Friday, June 13, 2014

G is for Grades


This happens to me at the end of every semester. Despite all my best intentions of staying 'caught up', I realize that I will have to do a certain amount of scrambling in order to get all the grading done so the report cards I have for the kids are accurate.

Yes, we do report cards. Our umbrella group requires us to submit grades, because that's one of the simplest ways to ensure that we're doing 'regular, thorough instruction'. The grades aren't submitted to any public school or state authority, and we are free to assign grades as we see fit.

Some homeschoolers don't like to assign grades and balk at the idea. We've always done it, and not just so the kids can get free pizza or a discount at some event or whatever. I guess when the kids were very little, the pizza was a pretty decent motivator... But seriously, I think it's good for them to have a grade. To have something to work for, something to be proud of, a way to compare how they're doing this semester compared to last semester.

My kids get really good grades. Most homeschoolers do, right? One of the criticisms of homeschooling is the possibility of mom allowing the student to get an A+ in everything, no matter what the kid actually accomplished. Or the temptation to mark way too easy. I don't think that's the case. From my own experience, and from what I can tell from other homeschoolers I know, our kids get good grades because we keep at it until they master it. And the homeschool moms I know do not generally 'go easy' on their students so they can get good marks. Especially in the high school classes, most of us try to grade as tough as we can, in hopes of balancing out our temptation to take it easy on our babies. And then we still fret and worry when they take SATs or college entrance exams, giving in to that nagging doubt that maybe we didn't prepare them well enough for that standardized test or didn't teach something as thoroughly as we should have. We want our kids to be well-prepared and well-educated. We want them to do well because we love them and our mission is to help them succeed in whatever God has called them to do. We want them to learn to work hard at their studies and at earning their success, and I think that a good grade that reflects their diligence and understanding of a subject is one powerful way to motivate them.

So that's what I've been busy with this week - finishing those report cards, and hoping that they represent my kids' accomplishments over the school year.

And after I've finished the report cards... I need to put away the school books we're finished with. But that's another post entirely...


Do you give your kids report cards? Leave a comment and let me know!

This post is linked at Blogging through the Alphabet, hosted by Ben And Me.
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9 comments:

Stefanie said...

No report cards here. I do grade some of Mackenzie's word but she's never gotten an official report card. I'll have to pull one up on HST and see how she's been doing over all. lol We have to do standardized testing every year. According to those she's a genius. Or the tests are just so ridiculous that Kayleigh could ace them. lol

purple squirrel said...

Oh Grades~ the bane of my life at times (Grading writing is so difficult), and something that I try to avoid when possible, unless dealing with math or science, or spelling tests, or other easily graded projects.

I do agree that many homeschoolers end up earning a "high grade" due to their dedication to "mastery of topics"

We'll see how my oldest has prepared for standardized tests when her SAT results come back...

Missouri Mama said...

I haven't done report cards, but next year my son will be in 6th grade and I'm thinking I should start.

Michele said...

No report cards here- but I do tell they kids they will do the work until it is A material! ;)

annette @ A Net In Time said...

i haven't done report cards with my lad as of yet. he is getting used to being graded with CTC math though and has stopped stressing over it. :)

Kristi said...

We don't do report cards yet. My oldest is just going into 7th grade this year, so this is the year we plan on starting to keep grades. I am a bit worried about it...

Jenn H. said...

We've never issued grades in the past, but I'm trying to collect them now that we're building a transcript. It's hard to do though, when (as you said) we just keep at it until they master it. It's hard to fit a grade on that. But I agree that it is a great thing to work toward.

Leah Courtney said...

We don't do official report cards. Legally we are required to keep a "record of progress." Of course now that I have high school students I have to keep grades for transcripts. Uggh. :-)

Stacie said...

We don't do grades here. In all honesty I wouldn't know how to grade it unless it was graded for me. I do know that we do things until they are mastered and move on.

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