Hi! I’m Kara Cunningham, homeschooling mom to five living in Colorado. Our family has been using Abeka homeschool for seven years, and we have loved the flexibility and freedom that homeschool has offered us. Over the years I’ve learned that grading can be a tricky (and not so fun) topic for us busy homeschooling moms—but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems.
Today I get to share with you a few things that I’ve learned over these past seven years that have helped me keep the grading side of homeschool doable.
First, let’s talk about tests. These are the big dogs in school, and it is essential that you grade them to know if your child has learned the specific content they are being tested on. It is preferable to grade tests within 1-2 days after administering the test. Thanks to Abeka’s straightforward answer keys, this task only takes a few moments for most tests, and then I log it in my teacher grade book. When time allows, I try to grade tests as soon as they finish them and then discuss any issues that might need to be addressed. If there seems to be an issue with a topic, we might rework some of the problems and discuss while it is fresh in their mind.
Quizzes we often grade together—again, as soon as they are complete when time allows, or else the following day before their lesson. I will tell them the answers to each quiz question as they grade it with a red colored pencil or pen, and then we go over any questions they have at the end.
Once you have children in older grades and they enter into book reports and essays, it is important to set aside more time to grade these effectively. I typically read them over 2-3 times to do a thorough job, marking as I go. These always seem daunting before I start, but to be honest, I love getting to see into child’s creativity and truly enjoy reading their view on different topics.
With daily work, I typically grade 1-2 worksheets a week to write in the grade book and then check and go over any wrong answers with the child on the other days. With workbooks, each child has a place to put their completed and ungraded pages. Once they complete a worksheet I try to check them at the end of each school day. It can get very overwhelming if they are left for more than a few days and also makes it impossible to know in which areas your child/ren might need some extra focus before they move on to the next topics.
If I do ever get behind, I will have my husband or mom help me get caught back up to do our work effectively and continue our lessons knowing where each student is.
It might take a little trial and error, but once you find a good grading plan that works for your family, what once seemed overwhelming becomes a natural part of your school days!