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What is the "Right Way" to Grade?

People sometimes ask homeschoolers "Where do you get THE curriculum".  It's funny, because there are so many curriculum choices and everyone does it differently, and homeschoolers know there is not ONE curriculum.  The same is true, though, when you ask "How do public schools grade classes?"  Because every class, every teacher, and every high school is different.  Public school teachers know there is not one "right" answer to that question.


What is your advice about the percentage each portion of the course receives?   Not to compare to public schools, but are the unit tests worth 50 % and the other parts of the course the other 50%? Or should the unit test/final tests be worth more?   I know you said that there are other factors with the final grade.
~ Audrey in Pennsylvania

Dear Audrey,

Most schools use a proportion of the grade that represents tests.  Some may use 50% for tests, others 25%.  I don't really think it matters, actually, because I've seen teachers do it MANY MANY MANY ways.  If you google "High School Syllabus" you'll find a gazillion different ways to do it.

Here is one example for a teacher who is using Discovering Geometry: An Inductive Approach, by Michael Serra.  Read his math syllabus.

In this public school example, he uses 30% for tests, 70% for homework.   The tests section isn't for ALL the tests, either.  He will drop the lowest grade on 1 out of 4 tests.  And you can actually earn extra credit points, too, which can account for an additional 10%.

It's also interesting to look at his grading scale.  Although he has variations on what an A grade means, he does essentially give the scale of A = 90-100% on a test.

Remember, I only looked at this example because it was the first one in my google search.  If you look at other examples, they will probably all be different.

You certainly don't have to do it this way, or any other way.  As I said, there are lots of right ways to do it.  Homeschool parents can determine their own grading criteria and grading scale to use on their homeschool transcript.


Homeschooling is NOT the same as doing schoolwork at home.  There is LOTS of freedom!  My Gold Care Club will give you all the help you need to succeed!
Homeschool Organized Sports - Why Bother?
Happy New Spleen!


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Saturday, 28 November 2020

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