Grades

Whether you decide to keep grades in your homeschool depends almost entirely on you unless you live in a state or have a cover school that requires grade reporting. As long as you have some system of tracking your child’s progress, that is the most important thing.

If grades make you feel better, use them. Because the point is to understand the material enough that the child gets the right answers, some families have a standing do-it-over rule: If the problem or answer is incorrect, talk about it and then the child does it once more.

Pros:

  • Grades give you a concrete measure.
  • Grades tell you how much material the student actually mastered from the information you exposed him to.

Cons:

  • Grading every single scrap of paper becomes overwhelming.
  • How can you put a number on effort?
  • Parental Bias/Objectivity for written work
Figuring the grade

One way to figure grades is to keep a calculator handy. Divide the number of problems correct by the total number of problems, and you have a percentage. If your page has 14 problems and your student got 12 right, divide 12 by 14 to get a percentage correct of 86 percent.

Weighting Grades

Figuring a grade for the year is relatively easy. Add up the scores and divide by the number of grades given. If you have different types of grades, like daily worksheets, quizzes, tests, papers, projects, etc. You will need a way to distinguish those that count for more.

For instance, daily grades may get 50% of the final score, quiz grades may get 20% of the final score and tests may get 30%. This gives you an opportunity to place more emphasis on test grades. You can also do this through incorporation for the value of each test grade.

Another way to do this, especially if you only have daily grades and test grades, is to just double or triple the test grades depending entirely upon the amount of material covered. If you had 30 daily grades and 4 test grades each covering material back tot he beginning of the year, add in the first test grade twice, the 2nd three times, the 3rd four times, and the 4th 5 times. Then average the grades.

In the end you decide how to grade and what grade is earned. I highly recommend you think about that word “earned.” This is their grade and they should earn it. Be fair, give them grace, but don’t pad their transcript with false expectations for their future.

A great article on homeschool grading by Kris Bales, author of the Weird Unsocialized Homeschooler blog can help shed some light on the grading process. The link is below.

To Grade or Not to Grade?

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