Monday, December 5, 2011

Final Phase Testing Preparation - Critical Reading And Expository Writing

Song:  Heart Of Courage

Group:  Two Steps From Hell

Alex hard at work in preparation for the final phase of the
Davidson Academy admissions test (in 11 days).

His mother is also working very hard explaining concepts
and giving him numerous assignments to practice.

The upcoming testing at the academy will be covering some very 
advanced critical reasoning and inferencing as drawn from selected
short stories or portions of literature.

The testing, so far as we can gather from some sample questions and passages...
relies heavily upon being able to infer deep meanings and subtleties.

There are questions in some of the examples that delve into, not only possible
states of minds of the author...but of the generalizing of the implied philosophy 
of the author or the characters.

My wife has been working many hours a day with Alex on his Critical Reading
and Expository Writing skills.

After he reads and writes about certain passages or stories...
I will discuss them with him.

I will go into the hidden meanings and philosophical implications.

We will later go into his formal essay writing skills.

As his Math, Science and basic English skills are very good...
we are just reviewing them with him.

The main focus of our next 11 days is mostly to hone his critical thinking skills...
as applied to literature and philosophy. 

One of his workbooks is an S.A.T. (College Prep) Critical Reading workbook.
He is also brushing up on his S.A.T. vocabulary through one of his apps on his iPad.

These SAT prep workbooks and apps are actually quite a bit easier than the 
Academy's testing examples.

We will have to find our own pieces of literature and we'll have to quiz him
on our own to ensure it is up to the much higher standard of the academy.

He has been studying his little heart out...without complaint
(he never really complains about studying...but this is really intensive 
as most of the day covers just his critical reading and writing skills).

His critical reading skills have improved quite dramatically over the past 
couple of days.

He has been able to infer meanings with greater ease...
and he has been able to tie them to specific examples in the text.

This used to give him some trouble in the past.

My wife has been working wonders with him on this specific area.

As he has relatively little experience in life...
one of our challenges is to have him grasp basic philosophical
and psychological concepts as applied to the characters and to the author.

He will have to understand the reasons for their actions or inactions as applied to 
the other characters or even the real reason the story was written in such a manner...
or what hidden meanings apply through metaphors used...etc.

We are just so incredibly happy with Alex.

He is a true Intellectual Warrior.

He prepares for battle with true dedication...
and with... above all...
A Heart Of Courage.


  1. Sounds like a very challenging exam... critical reading skills are not easy to master normally, let alone in such a compressed timeframe, and not easy to teach either.

    It is very impressive how Alex is working so diligently for this test. Kudos to him, and to you and your wife!

  2. Thank you. Yes...this day long exam will be a whole new level to which he was used to operating. He is picking it up...however, how deeply they will go into the literature in the test is still an unknown.

    I am so proud, not only of Alex, but of my wife. The effort she normally puts in to Alex's academics is already at a great level. She is now working all day long and into the night on his Critical Reading and Writing. I'll be working on his story summarization and the conceptualization of main author / character thrusts through discussion of selected pieces of literature.

    Although my wife has been working on this area all the time...this level of reading material demands far more inferencing than we had anticipated. It is on the level of a literature class in college.

    We simply must be creative in our teaching strategy to bring out the skills necessary in Alex in the time we have. Alex operates at his best when there is a challenge before him. Should he not make the final won't be because of a lack of effort on his or my wife's part. I am so proud of him...and of my wife. She has become an educational Tigress :)

  3. Your wife sounds amazing! Alex, and you, are fortunate to have her in your lives!

  4. Yes, her efforts toward the betterment of our son have been top notch and ceaseless. I am, still, amazed with the depth of her maternal instinct and the effectiveness of her actions.


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