Homeschool Grades

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Crystal discusses the ins and outs of homeschool grading. And hopefully, by the end of the show, you’ll better understand how to grade your homeschooler and come away with a few tips to keep it all organized. | #homeschoolpodcast #podcast #homeschool #education #homeschooling #homeschoolHomeschool Grades: How to Assign and Track Your Learner’s Progress

 

In this episode, Crystal discusses the ins and outs of homeschool grades. And hopefully, by the end of the show, you’ll better understand how to grade your homeschooler and come away with a few tips to keep it all organized.

How to Assign and Track Your Learner’s Progress

Episode #35 –  So, you’ve decided to homeschool your kiddos. Everything is ready- from the best homeschool curriculum to the perfect learning space in your home.  You’ve got all your bases covered! Or, you thought, until someone asks how you’ll grade your homeschooler. That’s when it hits- how are homeschoolers graded? If this sounds familiar, or you just want to be sure you’re doing things correctly- then you’re in the right place!

A perspective on homeschool grades

Any experienced homeschooling parent will tell you one main perk of homeschooling is its flexibility.  Yes, there are requirements in each state that may direct how many hours you have to educate your child, and there may even be requirements specific to what grading system you must use; however, most often, parents are free to decide what best suits their family’s needs.  So, evaluating your homeschooler’s progress comes down to one central question: to grade or not to grade?

Why does grading matter?

The answer to this question depends on a couple of factors.  First, if your state requires letters or percentage grades for homeschooled students, there is no way around it; you must grade your homeschoolers.  If there are no specific requirements, whether to grade or not becomes more of a personal choice.

What about college?

Many homeschooling families choose to wait until high school before introducing a structured grading system, and this is because their students will be entering college in a few short years.  Implementing grades at this level helps colleges assess the student’s competency and readiness for college-level learning.  However, for those not keen on switching over to formal grades, a grading system is not necessarily the “golden standard” for homeschoolers entering college.

The ‘how and when’ of grading

As highlighted above, grading your homeschooler is often a personal choice.  If grading is what feels right, then go for it.  But it is essential to find a grading system that works best for you and your students.

Luckily, there are several different grading systems to choose from.  Some options include:

  • Grading percentages: This system is a 0-100 percent grading scale, often used along with letter grades.
  • Letter grades: This option includes using grades from A to F.
  • Standard-referenced grades: This system compares students with other students using a letter grade (this system may be more difficult with smaller groups of students).
  • Mastery level: This grading system uses terms such as “masters” or “passers” to show students’ comprehension of a subject.
  • Standard scale: This option uses pass or fails only.
  • Absolute standards: Parents can compare their student’s learning and work against the established competency levels (most school districts provide expected learning goals for each grade level, which parents can use for this grading system).
  • Narrative grading: This system includes a written assessment of student learning and allows for personalized tracking.

For grading art and other subjective assignments, options include:

  • Focus on other concepts like art appreciation or comprehension of a topic, which may include additional parts to an assignment, such as narratives and oral presentations to demonstrate knowledge.
  • Grade according to effort and following directions.
  • Simple rubrics that include the student’s input to encourage self-reflection on learning.
  • Standard grading using a 1-4 scale (4= exceeds expectations, and 1 basic).

How to record and track your homeschooler’s grade

Fortunately, as with grading systems, there are plenty of options for logging and tracking grades:

  • Journals
  • Flow sheets
  • Rubrics
  • Spreadsheets
  • Websites

Listen in to learn why grading matters and options for grading. Some examples include percentage and letter grades, pass or fail, standard, and narrative grading.  And while these grading systems are easy to apply to subjects such as English and math, a different approach is often needed for more subjective lessons, such as art. Fortunately, there are many options for grading subjects like art as well.  Lastly, once you’ve decided which way to go for grading, there are great options for tracking your student’s progress.  From journals to websites, there are plenty of choices to keep everything organized, making it easy to find when you need it.

Resources:

Psychological Effects of Grades on Students – Edsys Blog

Applying to College as a Homeschool Student: What to Know | Applying to College | U.S. News (usnews.com)

Art Teacher Tips: How do you grade art? (artclasscurator.com)

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