Toa of Boy wants grades. He wants the chance to be able to earn some A's on his schoolwork.
I'm not a grading kind of homeschooling mom. Most of the stuff we do isn't easily quantifiable for a score. I like it that way.
But Toa of Boy wants grades. And a report card. These things are important to him.
The Jedi has wisely stated that if they are that important, I should try to incorporate a system of grades into our schooling.
Math has unit reviews that I can use as tests. But, I don't want his grades to just be based on a handful of test scores. Yet, I also don't feel that he should be marked down for making mistakes on his daily work. If he can do his daily work perfectly on the first try, its obviously too easy for him, and I should be giving him something more challenging.
I'm in a similar boat for spelling, only worse. His spelling program includes a review test for every 40 lessons. For us, that's one test in 10 weeks. That one grade can't possibly reflect 10 weeks worth of work.
I have no idea how to "grade" him on reading. Or language arts. Or our cool history projects.
And, for the record, he wants an A, B, C, D, F letter system grade, complete with pluses and minuses. None of this "Outstanding, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement" type of system.
But, I can also see how Toa of Boy, who loves to earn Awana jewels, would love to earn good grades with his school work.
And, since this is so important to him, I want the grade book to be somewhere accessible to him, and I want the system to be one he can understand. So that, whenever he wants to, he can sit down and look at his grades and know where he stands.
Lastly, I want his attitude to be reflected in these grades somewhere. I want questions of, "Do I have to?" and "Awwwww, man!" and general whining and griping to count against him. Ok, spelling might not be his favorite subject, and I don't expect him to be happy about it, but I want to get through a lesson without the bellyaching. And without having to threaten to tell his father about it if he doesn't straighten up.
So, that's where I stand. I looked around for some free downloadable grade book, but I didn't see anything that immediately struck my fancy. Plus, I really need to resolve what exactly I'm going to be basing these grades on first.
Since I was ruminating on these topic all through the day, I asked Sweetling if she would be interested in grades.
She gave me a blank Sweetling stare and said, "I don't see how that could possibly work with the sort of schooling we do."
"Neither do I," I concurred, "but Toa wants some, so I'm trying to work a system out. I just want to know if that would be something that would be important to you, and if you would like to have a grading system for your schoolwork as well."
After a moment of reflection, Sweetling replied, "While it is nice to have some feedback and to know how I'm doing with my schoolwork, I just don't think it's practical, especially for your teaching style. I think I will opt out for this year at least." (Which I think means she's going to wait and see if this notion flops or flies this year.)
Wise, wise Sweetling.