Posts Tagged ‘grading’

Half-Hearted, Mediocre Head Rub

Friday, June 8th, 2012

So I was sitting on the edge of the bed one night, grading my daughter’s math pages. I had gotten behind again, having found six ungraded pages in the kitchen. I told myself that I was never going to get behind on grading math again, because if my child gets something wrong and continues to do it wrong for days, the habit is harder to break. And there is more work that the child has to do to go back and understand the concept. I sighed.

Meanwhile my husband sat on the floor in front of me, having had a hard day. I set the papers down and started rubbing his head. I continued to check my daughter’s papers, though, because I told myself I couldn’t go to bed until they were done. And I was tired.

My husband realized he was getting a half-hearted, mediocre head rub. He said, “You would rather grade math pages than rub my head.”

“Umm… no. I don’t like grading math, actually. But I found all these pages I haven’t graded.”

My husband reached around and took my math pages and started grading them. I smiled and gave him a much higher quality head rub…

Grading for Homeschoolers

Monday, November 7th, 2011

I received an e-mail from a woman whose children were early elementary and preschool:

My question is simply what do you do about grading? I have heard some parents don’t feel the need to grade their children and that grading is governmentally instituted anyway. But I do wonder if the children aren’t graded, how will we make out their transcripts?

I would greatly appreciate your advice on this matter. Thank you so much for being of assistance to homeschooling families through your blog, videos, etc.

Here was my response to her e-mail:

What most people don’t realize is that transcripts are not necessary until high school, because you need them to get into college. Certainly, even the public schools don’t give grades to a 5-year-old. They put “Satisfactory” or “Excellent” or whatever. Elementary school doesn’t need grades. But if you wanted to make a transcript just for fun, you could list all the subjects you taught, and write down how you thought your child did at the end of each year.

For example, my kids are way above average in every subject, so if I was inventing a transcript, I would make a list of classes and put A’s on the other side. It’s that easy. If they mess up on some of their math, I might put a B in that subject. Right now my older two sons are doing Teaching Textbooks for math, and the computer grades their work automatically. So they do get grades for math, even though I never use them.

[For people who are not homeschoolers who are reading this, my 11-year-old, for example, is doing pre-algebra and getting A’s. If he got B’s, I would write that down on a transcript, but the fact that he’s 3 years ahead in math would indicate that if he was in a school institution at his age level, he would be getting A’s. So all this talk of grades is completely irrelevant to a homeschooler until high school.]

[Even if your homeschooled child is behind, grades are irrelevant. As a public school teacher, I had an entire room of children who were behind except for one or two. I’m not joking. Our school system spits out functionally illiterate people. At home, the parent is tutoring that child, and the child is progressing as fast as is humanly possible in their particular circumstances. By the way, as a teacher, I was forced to “pass” children to the next grade level, even though their grades showed failure. Grades are a sham.]

As a teacher, the reason I gave grades was to show the students and their parents how they were doing. If they didn’t pay attention at all in class, they wouldn’t know the material. This doesn’t happen in homeschool. I’m looking straight at my child, and I don’t move on until my child has grasped the material. This would be an A. It’s like tutoring really. The parent is you, so you don’t need to show yourself what your child is doing. You already know based on the work your child is doing, and on their knowledge that they have about a particular subject.