Grading Decisions & Alternative Evaluation Methods

Written by Shannon

In the Capturing Credit transcript examples, you’ll see some with grades, some with no grades, and some with a mix. That sometimes throws people off….

Don’t we have to have Grades for high school?

The short answer is… No…

But…

There are considerations to be aware of…

And when we are packaging up self-directed learning, then there also becomes a question of how to “grade”, if you are using grades.

Really, grades are an expression of evaluation.

How is the learning evaluated against the learning objectives? And how well did the student do meeting those objectives.

In more conventional settings, specific benchmarks and deliverables are laid out ahead of time, and then students are evaluated against those benchmarks and deliverables.

Many of us are used to a scoring system and/or grading matrixes. But there are other evaluation methods.

And grading methods are not standardized, at least in the U.S. 

Not all schools use the same methods – or scales – for grading. Not even within the same school do all teachers use the same grading methodologies.

The debate about grades exists in public, private, and homeschool education sectors.

In the US, if you are a private homeschooler, you get to choose how you are going to approach grades for your homeschool.

And if you are using an umbrella school or charter program, you might also have the choice in how you evaluate learning and assign grades, if grades are required. (Know your law and requirements for your specific homeschool structure)

Which direction you choose for your homeschool may also be dictated by your teen’s goals. For some goals it is best to choose to assign grades. But how you assign those grades – your evaluation method – is up to you  (or, you and your teen)

In The Grading Question: To Grade or Not to Grade, I shared several alternative evaluation methods and food for thought.  Here’s a screenshot for some alternative evaluation method ideas:

If you want to delve deeper and learn more about considerations, evaluation methods, alternatives, etc, you can find The Grading Question: To Grade or Not to Grade in Getting Started with Homeschool Transcripts. It’s about 1 hour 20 min long, and the PDF of the slide deck is included.

Or you can alternatively add just The Grading Question:To Grade or Not to Grade workshop to your resource library

As always, customize to your teen, your family, your homeschool, within the laws that apply.

If you have questions, feel free to email me or bring them to our Homeschooling High School Q&A session on September 21st, 2023.

Until Next Time, Happy Learning!
…Shannon

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