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Home School USA

Home School USA
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How To Grade Your Student’s Work

Records should be kept by a homeschool family or through a school where they have enrolled their students. Homeschoolers usually determine their own grading method to help create record keeping for their student’s work. Some schools provide rules or guidelines for record keeping. A program might incorporate teachers to grade, attempting to provide an unbiased grade. The average homeschool parent is concerned about giving an accurate grade to help their student understand how they are doing academically and to “report” to the world around them of their child’s academic mastery. While a few parents may be inaccurate or sloppy in their method, usually a fairly realistic understanding is achieved. Even in a traditional school setting, grades may be “earned” or calculated which do not accurately reflect a student’s academic mastery of a topic. Lost work, work turned in late, a student’s level of class participation, attitude, etc., can also end up playing a role in what grade is awarded a student.

Types of work to grade:

  • Linear Work – Math, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, etc. These academic topics usually have right and wrong answers. Using a teacher’s guide or answer key, correct the work, marking answers, which are incorrect. To calculate a grade, you divide the number of correct answers by the number of possible answers and you will conclude a percentage grade on the 100 scale. (Example: 25 correct math problems out of 30. Divide 25 by 30 and the result is 83.3% or a B letter grade).
  • Projects – Essay, Science project, Oral Report, etc. A project can be graded with its focus in mind. For example, if an essay is to focus on content and essay structure, one might give a lighter percentage to spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. On the adverse side, one might grade heavier on spelling, grammar, etc., if you are just introducing essay structure and desiring to encourage the writing experience. A science project could be graded on content, or grading could include, presentation, visual aids, creativity and content. Each assignment could be graded according to the focus of the lesson.
  • Activities – PE, work experience, drama, etc. In most public schools, if you “dress” and show up for PE you automatically receive an “A” letter grade. Some schools require the passing of a specific list of physical tasks and award a grade dependent on what was accomplished. The employer can evaluate work experience. Sunland has an “Employer Evaluation Form” which can be used. Sometimes using the “Rule of Thumb” grading key fits as a means of awarding a grade in some of these areas. Ask yourself, “Did my student do above the call of duty (Excellent)? Did they do a good job (Good)? Did they only do what was necessary to get by (Average)?” Etc.

Grading Scale:

 Most schools and colleges use the “100-90 = A” grading scale. Following is a grading scale with percentage grade, letter grade, rule of thumb (can be used for young children or for activity type topics) and grade point average. Some schools break the scale into A+, A, A-, and B+ grading with a GPA scale which is also broken into mixed numbers (4, 3.5, 3.25, 3, etc).

 Percentage Grade / Letter Grade / Rule of Thumb / Grade Point Average

        100-90      A      Excellent      4 (5 if an AP, College or Honors Course)
         89-80      B      Good         3
         79-70      C      Average       2
         69-60      D      Poor         1
          59-0      F       Fail          0

Determining Grades for Student Records:

 Student’s graded work, or grades from work, should be organized in some manner, making them available for concluding a grade earned for each record keeping period, usually quarters (9-10 weeks) or semesters (18-20 weeks). A grade can be calculated from a blend of daily work, quizzes, tests, reports, or other components of the learning process. The weight of each part can differ between topics. Usually the daily work, quizzes and tests can each bear one-third percentage of the overall grade. In some settings, the quizzes and tests are the only items calculated in giving a grade. A method should be determined by coordination between parent and homeschool administration. Some curriculum or courses, such as CD-Rom, online, group classes or college courses, already have a built in method or has a teacher involved for concluding a grade.

Recording Grades:

 Schools record grades on differing schedules. Many public schools give grades to parents every 5 weeks. Grades for permanent records are usually given quarterly, or at the end of each semester. High school grades are recorded on transcripts, which are crucial for graduating from high school and for going on to most post secondary education (colleges and universities)

 Some homeschool programs are not particular about grades or record keeping. This could create problems if a student needs to transfer to a private or public school during their high school years, or are bound for university. A concise and accurate record helps for any future setting (armed forces, college, university or transfer to another school).

 Sunland requires record keeping to be kept every quarter (our school year is divided into two semesters, with each semester broken into two quarters). This helps us to understand how students are doing and if there is a need to address any concerns. Families who fail to participate in a timely manner, risk jeopardizing their student’s records in the event of a sudden unexpected change needed in the school setting, for graduation, or for post secondary education.

For Grading Help:

 For more information, or for answers to your questions about grading and record keeping, please feel free to contact our office (1-800-525-4419) or email us with your questions (SCSandCHE@aol.com).

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