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Options for Handling Homeschool Failure

Options for Handling Homeschool Failure

What would you do if your child REALLY failed a homeschool class - refused to do history, for example? Let's talk about how to cope, as a homeschool mom. There are many options for handling failed grades at homeschooling.

Handling Homeschool Failure in Progress

1. Evaluate reasons for failure.

Is this a problem a lack of motivation or cheating? You may need to review these articles:

2. Provide consequences for bad behavior​.

Don't allow the child to do whatever they want, whenever they want, if they are failing classes. Sometimes you need to give consequences to the behaviors that have caused the problem in the first place. Mom should not still be saying "yes" to things like going to the mall with friends, or screen time. It's reality training. There is no other time in a person's life when they get to dismiss responsibility and still have all the privileges that come with living a responsible life. A real-life scenario might be - If they didn't show up for work because they "didn't feel like it" their boss is not going to say, "No problem, we will pay you anyway. Just don't do it again."

3. Reward good behavior

I don't want to say that bribery works, or that it can replace intrinsic motivation for wanting to do the right thing. I'm certainly not going to suggest that I've ever bribed my children, or any other mom in history has ever bribed their children with a reward for trying harder. I'm just asking... have you tried bribery?

Failure on the Transcript

1. Include only successful education.

You could decide that only successful classes are put on the transcript. You could decide that a child can withdraw, or drop, or "audit" classes that aren't successful. This is most helpful when the child failed through no fault of their own, for example, a poor fit class at coop, or a curriculum mismatch.

2. Grade based on all methods of evaluation.

You do need to make sure that the grade on the transcript is the sum total of all evaluations, not just tests. A homeschool teacher at a co-op, for example, sees your child 1 day a week. You instruct the other 4 days. You are able to evaluate all the rest of the time. So your full grade is based on everything - co-op work and work done outside of co-op.

3. Accommodate for learning challenges.

You need to make sure that the way you assess your child is a good fit for their learning style. Your evaluations can include oral reports, oral tests, and quizzes. You can read aloud textbooks or allow other educational support. As homeschoolers, we can change the evaluations to meet our child

4. Allow extra credit.

As the teacher, you can allow "extra credit" assignments to increase the grade. You can allow the child to re-take a test, or complete a culminating project to boost the grade to passing. This works best for immediate feedback. I would never suggest that you go back to last year's class and have them do extra credit on a subject that was previously ended.

5. Repeat the class

If they have failed while homeschooling, something has gone very wrong. If it's not a motivation or resistance issue, then it's probably a curriculum mismatch. You can choose better curriculum and start over, allowing them to replace the previous grade earned, and earn a completely new grade.


6. Provide feedback with lower grades​.

There are times when you need to just say that your child failed. It wasn't your fault, it wasn't a problem with curriculum, it was just sin nature, and rebellion. Sometimes kids fail. Even sweet and kind children can decide "Nope! Math's not for me!" At those times, your best bet may be to give a failing grade. You can provide feedback by giving an F.

7. Transcript grades are a summary​.

If you are giving a failing grade, be sure to give credit for what was successfully achieved. Suppose your child did the assignments for the first 3 months of school, and then decided not to do any more history for the remainder of the year. You might decide that your child got a C for the first month, a C for the second month, and a C for the third month. Then F's for the final 3 months of the school year. That could possibly mean the overall grade summary might be a D. You don't want to present the whole year grade summary without taking the whole year into context.

Maybe now is a good time to meditate on this fact - love covers a multitude of sins. I really believe that the love you have for your child is like Spackle on a wall (or foundation on a face!) that covers all the blemishes of homeschool missteps.

If you need some help figuring out how to grade in your homeschool, listen to my Grades, Credits, and Transcripts class.

If you need help figuring out how to make a transcript, I can help with my online resource, Total Transcript Solution.

Don't struggle by yourself. The homeschool community can help and so can I.
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Comments 12

Guest - Kaye on Tuesday, 03 December 2019 03:22

I love this! I had a son who ‘flunked’ math his freshman AND sophomore year. He doesn’t like math and put forth negative effort. Public school grade would have been an F. After listening to one of your sessions and evaluating everything else he was doing math related - I gave him a C and moved on. Fast forward, he scored well enough on his SAT to attend a local trade school without needing remedial math (side note: friend with ps child who earned A’s in math class has to take a remedial math) and college algebra/trig ended up being his highest grade that semester. Go figure! ?‍♀️ Anyway, as a homeschool mom/teacher you KNOW your kid and capabilities. My son was definitely not an A student when it came to effort, but he also wasn’t an F student when it came to ability.

