacrifice for our sins?

3. How is Christ superior to any angel, priest or human leader? How is the new covenant superior to the old?

4. (Beautiful Girlhood) Describe what kind of woman you want to be. (This question was taken directly from Lindafay's exams.)

1. Write four lines of poetry from memory.

1. Tell a story, in prose or verse, about one of the following—Herod, Octavian, or Cleopatra.

2. Give an account of the part played by Brutus in the slaying of Julius Caesar and the establishment of Octavian as ruler of Rome.

3. Give a map of the Mediterranean basin at the time of Octavian.

4. What was the “Terrible Prophecy” given to King Laius? According to myth, how did the prophecy play out?

5. List the Spartan laws of Lycurgus.

6. What do you know of the battle of Marathon and the battle of Thermopylae?


Aravis (9th grade)

1. “It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Show the full meaning of this statement.

2. What was the purpose of writing the book of Hebrews? Mention (a) the circumstances under which it was written and (b) two themes contained in the first half of the book.

3. “An high priest after the order of Melchisidec.” To whom is this statement referring, and who was Melchisidec? How is one a “type”, or foreshadowing of the other?

1. Write a sketch of Lady Macbeth.

2. Compose a ballad, which must scan, based on History of Henry Esmond, The History of Rasselas, or She Stoops to Conquer

3. Compose some lines on a group of trees as seen by a painter.

Sketch the following:
a. An illustration from Macbeth (with title)
b. A study of a tree in winter.
c. A design in fruits for a book cover

Composer Study (Edvard Grieg)
1. Write a paragraph on each of the three compositions we have listened to: “Peer Gynt”, “Piano Concerto in A” and “Norwegian Dance No. 2”


lindafay said...

Great questions! I can tell you've been reading Miss Mason's exam samples. They really helped me, as well.


Katie said...


Randall said...

What does "CM" stand for?

Katie said...

Charlotte Mason. She was a 19th century British educator who had amazing ideas about education-- she believed that children are born persons fully capable of relating to vital ideas. This translates into lots of real books (written by authors who are passionate about their subjects, rather than by committee), gentle and consistent habit training, hands-on activities (such as handicrafts, drawing, science experiments), and a learning environment that respects the student.

We like her a little bit. ;o)

Randall said...

Neat! Thanks for sharing!

So, is she well known and her concepts followed among the homeschoolers you know, or is it just something your family does?