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How Do Home School Kids Get Graded

Readers Forum:

I'm curious.Can par rents grade their kids that they are teaching,or is there a home school teacher that grades them. Are all their tests open book?I'm really curious. I'm talking about grade school and high school. And How Do They Take Tests And Do They Get Report Cards And If Yes How?

6 comments to How Do Home School Kids Get Graded

  • Well, if you are teaching 1-5 children there really is not need for tests. You see the reason our public and private schools need to test is because the class is so large the poor teachers can not possibly know what each child really knows. So they must test. In a home school situation this is not the case. Now some home school parents may do this because they are using a particular curriculum or a virtual academy or even a public home school. But all the homeschoolers I know and the two huge support groups belong to do not test.

  • Aya

    If your parents are teaching you, then generally they are also the ones grading you (unless you’re using an online course, correspondence course, or you’re talking about the standardized tests that have to be returned to a specific place for grading). How families structure testing is almost entirely up to them, and in places where no testing is required by the state many homeschooling families choose not to test at all because they see it as an artificial and fairly useless way of measuring knowledge. For families who do test (either because they want to or because the law says they must) whether or not a test is open-book is usually up to them. I have never heard of homeschoolers getting report cards, though I suppose some families might do it and it might be on option with online or correspondence programs. But I think most homeschooling families look at report cards as pretty useless measures of learning and prefer to base their assessments of their children’s learning off of more concrete things, like whether or not Jimmy can read a book and whether or not Sarah can figure out how much carpet she would need to buy if she wanted wall-to-wall carpeting in her room.

  • Belle

    Grades are a way of comparing a group of children to each other. In homeschooling they are somewhat meaningless. Who are you comparing the child to? either the student understands the material or they don’t, in which case you go back and do it again. In homeschooling, the class does not move on whether you “get it” or not.
    Tests can be whatever kind the parents wants to use. We never tested, because we knew whether a child understood the material or not. There is no real reason to test or time limit on how long it takes to learn something.
    There is no ‘homeschool teacher’ other than the parents in homeschooling, which is regulated in most states as a parent accepting legal, financial and educational responsibility for their own child’s education.

  • ScoutMom

    If you homeschool independently, the parents grade the work. Most curriculum comes with the Teacher Guide and Answer Key. You just check the work and then assign the grade. Example if the work has 25 problems and they miss one question then the grade is 24/25=96%. To give the semester grade add all the grades together and average them.
    When my children were younger I always created a report card for them. Not so much for them because they always knew how they were doing but because so many places like McDonalds and Blockbuster Video gave burgers or video rentals etc for a good report cards. I used a homeschool record keeping program to print the report card.
    My children rarely have open book tests. I expect them to memorize the material for tests.
    Each year they take the CAT test. This is a standardized test. I order the testing materials, administer the test and then return them for grading. Those are the only tests we ever have graded by someone else.

  • J&E-lover not hater

    Well I’m homeschooled and we just order books (including regular test books and teacher’s books) from a company and learn with just my mom as our teacher. None of my tests are open book…I’m taking a class at a community college and it’s so easy for me because our teacher lets us have open book tests sometimes. I’m in high school and my parents made an accurate transcript for me as well.

  • K

    I’m pretty much going to agree with everyone else here; it’s all how you (as the parent!) want to go about it.
    I have several subjects that I purchase an out-of-the-box curriculum for. The scope and sequence for each subject is divided into Units, each Unit is subdivided into Lessons. Each Lesson generally has a test. For Math, the kid may have to do 30 practice problems for no grade, then answer 4 or 5 on the Lesson Test. For History, there’s not a test after every lesson, but they have to dictate to me what the lesson was about. Often they need to build a model of some kind that would demonstrate a particular point. At the end of the Unit they take a three or four-page fill-in-the-bubble test that covers all the previous Lessons. Science is mainly reading and experimentation, generally there’s a short test at the end of each Lesson, then a big Unit test at the end.
    They aren’t allowed to move forward in the program unless they get an 80% or higher on the test.
    For Language Arts and Phonics, I tend to do things differently. Yes, I give them tests on things like punctuation and compound words, but I also have an IEP to deal with, as I have a dyslexic-dysgraphic student to deal with. He has a specialized program we work with him on and we’ve made modifications as directed by his neuropsychologist. Because this is such a difficult subject for him, he doesn’t get grades. In this particular setting, grades would only serve to reinforce his dislike of the subject. Instead, he’s given various spelling and reading rules. He practices them. Words are dictated to him and he has to spell them using letter tiles. He has to spell different words out loud. Finally he has to spell still other words on paper. The big point for this one is for him to be able to see there’s a mistake. If he gets any wrong, he re-copies them correctly. Those words are later integrated into phrases he must write down, and then sentences integrating the phrases. In each step, he’s given a huge chunk of time to review exactly what he’s written and correct as needed.
    That’s the mechanics side.
    The writing side is also much different. We’re using BraveWriter, in which the most creative parts of the writing have no grades. Spelling doesn’t count, grammar doesn’t count, punctuation doesn’t count. Getting your thoughts down and using apt, descriptive words IS what counts. After several free-writing sessions, the student goes back and picks one of their samples they’d like to write more about. It’s then typed up and cut apart with scissors and they play around with the order of their thoughts. Grammar and mechanics are the LAST things they worry about, only when the content has been refined.
    Those who are a little more familiar with writing can do thing like join the na-no-wri-mos (yeah, I know!) and write a novel in one month.
    It starts in 24 days:http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/
    Once you’re done, you send your finished manuscript to a self-publish place like lulu.com or blurb.com or something, and you get a published, bound book back out of the deal.
    For some students, having a crisp copy of an actual novel they authored can be way more motivating than an A grade.
    I just recently learned that the Eragon books were written by a homeschooler. The first one was written when he was 15 years old.

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