I love this! I had a son who ‘flunked’ math his freshman AND sophomore year. He doesn’t like math and put forth negative effort. Public school grade would have been an F. After listening to one of your sessions and evaluating everything else he was doing math related - I gave him a C and moved on. Fast forward, he scored well enough on his SAT to attend a local trade school without needing remedial math (side note: friend with ps child who earned A’s in math class has to take a remedial math) and college algebra/trig ended up being his highest grade that semester. Go figure! ?‍♀️ Anyway, as a homeschool mom/teacher you KNOW your kid and capabilities. My son was definitely not an A student when it came to effort, but he also wasn’t an F student when it came to ability.
Robin on Tuesday, 03 December 2019 22:29

So true, Kaye!

I'm so impressed that you trusted yourself. You know your son best, and you exhibited wisdom in giving the grades that reflected more than just test scores. Well done!

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

So true, Kaye! I'm so impressed that you trusted yourself. You know your son best, and you exhibited wisdom in giving the grades that reflected more than just test scores. Well done! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Clare Ansah on Wednesday, 09 October 2019 00:11

Hi
I was wondering if my daughter could retake the same final test in her English course, in order to get a higher grade?

Hi I was wondering if my daughter could retake the same final test in her English course, in order to get a higher grade?
Robin on Wednesday, 09 October 2019 21:57

Hi Clare,

Absolutely! If the test was taken at home, in a course taught by you, it's entirely up to your discretion. In her blog post How to Calculate Completely Unbiased Grades for Homeschool Students - https://homehighschoolhelp.com/blogs/how-to-calculate-completely-unbiased-grades-for-homeschool-students, Lee says:

"What is unique in homeschooling is our ability to ensure that solid grades happen. We have the ability to stop, repeat, relearn, and retest until a child finally understands a concept. While it may look weird to have such good grades, as homeschoolers, we can teach to excellence and be confident in the results."

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Hi Clare, Absolutely! If the test was taken at home, in a course taught by you, it's entirely up to your discretion. In her blog post How to Calculate Completely Unbiased Grades for Homeschool Students - https://homehighschoolhelp.com/blogs/how-to-calculate-completely-unbiased-grades-for-homeschool-students, Lee says: "What is unique in homeschooling is our ability to ensure that solid grades happen. We have the ability to stop, repeat, relearn, and retest until a child finally understands a concept. While it may look weird to have such good grades, as homeschoolers, we can teach to excellence and be confident in the results." Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Clare Ansah on Thursday, 10 October 2019 09:30

Thanks!! for replying Robin, this is great news. She was getting over 90% in her chapter tests. But in the final overall test, her score was in 80+%, and she was disappointed. She wanted to do a retake, but I wasn't sure it was "allowed"

:D Thanks!! for replying Robin, this is great news. She was getting over 90% in her chapter tests. But in the final overall test, her score was in 80+%, and she was disappointed. She wanted to do a retake, but I wasn't sure it was "allowed"
Guest - Kelly on Sunday, 22 September 2019 23:00

My student attended a public high school freshman and sophomore years. He earned a D+ in Geometry from that school. The school district does not allow grades to be replaced by retaking the course. I understand the D+ will remain on the transcript from that school, which colleges will see. That said, if he retakes Geometry at home, do I have the right to replace the original grade with the new grade on his transcript with a "course was retaken" notation?

My student attended a public high school freshman and sophomore years. He earned a D+ in Geometry from that school. The school district does not allow grades to be replaced by retaking the course. I understand the D+ will remain on the transcript from that school, which colleges will see. That said, if he retakes Geometry at home, do I have the right to replace the original grade with the new grade on his transcript with a "course was retaken" notation?
Robin on Wednesday, 09 October 2019 21:48

Hi Kelly,

Lee says that you can definitely have your student retake the class at home - she recommends it - so your child will learn the content. As you already know, the old grade will still influence your son's GPA, but you can add a cover letter to your transcript that will include an explanation about the bad grade. Lee talks about that here: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/blogs/how-to-write-a-cover-letter-for-your-transcript

Later, one of the standard high school tests can add credibility to the subjects taken (and mastered) at home: Lee wrote about the various tests here: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/sat-tests

I hope that helps!
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Hi Kelly, Lee says that you can definitely have your student retake the class at home - she recommends it - so your child will learn the content. As you already know, the old grade will still influence your son's GPA, but you can add a cover letter to your transcript that will include an explanation about the bad grade. Lee talks about that here: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/blogs/how-to-write-a-cover-letter-for-your-transcript Later, one of the standard high school tests can add credibility to the subjects taken (and mastered) at home: Lee wrote about the various tests here: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/sat-tests I hope that helps! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Andrea Herrera on Friday, 12 July 2019 20:18

yes so my question is to how do I report this to the state? If my daughter got a very poor grade in English 9, do I show them as she is going to repeat that whole grade, because to them I just report what grade she is in? Or do I just have to have her repeat that grade, and maybe she "graduates" a couple months later to redo such a course, I mean if she repeats it in the fall, it's going to put her termination date back. . . . .how does that work?

