Creating a High School Grading System
To grade or not to grade your homeschool child’s work: For elementary and middle school parents, the answer lies in preference and deference to their personal homeschool philosophy. When kids enter high school homeschool years, however, parents will want to think about post-high school plans. Colleges, the military, and vocational training programs all require transcripts and GPAs – even from homeschoolers.
Keeping a clear record of how grades are assigned is essential to maintaining grading integrity. A homeschool graduate with a 4.0 based on all parent-issued grades may get a lot of eye rolls. However, being able to provide documentation for how that 4.0 was determined will help to keep the nay-sayers at bay.
Some homeschool curriculum comes complete with tests and quizzes to give the kids. For a math class, it’s reasonable to determine a final class grade based on an average of those scores.
To average grades, you add them all together. Then, you divide that sum by the total number of tests. For example, if your child earned a 93, 79, 84, 90, and 87 on their tests, the sum of those scores would be 433. When divided by 5 (the total number of tests taken), the final average grade is 86.6 – or a solid B.
You might decide to double the weight of the test grades over quiz grades; OR double the weight of a final exam over of the year’s test average. For example, say your child earned an 88 on their final exam and had a 92 average on all her tests. Doubling the final exam would look like this:
Humanities classes, like English, can prove a little trickier to grade.
If you’re not giving tests in a certain homeschool class, then you’ll want to create a scoring rubric that will help you determine the end of year grade. A rubric is a predetermined set of criteria that specifically states how many possible points can be earned.
For example, an English class rubric might look like this:
|15 Vocabulary Quizzes
|10 pts each
|4 Book Reports
|50 pts each
|1 Research Paper
|200 pts each
Earn between 495 to 550 points = A
(which is 90% or more of all possible points)
Earn between 440 to 494 points = B
If you decide to create a class rubric, you will want to also create assignment rubrics. Each rubric breaks down precisely how you can earn the maximum number of points for that assignment, such as:
|Research Paper Criteria
Require 4 supporting paragraphs
|Word Choice and Variety
Creating a file system in your first year of high school homeschooling will help you to stay organized and ready to tackle the high school transcript process.
For each parent-instructed course, you should keep a copy of the scoring rubric, along with your notes for your child’s earned points. In addition, you may want to keep a portfolio of tests and completed assignments in the unlikely event that you may be asked to provide work samples or proof of grades.
Last modified on April 15, 2020