Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On grades

It's getting to the point where I need to find answers about assigning grades. Back in the day, it wasn't a question; I just entered the scores for various tasks and the software did the thinking. I didn't question the whole paradigm like I'm doing now.

Madeleine is in first grade--for most subjects. Kolbe recommends Excellent, Satisfactory, and Improvement for kindergarten and first grade. Nice and holistic, warm and fuzzy. No problem. When I say "recommends," I do mean that. It's not required.

But what about reading, spelling, and history, where she's in second grade? Do I give her grades for those subjects, or hold off until she's officially registered for second grade? Or until she's seven and would be in second grade if she went, then give grades for all subjects? Or like the school district I worked in, and just not give any real grades until middle school?

Then again, why am I assigning grades at all? I've heard that question more than once regarding homeschooling. We don't move to a new topic until the current one is mastered, so all grades would be A's, right? Grades are meaningless to Madeleine, besides. She attaches no significance to a "test." To her, it just means it's on a single sheet of paper instead of a book.

Any thoughts from those with more experience?



At 5:56 PM, Blogger Peanut Butter Kisses said...

I don't really give out grades to the younger kids. When they take a test, it's really more for me to see if they remember what we talked about. If they don't, then we go over it again until they get it. My older kids like to see what they did correctly and what they didn't so I grade their tests but I don't put a lot of emphasis on it until 6th or 7th grade.

I usually encourage my kids to move on if they are ready so some of their work is in some grade levels and some of it is in others. There, again, I don't usually give out scores but instead, lot's of praises for work well done....stickers are a fun way to show them they've done great work.

This is just what we do, I'm sure there are many other ways families handle this topic :-)

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Milehimama said...

I don't give out grades. I don't accept anything less than "A" work to begin with. If something needs to be redone, we redo it. If they don't understand a concept, we reteach it.

As they get older, perhaps I will. And I do intend to teach test taking skills and start taking tests, so they are prepared for the PSAT, etc.

My local school district just gives out S,U, N, grades on report cards through third grade anyway. (Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, Needs Improvement).

The only difference is, for my homeschool students, the U's and N's are worked on until they are S's.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

I, also, don't give grades. For my 5th grader, I do grade his tests, and score them, but we don't really keep track. That is mainly so that he can look at it and say, wow, you're right, I do need to work on that more before I say I'm ready for the test.

With my 1st grader, I just don't worry about it. I know that he is learning what he needs to learn.

Would you agree that the main purpose of grades is to keep track of what students are doing? If you know what your student is doing and are able to wait until the subject matter is mastered to move on, I see no need for grades.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger The Story Of Us........ said...

We don't grade either. Like you said, we do it until it's correct anyway.

I don't teach test taking so much because by the time they hit college they are mature enough to study. If they study they know it and get it right on the test. Voila!

Kazz had no problem getting in when taking the entrance exam. He didn't have to take the ACT or SAT because he began college at 14 so that was that.

Grades...I have a very strong opinion about them.

At 1:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do some amazing work...

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Deanne said...

A good friend of mine once said, "Grades are for meat and eggs, not for children." (Kelly Lovejoy) I've found that I have no need to grade my children because I KNOW how they're doing. I'm with them every day. Grades would serves no purpose in our homeschooling, so I don't use them.


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