yes so my question is to how do I report this to the state? If my daughter got a very poor grade in English 9, do I show them as she is going to repeat that whole grade, because to them I just report what grade she is in? Or do I just have to have her repeat that grade, and maybe she "graduates" a couple months later to redo such a course, I mean if she repeats it in the fall, it's going to put her termination date back. . . . .how does that work?
Robin on Sunday, 14 July 2019 01:50

Hi Andrea,

It's difficult to say, since there are many factors that will influence how you would proceed. In the blog post, Lee says that you can include only successful education or allow extra credit. Many states don't require that you report your grades, so as long as you are in compliance with your state homeschool law (read more about that here: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/know-your-state-homeschool-law) perhaps your daughter double-up on English next year. Some states don't require 4 years of English, but then you will want to consider how that will affect her when she applies for college. If she retakes the class (or takes another kind of English to replace the lost credit: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/a-parents-primer-for-teaching-high-school-english) it may be better to list her classes by subject on her final transcript, rather then by year.

I hope that helps!

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Hi Andrea, It's difficult to say, since there are many factors that will influence how you would proceed. In the blog post, Lee says that you can include only successful education or allow extra credit. Many states don't require that you report your grades, so as long as you are in compliance with your state homeschool law (read more about that here: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/know-your-state-homeschool-law) perhaps your daughter double-up on English next year. Some states don't require 4 years of English, but then you will want to consider how that will affect her when she applies for college. If she retakes the class (or takes another kind of English to replace the lost credit: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/a-parents-primer-for-teaching-high-school-english) it may be better to list her classes by subject on her final transcript, rather then by year. I hope that helps! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Andrea on Wednesday, 09 October 2019 20:42

Thanks so much!

Thanks so much!
Lee Binz on Saturday, 11 August 2018 16:41

Dear Michelle,
Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear that! There are actually two things to consider here.
1. Learning the content
Yes, you can definitely take the class again at home and help your child learn the content that is needed. However, that's not going to change the grade taken at the college, and it will be forever on the permanent record - and that record makes no notes about the professors abilities. It's just permanent.
2. The College GPA
The failed class will always affect the GPA, as college GPA is generally cumulative no matter how many colleges you attend. It's also permanent, and every place you apply to will ask for all college transcripts, and that class will be on there forever. Since these grades affect the first GPA at the university level, they can make a huge difference in getting into the program of choice, affect getting internships, affect how soon you can graduate, and all that can affect job offers after college graduation. For that reason, it often makes sense to repeat the class again (hopefully with a different instructor) to completely replace the grade.

This is a great topic for a college application essay, though. When they ask something like "what's a situation where you learned something" well, this is it!

What can actually make the situation worse is if the parents get involved too much. This is a learning opportunity for your child, so talk to your child about it, but intervening on behalf of your child to the college can make the situation worse, if they think mom is a helicopter parent.

Was it really "failure" as in no credit? If it was just a poor grade, like a C or something, then it's not as critical.

For others reading this, the article on Community College Success will help
https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/community-college-success

I hope that helps! It's tough, I know.
Blessings,
Lee

Dear Michelle, Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear that! There are actually two things to consider here. 1. Learning the content Yes, you can definitely take the class again at home and help your child learn the content that is needed. However, that's not going to change the grade taken at the college, and it will be forever on the permanent record - and that record makes no notes about the professors abilities. It's just permanent. 2. The College GPA The failed class will always affect the GPA, as college GPA is generally cumulative no matter how many colleges you attend. It's also permanent, and every place you apply to will ask for all college transcripts, and that class will be on there forever. Since these grades affect the first GPA at the university level, they can make a huge difference in getting into the program of choice, affect getting internships, affect how soon you can graduate, and all that can affect job offers after college graduation. For that reason, it often makes sense to repeat the class again (hopefully with a different instructor) to completely replace the grade. This is a great topic for a college application essay, though. When they ask something like "what's a situation where you learned something" well, this is it! What can actually make the situation worse is if the parents get involved too much. This is a learning opportunity for your child, so talk to your child about it, but intervening on behalf of your child to the college can make the situation worse, if they think mom is a helicopter parent. Was it really "failure" as in no credit? If it was just a poor grade, like a C or something, then it's not as critical. For others reading this, the article on Community College Success will help https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/community-college-success I hope that helps! It's tough, I know. Blessings, Lee
Michelle Schefcik on Saturday, 11 August 2018 15:30

Lee, what if your child took a dual-enrollment course and failed? The instruction was poor, tests were loaded with material not yet or barely covered, the professor never responded to questions on dashboard or email? All other dual-enrollment shes gotten all A's & B's. Can I re-do this course at home, update transcript with the new grade and forego the dual credit on this one?

Lee, what if your child took a dual-enrollment course and failed? The instruction was poor, tests were loaded with material not yet or barely covered, the professor never responded to questions on dashboard or email? All other dual-enrollment shes gotten all A's & B's. Can I re-do this course at home, update transcript with the new grade and forego the dual credit on this one?
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