I know some families that are really successful as a ‘school’. I often feel guilty. I can’t measure up. I can remember to write down math grades…for a week- maybe…did I say write down a grade? maybe I mean check it everyday….. I don’t know how to score a paper. I don’t want to test them on what dates they memorized. But that is how you have to do high school, right?
I was SOOO worried about high school. I needed to record grades? and hours? How would I do that? It would require changing EVERYTHING I had learned on my homeschooling journey.
After shopping for record keeping systems, trying to set up bins for papers and grading….well it didn’t take long to make everyone in the house roll their eyes at school. It had become a chore.
We all homeschool differently. We homeschool because we don’t want to do it the way they do it at school, right? So, why am I trying to match that now?
I’ve homeschooled High School for 4 years now. My oldest will graduate this year. I am terrified. I have no idea how she will ‘perform’ in the real world! Does she know enough to be successful? Will she be able to do it outside of my home? I don’t know!! But I’ve prayed. I’ve helped her discover passions, and gifts. I’ve encouraged her. She can read, and write and when hard pressed she can do math 😉 She can balance a checkbook and keep a schedule…… we can all list these things right? (reminder to self?) Trust that the Lord placed this child into your hands for a reason.
Do what YOU need to do for YOUR child. There is no one on this Earth that cares more for them than you.
I evaluate and grade on attitude, willingness, neatness, whether or not they are learning, discussing, improving….how about this? I grade 80% on completion of the material, 20% on attitude, neatness and diligence.
We test math- for mastery. They do not move on unless they understand it. I’m not making them redo it for a grade but because it is a skill they need to master. What grade do you put on that?
Here is what I do:
- I carefully pick out curriculum and books to challenge the level they are at, and then I fill in with a few ‘easy reads’ (Don’t you enjoy and easy read now and then?) I spend a lot of time choosing and scheduling these. Then I let them do it.
- My plan is to complete a weeks worth of work each week. That is why my schedule is set up by weeks. Our own personal schedule might include a day of sorting and working cattle, or a field trip, or half a day of some other farm chore, school, illness….So I schedule 4 days. (my kids dual enroll in the local public school for things like Ag classes, Spanish and Band- we are NOT going slower than them!) A week’s worth in a week. that is my requirement.
- I ask them. I talk to them. We discuss what they’ve learned, how they like the book- you are mom. you KNOW what they are gaining. They do notebooking pages or journal pages. We keep ‘record books‘ for our supervising teacher (state requirements). They know it has to contain a sampling of what they are doing. They show what they are doing/learning.
- They check their own math (because they understand that math is a process of learning to solve problems, so they need to solve it until they get the right answer.) I grade the tests. They must pass with an 85% or better or we repeat the lessons. Mastery. 😉
- I record grades. In January I have to turn in grades to our insurance for good student driving discount. So usually I have recorded something mid-year. At the end of the year (or honestly when it is due for something) I fill out a transcript. I use the one from HSLDA. I fill it out according to attitude and aptitude. ALL grades are subjective. Yours will be too. I use their schedules and notebooks to help (my memory).
It is my wish, my homeschooling goal to:
- Instill Godly character in my children.
- kindle a willingness to learn
- helpful, hardworking, servant attitudes
- happy memories of homeschool and home life
I’ve learned that I don’t want to replicate the classroom. To all of my experience and reading, it doesn’t work anyway!