Grading for out-of-the-box (High) School

Okay (high) school because

  • really this grading system can be used for all grades
  • High school is the only time it REALLY matters
  • because we (as a whole) feel like we need to change to a system that fits a grade book to do high school instead of our usual out-of-the-box system. Am I right? I discuss how I went through this transition and lesson here.

Have you read (maybe used is a better word. It’s more of a reference than a read-through) Senior High: A Home-Designed Form U La

There are a TON of ideas in here to design the school you want. How to use work and activities they are already doing as credit. How to record it. How to design a transcript. LOTS of information. Be careful- it can be overwhelming. Use it to help you solve problems- not as a ‘what you need to do’ (We, as homeschool moms, make this mistake a lot don’t we? )

HOURS? There are charts to record hours to equal a credit. BUT what if you are using a curriculum set? Can you grade on completion of this curriculum if they didn’t meet the hour requirement? Yes! Again, this is meant to help you solve problems. If you use Math-U-See for example you may only spend 20 minutes a day on a math lesson. If you complete (or mostly complete – public schools don’t finish a curriculum!) of the package/book in a school year well, you qualify. No need to track hours. She talks more about this in the book.

Grading: in the book she discusses all of the traditional methods of grading, grading scales, tracking…. and THEN- here is the part I latched onto: How to grade non-traditionally. She has a worksheet that looks like this (taken directly from the book!)

to obtain a “C” Student must:

  • complete 90% of Saxon Math “Algebra 1/2” book
  • earn a minimum of 75% on class work
  • quality/neatness standard of work turned in must be “Average”

to earn a “B” Student must do the above PLUS or EXCEPT:

  • 95% complete
  • minimum of 80% on class work
  • Quality Neatness “good”

to earn an “A” student must do the above plus or except:

  • 100% of book
  • minimum of 90% or better
  • show teacher ‘computing’ page after completing work
  • quality and neatness “excellent”

She shows a TON of examples of this including how to use Baseball as a PE credit, Life skills, Home Ec, Composition….. and a blank sheet for you to create your own. INCREDIBLY VALUABLE  ** this might be a good time to note that I do not own this site or this page, I do not have any affiliate links. These are things I want to share as one homeschool mom to another. I am not making any money on any of this- and I only hope I’ve covered the fact that this is copyrighted by the book above. I do not own this information. I simply recommend the book as a mom and homeschooler.


SO- for me the main idea here is making it my own. I’ve learned that as a delight-directed school- If the child is not doing at least “C” work then we are probably going to dump it for something that works better for us. So there is nothing below a “C”. There simply is no credit at all for it. Obviously you can work it differently- to the way you want to design YOUR school!

I’ve now streamlined my grading system (and there is no end to changing it to work for what you need. this is my current system 😉 ) I now grade:

80% completion of the assigned material, 20% on attitude, neatness and diligence.

pretty subjective , huh? yes. It is. But, here is what I think: ALL grades are subjective! and I’m pretty tough on what I want out of them. The best caution I have here is this- make sure the grades accurately correlate with what they have achieved on ACT/SAT testing. I’ll bet you find that is not a problem- most moms are tougher graders than schools. truly.

I’ve been asked “Don’t you ever want to go back and change the grade” yes. I actually find this is an advantage. I’m a mom. I am moody. Some days I’m so upset they did not take [this book] as seriously as i did, or they did not come to the same conclusion as me on ____ or whatever. I find that with a couple different days looking at it I can feel like I’ve been fair in judging THEIR accomplishments rather than MY expectations.

I have spent a lot of time developing some out-of the box curriculum. I have one child that can and will accomplish a lot, but will not work through textbook or workbooks. A lot of it has to do with variety- so that is what we created:

I’ve written schedules- tailor to each child and recorded it here: Living Books Curricula.

These are adjustable!! My DS can cover a LOT of material in a short amount of time. If I do not keep him busy – well he actually just wanders away and doesn’t do it at all so while my oldest daughter used Friendly Chemistry for a whole year (one lesson a week) My DS was scheduled to complete this and many other books in a year. I think each accomplished a Chemistry credit.

My next DD to do high school chemistry is more likely to go into a science field and a lot more hands on so I will likely base hers heavier on lab work. HOME-DESIGNED. 😉

Make the curriculum work for you. Make the grading system work for you. If you’d like to see more of my High School posts- look here.




5 thoughts on “Grading for out-of-the-box (High) School

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