Getting out of the Schooling Mindset: Grades

One of my preconceived notions about homeschooling was that there is no “test security”.  If parents give tests and grades, how does anyone know that kid actually completed the tests alone?  Wouldn’t the parent just give the kid an A on everything?

I realized that grades in school are meaningless, too.  Parent complain if their kid isn’t getting the parentally-approved grade.  How many coaches, parents, and kids have “reminded” a teacher of the academic eligibility rules to play a sport?  So, when report card time rolls around, how many teachers just nudge up a kid’s grade a little (or maybe more) to avoid another phone call?  Is that really fair to another kid whose grades are not being patrolled by various adults.  And let’s not even get into the variations between the assignments graded by different teachers teaching the same class and who gives extra credit and for what.

In my home education endeavor, I give a few tests.  We have a weekly spelling test, a math test at the end of a topic, a science test at the end of a unit.  I check them, but I don’t record a grade.  I want to see that the important details stuck.  If there are mistakes, we go over them and fix them, just like we do with all work.  The school district review people like to see test, so that’s what we give them.

I guess if I do high school at home, we are going to have to keep grades for a transcript, but we’ll cross that road when we get there.