Well, those who have been following my contributions on the homeschool forum know that this has been a frustrating year in regards to science education. We also keep going through the Summer with academic work for our son—though at a lighter and more flexible pace—so we don't have the end of the school year finality that many do.
But I'll go ahead and share a major "victory" in another discipline. Our son's top subject is history; he can't get enough of learning about it. Last Fall I learned about the National History Bee and signed him up to participate. In January he took an online quiz and qualified for the DC Regional Final, then a few weeks ago he qualified for the National Finals. So on Wednesday we'll head to Chicago for the competition.
Like Christy, we have done very little with formal testing. I've actually wanted to have our son take a standardized test the last few years, but financial constraints and the overall upheaval of our life the last few years have precluded that. So I can echo the affirmation Christy described above. Though the History Bee folks did publish a general study guide that I showed to my son, I didn't give him an exhaustive list, saying, "Here's everything you need to memorize to prepare for the competition!" He simply loves the subject, reads about it constantly, and has an incredible ability to retain what he reads. I should also add that despite the criticisms I have for CC's science content, I have found that their history content is excellent. Memorizing the history timeline and sentences gave my son a great foundation for learning more history.
In short, I'm really proud of him!!
We also received this week Novare's Earth Science: God's World, Our Home—hot off the presses. It's a beautiful book and after quickly paging through it I believe Kevin Nelstead did a fantastic job. I just showed it to my son today, and he also seems excited about it. I'll plan to post a review once we've read and worked through it together.