Thursday, October 18, 2018

How Do You Keep Records and Calculate Grades?

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How Do You Keep Records and Calculate Grades? Part of the How Do You Homeschool series on Homeschool Coffee Break @

No matter how long we've been homeschooling, we are curious about how other homeschoolers do things. And homeschoolers who are newer to the game obviously have lots of questions! This series will try to answers some of the questions homeschoolers ask each other. Questions about how we handle some of the little details and about our opinions on different aspects of homeschooling. Questions that we all might answer differently because what works great in one family might not work at all in another.

This week the Homeschool Review Crew round-up will focus on keeping records and giving grades. I've already talked about giving report cards, so today I'll do something related:

How do you keep records and calculate grades?

I've mentioned it many times, but the tool I use for keeping all my records is Homeschool Tracker Online. It's what I use for lesson plans and for keeping homeschool records organized. It tracks assignments and calculates grades. It can produce a printed resource list as well, which is often handy for records. Basically, I keep an online record of the assignments and the grades, printing it as necessary. Since I usually print out the assignment lists from week to week, we could keep those to show everything we've done and when, but the truth is - we don't.

You can find out a little more in my post Organizing and Record Keeping.

Organizing and Record Keeping (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

The record-keeping is so that we can show how much time we've spent on school, what we've studied, and how well we've mastered the subject. When the kids were young, it was perfectly acceptable to just show the workbooks with the pages dated as we worked on them. I did my best to get my kids to establish the habit of dating the pages they worked on. In fact, when they were little, I purchased one of those date stamps with the movable numbers, and they thought it was the greatest thing to rubber stamp their pages! As they got older, I still insisted on the dating, but I also kept more of the records on  Homeschool Tracker.. The essentials were the date, time spent, books or resources used, and the grade earned. Often I printed the resource list so I could show all the related books that were read.

Homeschool Tracker Online - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review on

I find figuring out grades to be fairly simple - mainly becuase Homeschool Tracker does the math for me! My grading habits have changed from when my students were in grade school as well. For young students, I did figure an actual grade for tests or major assignments, but it was also quite acceptable to just give an overall grade for a subject based on my opinion of how well they'd understood and how hard they were working. Except for math. In math their grades have always been based on whether they were getting the correct answers! As my kids got older, their quarterly and semester grades were based far more on the real average of their scores on tests and assignments. How nice to have the Homeschool Tracker figure those averages for me!

In high school, sometimes it's appropriate to use weighted grades. So a midterm exam or a research paper might be worth more of a final grade than a weekly quiz or short essay. Again, Homeschool Tracker can do the math for me. I use weighted grades in classes like English or History, weighting any tests or major papers more heavily than just reading and comprehension type assignments.

During high school years, detailed and accurate records of schoolwork may be especially important for students headed to college or trade school. Their work will need to be reflected in their transcript; and the quality of the transcript depends on the quality of the records of their coursework and grades. When planning for a transcript, we try to give course titles that are succinct but give a good indication of what was studied. For instance, Great Books is not nearly as good a course title as Early American Literature. A good course description that clarifies the objectives is also helpful.

Find out more in my post From the High School Lesson Book: Record-Keeping Resources

Record-Keeping Resources (From the High School Lesson Book) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ - A round-up of record-keeping resources

For more info, see my related posts:

High School Assignment Tracking
From the High School Lesson Book: Course Descriptions

High School Assignment Tracking on Homeschool Coffee Break @

From the High School Lesson Book - Course Descriptions on Homeschool Coffee Break @ - some tips on how and why to write high school course descriptions

How do you keep track of all the schoolwork and assign grades? Leave a comment and let me know what works for you - or leave a homeschool question you're curious about.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog for the Keeping Records and Giving Grades Round-up to see how other Crew members are getting this part of homeschooling done. (October 18, 2018)

How Do You Keep Records and Calculate Grades? Part of the How Do You Homeschool series on Homeschool Coffee Break @

This post is part of the July 2019 Homeschool Collection on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Joanne said...

I was just thinking of this today! I was thinking that I really needed to start keeping better records and come up with a transcript year by year as my oldest is now in high school. Pinned.

Annette said...

i need to check out that homeschool tracker yet.

Kristen of A Mom's Quest to Teach said...

We haven't really talked about grades in detail yet as we are just starting our journey. I know for our teen grades are going to be greatly based on tests, quizzes, etc for his classes.

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