Does anyone take "mommy grades" seriously?! Do I really even need to grade at all? Maybe it's just English papers that you hate to grade? (I can help with that, too! My Coffee Break book, Easy English for Simple Homeschooling, can help!)
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? If so, you're not alone! I used to stress a bit about grading my kids work, and wondered whether I could even give them valid grades. You can and you should!
"Mommy Grades" Really Do Matter!
If you're like many homeschool parents, you stress a bit about grading your children's work, and wonder whether you can even give them valid grades. Does anyone take "mommy grades" seriously?! Some homeschoolers don't like assigning grades at all, but it's important to remember that most colleges require them when a student applies for admission.
In this ebook, we'll cover the different methods you can use in your homeschool to evaluate your students, both grade and non-grade based. As we begin, think about when your children were little, and you used chore charts to evaluate whether they were meeting your expectations. By the time we're done, you'll see that grading in high school is really just an easy extension of those chore charts that you used when your kids were little. As we talk about how to evaluate without grades, and explore the different ways that grading occurs, we will use examples of some syllabuses from different schools to see how different teachers grade. We'll cover grading with tests, written papers, work and assignments, and discuss how to put grades into some sort of format that will make sense to you. We'll also talk about how to determine grades for your transcript.
I didn't do much grading, even when my children were in high school. My sons even questioned the grades that I put on their papers and their transcript. My oldest son, Kevin, thought my homeschool grades were stupid. "Who's going to believe the grades my Mom gives me?" he said. It's funny when your children tell you that, because you just don't know how to respond! Fortunately, life experience came to the rescue.
During his last year of homeschooling, he took some classes at a community college, and he noticed a few things that really surprised him. At the community college, there were professors that told Kevin, "Don't worry about my syllabus, because I know what grade you should be given, and no matter what my syllabus says, I'm going to make sure that you get the grade that you deserve." That kind of worried Kevin, since he's a bit of a perfectionist, and he never feels that he deserves an A; he was very worried that the teacher was going to grade him too low.
Other professors gave credit for class attendance, participation, discussion, and homework. If students scored poorly on a test, they were allowed to "drop" one test. One teacher declared that the highest grade on each test was the "100%" grade, and all the other students were graded on a sliding scale.
In other classes, if the average grade for a test was 75%, many professors said that 75% on a test was an A, or they added 25 points to everybody's test, thus grading "on the curve." After he experienced the way community college professors graded, Kevin actually came back to me and said I was a much tougher grader! He finally realized that his "mommy grades" were legitimate! Mine were, and yours are too. Let's look at some ways to help the process be painless!
I can help you evaluate your child's work and encourage you with new ideas and methods, while growing your confidence strategies that have worked so far in your homeschool. My book Making the Grades will give you a grouch-free guide to homeschool grading.
This post is from my Coffee Break Book, Making the Grades. Regular price is $4.49 on Kindle. It's free February 1-5 on Kindle. Get yours now!
One of the hardest parts of teaching writing is knowing how to evaluate a paper. It seems like such risky business—a subjective effort characterized by inconsistency and wild guesses. Last