View Full Version : Let's Chat Grades..

Kendra AU
08-07-2012, 07:23 AM
It's not mandatory that I keep track of my child's grades, credits, hours, or anything else where I currently live. However, dh & I have agreed that keeping track of his grades would be wise for his highschool years. That would be grades 7-10 where I live.

We've been getting our child, who previously knew nothing about grades of any kind, by giving grades on his papers of late. The next step is keeping track of his grades, which is where my "let's chat" comes into play.

I'm curious how each of you chooses to keep track of your child's grades:

Do you jot them down somewhere daily? Weekly?
Do you just jot them in your planner? Computer?
Do you have a method that works best for you?

Rachel Jane
08-07-2012, 08:41 AM
I write them in a spiral notebook and then calculate it all up at the end of the year.

08-07-2012, 09:38 AM
Good question. You'll thank yourself later if you keep track of grades in one place.

For subjects that have a lot of daily work and tests (math, other "textbook" subjects), I keep a sheet of notebook paper in the front of the answer key or in my own folder. Every single time he gets a score in something, I write it down right away on that list. This is hugely helpful when it comes time to calculate grades.

For subjects that have fewer grades per semester (English, etc.), I have him keep all of his work in one folder and then I just grab that folder when it's time to calculate grades.

Using the computer is more of a hassle for me than just writing it down. I keep the transcript on the computer, but the daily grades by hand.

08-07-2012, 10:19 AM
I may be in the minority here, but I don't track grades on daily work. For math, science, etc. I give grades for tests only. For English, history and subjects like that, I give a grade on major projects (eg. papers) and any tests or quizzes that come up in the particular curriculum that we're using that year.

We have to keep a portfolio for our evaluator and the school district each year. Anything grade-worthy is typically portfolio-worthy, so I store everything in the portfolio itself, or if I'm behind or short on time, in a folder marked portfolio papers.

Leslie Nelsen
08-07-2012, 11:44 AM
I'm with Cari on this one. I don't grade daily work. I also don't do a great job in keeping up with grades either. :blush: My oldest didn't care about grades. I do try to keep tests in a separate folder so that they are easy to find and theoretically will calculate a grade at the end of the year. My 2nd cares more about her grades so I do stay on top of those a little better.

I think if you can keep up, its a good idea. I just wanted you to know that it hasn't been all bad for those who haven't done such a great job and then had to scramble to work on that transcript.

Susan Seaman
08-07-2012, 12:36 PM
I grade tests only. The only subjects where we've had regular tests have been math or science, though.

For the other classes, I think it works best if I lay out expectations ahead of time - the following work (itemized) completed by a certain time gives a certain grade. More work required for a higher grade. I explain to them that grades will make a difference in money for college. Then it's up to them. When our teachers did this back in high school they called it contracting for grades.

Kendra AU
08-07-2012, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the tips & info.

Im not sure this child will or will not care about grades, but.. He has high ambitions of what he wants to do for his University years. I think it's best for him to learn now how grades can effect him when he's still young & they don't truly matter.

I also think, as a former homeschooler, that those grades help you feel like you DID do it & you CAN do it. Does that make sense? Don't get me wrong, I do not regret being homeschooled one little bit, but we didn't do grades either & I've always wondered if I'd have been able to keep up had I been in a highschool building.

Then there's the whole.. if something happened to my family we'd probably end up in TN for a while if I was needed to help with something. TN laws are a bit crazy in regards to homeschooling, & I'd rather have what I need all done & not need to freak out.

Yeah, I'm probably an over achiever. I can't help it, but I'm the kinda person who prefers to be over prepared vs under prepared.. :lol:

Laura F
08-07-2012, 09:03 PM
As a former teacher, I use the same grading system that I used when I taught in the classroom. I don't give letters or weight assignments or create an elaborate system. Instead I use give each graded assignment a point value and record it in a section of my plan book. I should tell you that I don't grade daily work since I'm already monitoring what my dc are doing. I grade tests and big assignments/projects. Simply add up the points earned and divide by the total points possible. Voila.

