Homeschool parents have the rare opportunity of grading their child’s academic work. This can be a blessing… and a curse! As parents we want our children to do well in school. As teachers, it may make it difficult to grade work objectively when we KNOW our children, their abilities, and whether or not they have worked hard in a subject.
So, how can we accurately grade a homeschool student?
Traditional Is Best
I truly believe the best way to grade a homeschool student is traditionally. What does this mean? It means using a standard grade scale, a simple right or wrong formula, and a teacher’s manual. The subjects best used for this method of grading are language arts, math, and spelling. There is no gray area with traditional grading. The answer is right, or wrong. This makes grading simple for mom, and keeps students from arguing over a grade.
Assess the Students Understanding
When grading a homeschooled child it is important to know whether or not the child understands the subject being taught. If your child doesn’t, you have the advantage of going over the material again. This will work in your child’s favor because they understand that if they don’t know the material, it will be taught until it’s mastered. Once a child has mastered work you may grade them based on their ability to thoroughly know the material. Subjects best used for this method are History, Science, Reading and in some cases Math.
Don’t Let Emotions Get Involved
As a homeschool teacher, your job is to teach. But, you are also the parent, meaning that sometimes emotions can get involved. It is important to keep emotions in check when assessing your child’s abilities. Don’t give in to cries from your child when they ask for an extra day on that book report. Don’t give in when you know they didn’t study for the big test. Be firm, and encourage your child to do their best, regardless of who their teacher is ;)
Homeschool parents have the wonderful ability of being able to teach their child the way they learn. We have the ability to ensure our kids master a concept and are getting the best education possible. This responsibility goes hand and hands with grading our homeschool student. Grading fairly now will help us long term when it comes to homeschooling our high school students. It will also prepare our children to respect any future teachers they may have.
Misty Bailey is the voice behind the Southeast Homeschool Expo’s Facebook page, as well as one of the convention planners here at the Southeast Homeschool Expo. She has worked in the homeschool market for nearly a decade with a multitude of curriculum companies, and as a former blogger and podcaster. She brings to the table 17 years of homeschooling experience working with her own three children, as well as founding her local homeschool group. Her goal is to encourage and inspire you on your homeschool journey by providing practical tips for real life (not cookie cutter perfection) homeschooling.