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Homeschool 101: Grades and Report Cards

Posted by on 6 January 2009



Grades are often a tricky topic when it comes to homeschool.  Often, if a state doesn’t require parents to report grades, they don’t like to do it.  As many of you know, our homeschool is quite structured.  Therefore, we choose to record grades.

Let me explain our process.  For one, I use Homeschool Tracker to record attendance, field trips, grades and so on.  There’s a free version that we started off with, but I went ahead and paid for it because I loved all the extra options it comes with and I get upgrades for life.  In our state, we’re not required to keep grades, but we choose to.  It’s not just my choice, it’s Miss K’s choice as well.  Maybe it’s a little competition within herself or maybe she just likes knowing how she’s doing.  For us, there’s no real “fail” grade.  She’s done poorly on a couple of assignments and even tests.  I don’t leave those grades as an “F” though.  She gets the opportunity to correct them on paper or on the board.  I mean really when a kid is in school and brings home an “F”, have they learned anything??  NO!!  So she gets to correct them and try it again to see where she went wrong.  You can’t learn unless you can fix your mistakes.  She doesn’t get full points for corrected answers, but at least she figures out what she did wrong and often, especially for math, it’s just a digit off or something simple.

We do have a grading scale.  It’s the same as it was when she went to private school.  It’s actually a pretty tough grading scale compared to when I grew up and everything was simple.  Our grading scale is:

A/Outstanding = 93 – 100

B/Satisfactory = 85 – 92

C/Progressing = 75 – 84

D/Needs Improvement = 69 – 74

F/Unsatisfactory = 68 & below

For required subjects, K receives a grade of an A to F.  For electives, or specials as we call them, she receives an O, S, P, N, or U.  I also keep track of conduct because sometimes, she likes to sas the teacher!!

K requested that she receive Honor Roll certificates when her grades are good.  This was something she always looked forward to in school.  It’s just her way of knowing “job well done” and having something to put in her keepsake book.  We have 2 Honor Roll certificates.  There’s one for strait “A” and another for “A/B”.  I have one paper to grade, and it looks like this might be her first time missing it because she has a “C” in Science.  However, all the grades aren’t averaged yet and I have to get the test and extra credit in there!!

So, this is just our version of grades in our homeschool.  Everyone does things differently and as I said, many prefer not to do grades at all.  It’s a personal choice and this works for us.  I don’t mind grading and recording at all.  She loves the “reward”!!  So for us, it’s all worth it!!

You can download a report card like we use on the Homeschool Printables page.  You’ll find it listed under “Pages” on the right side of this page”.  There’s also about 6 Honor Roll certificates available to download too.  None of these are identical to what we use, except the inside of the report card.  When I told Miss K that I was going to share, she said “that’s fine, but please don’t give them ours because they are ours an we created them just for us”.  I couldn’t argue that.  If you’re interested in me creating a personal report card or Honor Roll certificate for you, please just leave a comment and I’ll get back with you about what you want and need.

So, to grade or not to grade, that IS the question!!

Next time on Homeschool 101:  who knows!?!?

10 Responses to Homeschool 101: Grades and Report Cards

  1. Laura

    Thanks for posting this so this idiot of a mom can understand.

    Your grading scale is hard! WOW! Here it is 90 – 100 is an A, 80 – 89 a B, and so forth. I remember some classes were like your grading scale for me somewhere in the dark ages. Maybe in college? That was over 25 years ago! LOL!

    I think report cards are a good idea. I even think they should be done at CCD. LOL!

    Let me go check out your report card and certificates. Thanks for posting again! 🙂

    • Elaine

      Yes, our grading scale is hard. However, it’s the same one that they had in the private school that she went to. She was used to it and so we stuck with it. I could have used the simpler one that you and I grew up with, but this works.

      The report card is identical to ours except I edited out our homeschool name and changed the picture. I can make these for others and even change the grade scale if they want!!

      Let me know what you think. And, you’re NOT and idiot!!

  2. Debbie

    Crossing my fingers that K will get on the honor roll.

    Your card is nice, print and all. Our report cards are ugly. They are a tri-fold thing with all kinds of writing inside. Elem anyway. They don’t get A, B, C etc here. It’s 0-4+. New fangled grading system.

    I still haven’t checked all your stuff out. 😮

  3. Elaine

    Debbie, here public school uses 1-4 for 3rd grade and under. Something like that anyway. Last year her teacher experimented with rubics and a number system. It was a pain!!

    Glad you like the report card. I came up with the design, then Miss K gave her input and this is pretty much our final product!!

  4. Kathy Young

    Hi Elaine, we are also structured. When the boys miss problems on worksheets then they are to do extra problems to make sure they understood the lesson. If they miss more than 2 on a test then we re do the last few days lessons to make sure they understand before moving on to the next day. I send off for our tests every year and keep these in a portfolio. We like to know that our boys are on track and understanding what is required of their grade level. I like your system and enjoy coming back to see what you’ll share next. 🙂

  5. Elaine

    Glad to know I’m not the only structured one, Kathy!! Sometimes I feel like the lone wolf or something. I get some looks when I describe what we do. LOL I did meet a family bowling today that does pretty much the same as us and I was happy!!

  6. Wackpleak

    I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too…

  7. Elaine

    Wackpleak, what would “thinking like sukrat” be?? I don’t have another side of this story because this is my view and I make it clear that this is what I do. I also make it very clear that others choose not to record grades for their own reasons. Perhaps you didn’t fully read the article??

  8. Missy

    Help! I can’t find where the report cards are, I need one to print asap… Thanks so much and many Blessings.

    • Elaine

      Missy: The report cards are on the “Homeschool Printables” page. If you look to the right and scroll up, you’ll see “Pages”. “Homeschool Printables” is located under that. On the “Homeschool Printables” page, scroll down to almost the bottom. You’ll see the words “report card” and you just need to click on that. It’ll take you to the download page. You can get the inside and outside of the report card from clicking the links.

      Good luck and I hope it’s what you need!!

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