I recently shared a shocking homeschool confession post on my blog. In that post, I also shared that I don’t worry about what the grade number is on the front of my children’s books. One of the luxuries of homeschooling is that we don’t have to work on grade level. We can let our kids work at their own pace. This is a luxury for them, and us.
When you first begin homeschooling, you may assume that you can go with whatever grade they “should” be in. But, that is not always the case. I have found that some homeschool curriculums work about a ½-grade level above where our local public schools work. Some curriculum companies work below where our local schools are. You cannot trust the number on the front of a homeschool curriculum and assume it is “grade level appropriate”.
When thinking about where to place your child there are numerous things you can do to properly place them into a curriculum. Check the publishing company’s website and see if they offer grade placement tests. These tests are usually free and can be downloaded onto your computer and printed out. They will likely tell you about where your child should be placed in the publisher’s curriculum.
Another thing you may want to do is see the curriculum in person. This can be done at a convention, through a local homeschool friend who may use the curriculum, or at a curriculum swap and sell. This helps a lot because there may b some material in a curriculum your child has covered, and some they haven’t.
As homeschoolers, we can let our children work at their own pace. They don’t have to worry about what the number on the front of the book says as long as they are mastering the material along the way. Some people do consider grade levels important and where we live we do have to share what grade level our children are in when we turn in our notification. In this case I would consider what grade they WOULD be in if they attended public school. If someone asks my children, what grade they are in they will tell them. This helps in Sunday school classes, Jr church programs, scouts, and sports. Grade levels are not bad; they just aren’t always necessary or accurate when it comes to actual curriculum.
So, when thinking about grade placement for your homeschool child, for record keeping purposes, go with the grade they would be in if they attended public school. For curriculum purposes go with where they place academically and don’t worry about the number on the front of the book! Let them work at their own pace, regardless of what “grade” that may be!
Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.
For 3 years, Mari hosted the weekly radio program, “Heart for Home School.” This expanded into a vision; Heart for Home School Ministries, a 501 c (3) that sponsors seminars and conferences to help and support home school families educate their children with confidence. Mari no longer hosts a weekly radio program. However, she offers advice and wisdom drawn from her many years of experience through short commentaries, “Home School Highlights,” which are aired throughout the day on WRTP HIS Radio stations.
Heart for Home School Ministries was founded in 2002 by Mari Fitz-Wynn and her late husband P. Wynn. It sponsor seminars and conferences to help home school families educate their children through conferences, seminars and various activities that allow parents which provide parents’ opportunities to develop, sharpen, or add new skills to their roles as teachers and administrators.
We provide a network of information and support for home school families, by partnering new home school families with veteran home educators.
Jim Giovannini has been an educator and entrepreneur all his life. Today he is recognized as one the nation’s leading experts in ACT and SAT preparation. Each year, his company serves thousands of families and dozens of school districts. He is a nationally published, bestselling author with Barron’s Educational Series. Through his ACT test prep program called ACT SUCCESS, Jim helps build skills and scores for all students – leading to increased college admission choices and better scholarship opportunities. Utilized by families, tutors, learning centers, and schools across the nation, ACT SUCCESS truly builds college readiness skills, increases ACT test scores, and creates better college opportunities for all.
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