Home schooling

Grading In Home Schooling Work

The first thing to think about with regard to grading in home schooling is whether you want to grade at all. This may at first sound rather shocking, but when we look at why the grading system was invented in the first place, it can broaden our perspective and give us a basis on which to make this decision.

Long ago and up through the 1800's when people homeschooled, grading was unheard of. Only with the advent of public schooling was the grading system devised. There were a couple of reasons for this, but mainly it was because children were then being educated en mass and both parents and teachers needed a way to keep track of each child's progress.

In home schooling there is no actual need for grades, since a parent will be constantly in touch with the child's progress and monitoring their level of understanding. This can be very freeing, as grading in homeschooling sometimes becomes a problem and a source of confusion for some parents and a discouragement to the child.

Even though it is not necessary to grade schoolwork, there are good reasons why some parents may choose to use grading in their homeschooling. These reasons can range from wanting to be prepared to prove the child's achievements to state authorities in those states with stricter regulations; to giving the child have a way to measure their accomplishments. These reasons can be examined in light of your personal situation, to determine whether you will choose grading in your homeschooling.


The consideration of whether to grade for the purpose of any state requirements is a given and has an obvious answer. And some parents will not want to take chances even if they don't live in a state where grades are required, in case the laws should change. The issue of providing your child with something tangible to show their achievements should be decided with careful contemplation about whether grading their work will give them confidence and clarity, or foster and develop insecurity or it's opposite - an unhealthy pride. Each child is unique and should be thoughtfully evaluated in this respect as well as any other aspect of their schooling.

If you choose not to use grades in your home school, you will not be alone. Many homeschooling parents have elected not to use a grading system. However, If you decide to use grading there are several grading methods that are tried and tested or you can invent your own system.

Using the alphabet grades of A to F and percentage grading, are of course the two most commonly used modalities. If this is what you choose, it will be good to take extra care to help your child understand how their grades can be helpful in evaluating their progress. You will want to help them guard against a competitive spirit between siblings and to have a sense of accomplishment without ugly pride.

Caution is appropriate for the parents to stay objective as well as they grade the child, or otherwise the reasons for doing the assessment can be thwarted. The child needs to see loving honesty in every evaluation of every kind and to know their value as a person does not depend on their grades.

Placement tests and year end achievement tests are a matter of what you as the parent think is best for you and the children, unless required by your state. An online search can reveal many of the needed tests as free downloads. Companies that offer such tests for sale are: Setons Testing Service at www.setontesting.com and Bob Jones University Press at www.bjupress.com as well as other sources online.

In summation, if you and your child are doing well and they are learning as you think they should, don't allow yourself to be pressured into thinking grades and testing are necessary outside the law. However, if after careful examination of your situation, you conclude they could be beneficial, then should you pursue the option of grading in homeschooling.