Tricia O
08-07-2012, 10:55 PM
I just started giving grades 10 weeks ago but I do everything by the spreadsheet because that is the kind of person I am. :D

This is the first time I have given any of them grades. I mostly started it for Elizabeth since she is in the 7th grade right now but decided we might as well do Katie & Michael too. So I have just finished designing my first report card. For the first quarter, Elizabeth has all A's, Katie is mostly A's with one B & one B+ and Michael is most A's with 2 B+'s!

We don't grade every subject, such as FIAR or other subjects that we mostly just do orally. But this is how we grade/assign points. We do grade daily work as well as tests. It's really pretty simple, actually. Every possible answer is a point. If a question asks for 2 answers, then it is 2 points. For example, we use Winston Grammar, and she has to decide the part of speech for each word. So I count each word as a point. Since each subject is independent of the other subjects, it doesn't matter if her points are 131.5 out of 135 in Bible and 4188 out of 4300 in math. (Her actual points, by the way.) Wherever possible, I do allow them to correct their mistakes & earn 1/2 credit (1/2 point) back.

We keep a weekly check-off sheet on a clipboard which holds all subjects for our kids for a week. After the week is over, I file this in a binder for later reference, if needed. We use these sheets to keep track of what we are doing each day. If we don't do something, we just draw a line across the box for that subject for that day. For the things we do get done, we put a check mark if it is something we don't grade, and if we do grade it, I put the points right on the sheet in the little rectangle for that subject for that day (for example, I might put 18/20 in the box if they earned 18 out of 20 total points).

Here is a sample of what our weekly sheet looks like:

At the end of the week, I will then sit down once a week & total up the top & bottom number points for each subject (sometimes right there in the right margin of the check-off sheet) & then put them into a spreadsheet. I made an excel spreadsheet for each child with a tab for each subject, and set up some formulas where I can put in points earned in one column (how many they earned in that subject for that week) and points total (maximum possible) in the next column. Over the nine weeks, I have it set up to where it automatically calculates their grades based upon the points I input for each subject each week, and gives me a percent grade for each subject. Here is another example - my kids use Teaching Textbooks for math & I just decided to count lessons as 100 points total & quizzes as 200 points total, so they are weighted a bit more.
Each subject's tab looks something like this:

And I even made up a cool report card (by making my own changes to one I found online). I even printed them out on cardstock (with difficulty) but now I am second-guessing them because I do not have a place for semester or final grades. :eek: :lol:

Here is our report card: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxurSYEe-y6EcW4yVGhyM3NWaDg

Here is another spreadsheet I set up to keep track of their grades in the computer, which so far contains first quarter grades for them all:

Also, here is an article I found reassuring.

If you can see an Excel spreadsheet, I would be happy to email copies of any of the ones I created if anyone is interested. Just email me & let me know which ones you want to see! :)

08-08-2012, 08:41 AM
Wow, Tricia, I can only dream to be that organized! :lol: I don't know how to do spreadsheets so maybe I should try to learn how so I can copy you.

08-08-2012, 09:31 AM
We've been using Homeschool Tracker Plus for years and love it! A lot of work on the "front end" but very smooth after the info is input.

Tricia O
08-08-2012, 10:08 AM
Wow, Tricia, I can only dream to be that organized! :lol: I don't know how to do spreadsheets so maybe I should try to learn how so I can copy you.

I have learned how to do them with trial & error, much practice & when I want to do something I don't know how to do, I will either search the help, or sometimes it is easier to just google it (like this - how to add a column of numbers in excel) and that helps me find out what to type in the cell to get it to do what I want.
I have used Homeschool Tracker in the past, but it was too much for what I wanted and only ended up frustrating me. :perplex: I prefer the flexibility of my spreadsheets. ;)