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Viewing ArtworkThe age-old question of how to keep up with grading is alive and well among homeschool parents. So what’s the answer?

The Necessary Evil

First things first (and let’s get this out of the way) the grading pileup is what can feel overwhelming. Grading itself is great!

The feeling of having everything stacked and graded—wonderful. And it feels good to know where your child is in his subjects and how much is actually clicking with him.

A big part of the problem is time—not enough of it. Actually, too much time… doing everything else.

But you already know that, don’t you?

What on earth are you supposed to do about it? Stop eating? Leave the mess? We’re getting to that.

How to Deal with It

Mom after mom will tell you that there is no super-secret answer to the grading dilemma.

(Sorry.)

But there is hope! You can tackle grading with some old-fashioned elbow grease.

  1. Keep all your ungraded papers in one place.

    And what that really means is be organized as much as possible. Keep your grading where you can see it. Try putting it into separate folders for each child. If you can see it, you’ll remember it’s there. Then, you’ll remember to get to it.

  2. Do it that day.

    Don’t save grading for tomorrow or the next day or the weekend if you can help it.

    It’s kind of like laundry—watching it pile up through the week will only make it seem more intimidating. (And the bigger the stack gets, the less you’ll want to do it…)

    Take a few minutes now to save yourself from hours of grading later. Plus, you and your kids will get the benefits of quick feedback! You’ll know right away if you're on track.

  3. Don’t be afraid to take it “to go.”

    Use errands to your advantage. Try using your quiet time in the car before picking up the kids from an activity or dropping them off. You might get a lot more done than you would working at the kitchen table in the middle of everything.

  4. Start as early in the day as possible.

    You’re a full-time teacher, counselor, nurse, chef, and who-knows-what-else. Basically, you’re booked all day!

    And all that means is that your best bet for getting through grading may be before the kids wake up. Try getting up early, making yourself a steaming cup of joe, and knocking out some of that grading first thing in the morning.

Here’s a comforting quote from a homeschool mom of 25 years.

“I’m still figuring it out.”

Every situation is different. But keep at it. You’ll figure out what works best for your family as you go!