To Grade or Not to Grade?

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First of all, your state regulations supersede any advice given here.  If your state requires that every slip of paper that crosses their desk gets graded, then that is what you have to do.  However, for those who have less restriction you can take this under advisement.

Grades are not everything.  Grades don’t show how much the child has learned.  Grades do not tell us if mastery has occurred.  Grades tell us how well the teacher has performed and how good of a test taker the student is. In states like Mississippi where there are no reporting requirements for homeschoolers, many families choose not to grade, but instead seek mastery in their children’s work.  Mastery learning is all about knowing a student’s individual accomplishments.  You will know if your child can carry accurately because you see their work everyday and a test or grade for that is unnecessary.  The objective is mastered.  In a classroom setting with 20 or more students, teachers must use tests and grades to determine if the children are getting it.  Working one on one with a child eliminates that uncertainty of whether the child understands or not. Therefore, the need for a “grading system” is eliminated.

You may wish to keep a mastery record instead of a grade record.  A mastery record simply looks like a list of objectives that you want your child to learn.  When they understand it, you can check it off the list, date it if you choose, or keep a detailed comment. Below is a sample mastery record.  I indicates introduced, P indicates progressing, and M equals mastered.

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For those who still need to report grades there are various grading methods.  Unless your state dictates, you can set your own weighted scale and GPA scale. It is recommended to use the same GPA scale as that of the college your child wishes to attend.  However most colleges will adjust the GPA to match their own scale if you provide a percentage grade for them.  Below is a weighted scale example and a GPA scale example.

Weight                                   Example
Daily grades = 60%              Daily = 92 average
Quiz grades = 15%               Quiz = 81 average
Test grades = 25%               Tests = 93 average

GPA Scale
100-90 = A
89-80 = B
79 – 73 = C
72- 65 = D
<65 = F

Using our example above if all of these scores were averaged evenly, this student would have a 88 with  a 3.0 GPA. With the weighted scores, the student ends up with a 91 average and a 4.0 GPA.  This is up to you whether to use them or not.  You can even decide not to grade your daily papers, if your state permits.  To get weighted grades, calculate the average for each grade category and multiply it by the percent. Then add all the products together to get the overall grade for that subject.  See the math below.

92 x .60 = 55.2

81 x .15 = 12.15

93 x .25 = 23.25

55.2 + 12.15 + 23.25 = 90.6 rounded up to 91

If there are any other questions or topics you would like explored, be sure to comment below.