Tuesday 12 November 2013

To Grade or Not To Grade

Grading your students work as a home educator is a highly personal choice unless your state/country requires that you submit grades in which case it's a must. Some subjects lend themselves to easy grading and others are more subjective such as poetry or composition.

One of the things to take into consideration when grading a students work is their personality.  Some students love the challenge and others can't stand feeling like they are constantly failing. Some see the glass half full and others half empty.  Some students find watching you grade their work exciting and others see only doom and gloom as you do so.  Take this into account when grading. Do not expose a students grades to others keep it personal.  Very few people (and this includes both the adult or student) cope well with being put on the spot unless it's favorable.

Personally I do not write down grades.  I am however constantly grading where my student is mentally so that I know what I need to teach, I know where his strengths and weaknesses lie. It's important for us as home educators to be aware of exactly where our students are.  I do grade spelling and math as these are two subjects that are not subjective in nature.  They are either correct or incorrect.

Pro's to grading
  • A grade indicates the level of mastery or the level of information your student has not learned 
  • It gives you a concrete yard stick of progress
  • It can help our student learn more when they know they are being measured.
  • It prepares your student for college
  • College admissions
  • Obtain a scholarships

Cons to grading
  • It can become overwhelming if you are grading every single thing your student is doing.  You loose the ability to simply be immersed and enjoy the journey with your student.
  • You can end up distorting the grade by creating a test around what you have taught.
  • You can feel you are 'boxing' your student in.
Is grading biblical
Yes it is.  On a number of occasions the Lord tested kings and even his disciples.
  • Jesus asked Phillip to provide bread for the multitude, and in John 6:5 And then in John 6:6 it says “He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do.”
  • God tested Abraham in Genesis 22:1-3
  • He used their enemies to test them in Israel Judges 3
  • God tested the men for Gideon Judges 7:4
These are a few examples of testing in scripture.

On the www
I'll finish off with a quote that is important for us to remember when tackling the grade issue
Homeschooling is all about finding the heartbeat of your family and following that pace—not your neighbor’s, not your best homeschooling buddy’s, and not the grade level expectations for your child’s age.- Sarah over at Simple Homeschool
Tell me more about your decision to grade or not to grade ?


This post is part of the Homeschool Help series brought to you by a group of home school Mom's from around the globe.  Do not forget to visit and read their inspirational insight.

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  1. Great set of links as ever! I always look forward to these :-)

  2. Well I have told the children what grade they would be in at school so they can answer questions when people ask, otherwise they can appear quite clueless. and in my head i have a rough expectation that, If they were at school they would be expected to do this etc. but not overly hung up over it. then again I;ve had a couple of my teens 'skip' a grade to graduate when they've wanted too.


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