Tag Archives: American history

Garden of Praise.com

cohdranknbarbarabushroseI first came upon this website over a year ago when I was teaching art lessons in my home. I was centering the lessons around famous artists, and I was looking for information online about the lives of the various masters. While I was glad to find the biographies of famous artists on this site and used them regularly as a resource, Garden of Praise.com offers so much more. 

One of the first sections you come to on the site is entitled “Online Tests.” After registering, teachers and homeschooling parents can have their students take tests about famous Americans or lessons in the Bible. After a test is completed, it’s instantly scored, and if any incorrect answers were marked, the correct answer is revealed. 

The biography section features leaders such as presidents, scientists, inventors, and educators. Each story is written at the elementary level and includes seven printables, including a study sheet, a coloring page, a word search, a crossword puzzle, a word scramble puzzle, a worksheet, and a test. Links to other helpful sites about the individual are provided as well. 

A Spanish section has songs (with music) for learning the months of the year, colors, and the parts of the head. Quizzes are available for numbers, the days and months, and the names of shapes in Spanish. 

You’ll also find pages that include literature-based reading lessons, plays, musical activities, and children’s Bible lessons. You can even view a slideshow featuring ideas for bulletin boards or wall displays designed by teachers. 

While this site is not an all-inclusive resource for any of these subjects, it does provide information, ideas, links, and printables to supplement the various subjects your children might be studying. And, best of all, Garden of Praise.com has made it all available for free!

Testing

Our state doesn’t require yearly testing, so this was the first year we tried it. My seventh-grader John took a standardized test with a group of elementary and middle school students.

I decided to have him take the test this year for one main reason: we want him to go on to college, and that path requires standardized tests for admission and scholarships. The more practice he has at test-taking, the easier it will be for him to take the SAT or ACT in the last years of high school.

If I wasn’t sure about making him take the test before, I was after I told him I had signed him up. He begged and begged not to go, as he tends to be afraid of the unknown. He needed to know it wasn’t so bad.

Happily, John recognized two of the students in the testing group, and he felt a little more at ease. By the second day he was much more relaxed, and by the third day testing was no big deal. Goal accomplished.

This week the scores came in, and we were excited as we studied them together. A friend of mine has her children tested every couple of years to see how they’re doing and what she may need to work on with them. John did well in every subject, though his scores were lower in history and geography.

I’m not sure how helpful these test scores are in helping me fine-tune my teaching, though. The history questions consisted of world history, and we’re learning American history this year. John also told me after the test that he made a lot of educated guesses. He didn’t realize until the end of the second day that he wasn’t supposed to answer questions he didn’t know.  

Will I test again next year? Yes, I’ll have John take the tests so he can feel even more comfortable with the process. For us, seventh grade was a good year to start.