Thoughts on Grading

Why is it that we like to receive grades?   In our early homeschooling years we took spelling tests each week.  My boys delighted in their grades and tried to get all of their words correct.  I felt sort of silly about the whole thing though because my younger son who is not a natural speller, would often forget many of the  spelling words the next day. He sure felt good about his “A” though and the cute sticker on his paper.  I questioned myself,  should our education be about us feeling good?

I have several homeschool friends who are overwhelmed grading their children’ s work.  This was something I never understood.  Grading papers for our family seems like busy work to me for the most part.   It sure reminds me of  public school.  While I was in public school  my teachers would grade my paper, give me a final score,  and then pass me on to the next level or chapter.  Did they ever care that I did not understand the concepts?   Was I ever held back in order to learn?  Never.

My algebra teacher told me that I was such a nice girl but that I could not do algebra.   While in college I began to understand and actually enjoy solving equations. I made  frequent visits to the tutoring center…but to my delight, I did end up passing Algebra 2.

I’m sure these past experiences shape my homeschooling today.  I often remind my boys, ” I don’t care what grade you get, but I want you to understand the work.” We rarely move on until we understand the new  concepts….especially in math.

In spite of all this, I think there will be a time probably in our last few years of highschool when we will put more emphasis on grades.  I want grades and report cards to be used as a motivator and hope my boys will learn to take tests for grades as they will if they do college work. I’m not opposed to grading  but for the homeschool family who keeps up with their child’s subjects,  it seems inefficient…like a time waster.  While my boys are working , I’m either sitting with them or  close by  so I catch their mistakes.  They also pepper me with questions throughout the lesson.  Grading would be a mockery and just  pretense.  For those of us who use grades (which I do occasionally),  I thought this would be helpful.  Happy Homeschooling Y’all.  ~Anne

  1. Correct the paper.
  2. Determine the number of total questions.
  3. Count number of correct questions.
  4. Take the number of correct questions and divide by the total number of questions.
  5. Multiply this number by 100 to turn it into a percentage.
  6. Typical grade scale: 90-100% = A; 80-89% = B; 70-79% = C; 60-69% = D; 59% and below = F

A++ = 100 (perfect paper with extra-credit)
A+ = 98
A = 95
A- = 92
B+ = 88
B = 85
B- = 82
C+ = 78
C = 75
C- = 72
D+ = 68
D = 65
D- = 62
F = 55

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