Ladies,

Here are a few thoughts...

1. Have you noticed our "strategies for review" sections printed in the last week-plans of each TOG unit (and in the last two week-plans of each Unit 4)? They give you specific ways to coach your students in review work, whether or not you have our Evaluations disk. They constitute the opportunity for you to have your children learn to review largely independently, as they will need to in college. Remember, there they will encounter a variety of formats for tests, from multiple choice, to short answer, to essay tests. So, your goal should be to teach your student--according to his own particular mix of abilities and modalities--to effectively review for tests. A focus for our review guides and strategies is the idea that you teach him or her WHY instructors write questions: what are they looking for and how can the student best give the answer that the teacher wants. (We don't believe that--unless the honor of the gospel is at stake--a test is a place for a student to take a stand. The teacher wants to know, "Did you get MY message in class or not?" It is not a compromise of personal integrity, usually, for the student to understand what the teacher wants him to show that he's learned, and express it elegantly!)

2. As I said above, given the flexibility of TOG, it's impossible for us to give questions that will, with 100% accuracy, hit all the information you covered in your discussions. The tests ARE based on weekly quiz questions, student readings (in our assigned books), and discussion outlines. Because of the nature of homeschooling, you really MUST read our published tests ahead and customize them. Having done so, you can guide your student as to where to concentrat his/her efforts at review, and also discard from the test any sections/questions that you didn't happen to cover during the unit.

3. Many older homeschoolers have not been adequately taught (or are not required) to take notes. This really hinders effecient review work, for both mom and student. If your older student is not taking regular class notes, and some broad reading notes, you may want to reconsider your approach. The best gift you may give him is to stop school for a week and do intensive training on note taking, and then make it part of their grade ongoing (yes, I mean grade his notes as motivation for them to be maintained ongoing). There are sections on outlining and note taking in Writing Aids if you need help with teaching your students this vital skill. (And, by the way, virtually all colleges allow students to take notes electronically. You may wish to move your lecture spot to a place near your family computer so your student can use it for this purpose.) It is FAR easier to review the unit (and remember exactly what was covered in YOUR homeschool) if your student has his own notes (that you can sneak a peek at if YOU forget the details) from which to work. Otherwise, it's a lot of work for *you* to recall and summarize and direct such that the student can even remember what you coverd eight weeks ago. Note taking is an important ingredient for success in testing homeschoolers.

4. Concerning time allotments for review: yes, the last week of each unit is busy, and the student will be pressed for time to both review and finish the week's work. Yes, we HAVE worked to make the last week's work a bit lighter for this reason in most unit-ending weeks. There are a couple of strategies that you might employ given these constraints.
*Recognize that time management is another life skill that students will always need to employ, no matter where they go. Help your student to effectively manage his time by giving an early warning about the test and, again, helping him to OVER TIME become effecient at review work.
*Plan your school year with a week's "breathe and review" built in between each unit. (You can catch up on housework, plan the next unit, and finish up last-minute details for your Unit Celebration while your older kids review! )
*Have the student review during the last week of a unit, but give him until Saturday evening of the week to take his test.

Hope all this helps you all. Each family is different. Be sure to run your perplexities past your husbands for counsel and bathe your decisions in prayer! God is good; He will lead you!