To Grade or Not to Grade

That is the big question isn’t it? Some say in order for kids to truly know how they are doing in their school, kids need grades. Others say that when a child is graded, they pay more attention to the grade itself than what they need to improve on.

So who is right? What should we do?

The truth is there really is no right answer. I know that that is probably a frustrating answer but it is the honest on. Some students need that letter grade while others give up more often when they get them.

So when do I use grades?

In my home, I tend not to use grades in elementary school. For my kids the grades were more of a distraction. They would get so focused on the fact that the grade was not an A that they would not see what they did right. I couldn’t help them correct the problems either because they would be so upset that they didn’t get an A.

Instead, I started working with them to correct their problems one on one, no grading attached. This allowed them to see what they did right, work through what they got incorrect, and not get caught up in the grade itself.

Middle school is when I start using a grading scale but it is on an individual kid’s bases. My older boy receives a grading of either excellent, good, or needs work. This keeps the grading simple while still allowing him to know how well he did his work.

My older boy is one who can quickly become overwhelmed by grades but his twin sister is one who does better with a standard grade scale. My daughter receives an A-F grade depending on the number of things she got wrong and the number of questions I gave her. She tends to need a wider range of grades to gauge how her work is.

Finally, high school level and grades. This is the level that grades are the most important as it not only informs the student how well they are doing but they are also necessary for documentation for the high school diploma. High school students also need proper grades to have a proper grade point average to use to inform colleges, universities and trade schools on what kind of academic work the school can expect while the student is there.

Grades are helpful things and we should use a form of grading no matter what level our kiddos are at and how they process their grades. While when and how you use grades are up to you and what is best for your kids, they certainly have their place in your homeschool.

Enjoy the journey.

Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we’ve been doing this for 9 years now. I am also a military spouse, so we have the added joys and some of the complications that come with it.  As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs, or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.