House Points, Not Percentages

I’m not a big believer in tests for little kids.  I like learning to be for the sake of learning as often as possible.  Learning and finding out about things should be joyful for kiddos, not stressful.  This doesn’t mean I abandon my expectations and just let them do what they want, but it does mean I avoid a lot of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and true/false forms.

Instead of taking a weekly test, we play a weekly game show, kind of like Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.  I ask questions and anyone who knows the answer pops their hand up.  If they get it right, they get house points (Both Michelle and I have implemented a system of houses in our home schools.

We award a House Cup to the house that earns the most points . . . Karen plays games to quiz for points

We award a House Cup to the house that earns the most points . . .

The kids earn house points Hogwarts’ style, all for the glory of winning the house cup at the end of the term {who knew a goblet that I spray painted gold would be such a motivator!!}).  The more difficult the question, the more points they earn.  There is no penalty for wrong answers, but they only get one guess per question.


The questions can be anything we’ve learned about EVER.  They encompass all subjects, and even cover things that weren’t officially “school” topics.  I jot down questions on index cards that sit on my desk.  I keep all the questions we’ve ever used and they stay in the game, so eventually there are repeats.  If no one answers the question right I try to put it towards the top where we’ll hit it again really soon.  Our game show makes for a great review, and gives me a quick look at where the kids are, what they are remembering, and what we should probably go over again.  Everyone gets caught up in the fun, and we all get a great review time.



***A note about testing:  There is a place for testing later on in academia, but developmentally speaking, this doesn’t involve young children. Once a child reaches the formal operations stage of learning (able to think conceptually and in terms of abstract ideas) they should then be able to translate their concrete knowledge to a test answer sheet. Kids should learn to take tests. They should study for the SAT and ACT tests. They shouldn’t leave for college or the job market without these essential skills. However, while kids are still gaining the bulk of their knowledge and learning to classify and connect it is not the time though. At least until they are teens, the focus should primarily be on accumulating knowledge and learning to LEARN, not test.

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3 Responses to House Points, Not Percentages

  1. Ticia says:

    Ooohhhh, I like this idea. I wonder if it would work in my house.

  2. Things' Mommy says:

    You're amazing. I'm just sayin…

  3. Essay Writers says:

    Its a great idea.Thanks for such a wonderful post

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