Homeschool Grading – What is an A?

In my homeschool, I provided a simple percentage grade for tests that we gave. If they got 10 wrong and there were 100 questions, they got 90%. But that is only a grade for a test. You know that a test grade is only a PORTION of the grade you put on the transcript.

I worried about that question when I was homeschooling high school. Math and science were easy for me to figure out, because I am a “math and science gal.” But when it came to English, I was completely flummoxed! I stumbled upon the book called “501 Writing Prompts” by Learning Express. It is a small, cheap book with (remarkably) 501 writing prompts. It has a simple rubric for grading an essay on a 1-6 scale.

I am not very good with “rubrics” and in fact, the whole WORD rubric is intimidating to me. When we quit public school, one of the teachers asked me “but what grading rubric will you use?” Since I did not even know what the word meant, I have been scared of the word ever since. But the book “501 Writing Prompts” provides more than a rubric. It also provides a visual example of each grade, so you can SEE what a grade of 4 should be, and what a grade of 6 should look like. That helped me a LOT – I think I am a visual learner.

Now that my kids are in college, I have seen a lot of examples of grading scales. I have to say there are not any “requirements” for a grade of “A.” Each teacher in each school district and each professor in each college will have their own definition of an “A.” Some teachers will come right out and say “I know what to give you, so I do not need tests.” Others will have a detailed analysis of what makes an “A” grade. They may have a point system, with a different amount of points for homework, tests, quizzes, projects, and discussion.

That is fine, but as homeschoolers, you have to ask yourself “what is the point?” As homeschoolers, we provide a grade that we know to be fair, without worrying that we will be sued or assaulted for unfair grading practices. Remember, there is not a single “requirement” for an A. There is only what YOU require for an “A.” So really, however you decide to grade is fine. And your requirements for an A are the “Real Requirements” for an A.