The temptation is real for homeschool families to simply recreate school at home. Sitting at desks, doing worksheets, and getting grades are what people who were schooled traditionally are familiar with. It’s probably what YOU are familiar with. But you chose to homeschool. You aren’t someone who just does what society expects of them. So WHY are you still grading your kid’s work??? Let’s explore a few reasons why you shouldn’t assign grades in your homeschool.
1. Grades Do Not Reflect Learning
The only thing that grades tell you is if a student can memorize and regurgitate the information the way you want them to. Worksheets, tests, and grades are some of the worst things about traditional school. At best grades are a subjective evaluation and do not reflect actual understanding of a topic or subject.
2. Grades Become the End Goal
When we focus on assigning and expecting a certain grade from our kids, the focus shifts from learning to making a good grade. Kids start learning things just to pass the test. Or they assume they are done learning something just because they made a 100.
You shouldn’t assign grades because it will squash your kids natural love of learning by making the grade the end goal of education.
When making good grades is the end goal, it is often used as a motivation tool. Parents and teachers coerce their kids to do their assignments and tests so they can earn the good grade.
What if your child isn’t motivated by a points based system? Then they won’t care & will forgo the educational activities you plan on grading.
Free all these kids from the drudgery of grades so that they can enjoy learning.
3. Grades Can Be Detrimental to Self-Esteem
Some people are not good test takers. Other people hate doing worksheets. Some people are perfectionists. All of these people are hurt by having their work graded.
Instead of celebrating everything a student does really well, grading focusses on everything they did wrong.
Receiving a “bad” grade is often also a moral judgement and is very hurtful. It causes kids to think they are stupid or incapable of learning.
After kids get “bad” grades over and over, they often give up. They stop trying to learn. They rebel against the system.
You shouldn’t assign grades in your homeschool because it will hurt your kid’s self-esteem.
What To Do Instead of Assigning Grades
Now that you know just how bad it is to grade your kids’ work, you need to know what to do instead.
1. Evaluate Your Goals
What are your goals with homeschooling your kids? You want them to get a good education. You want to make sure they learn everything they need to in the best way possible. Be different & better than traditional education. What are your reasons?
How do grades help you accomplish those goals? They don’t!
What are your kids goals? How can you help them achieve those goals?
2. Evaluate Their Learning
Did you know that you can evaluate your kids learning without telling them? It’s easy – be their learning parter and talk to them. Stay connected with them through their learning journey. You’ll know if they don’t quite have a full grasp of something. And in that case, you can keep teaching it or come at it from a different angle to help them.
Without the pressure of grading, they are far more likely to pursue deep discussions with you and actually learn instead of temporarily memorizing facts.
3. Delight in the pursuit of education and your kids will too!
We all want our kids to love learning. The only way that they will truly love it, is without the pressure and distraction of grades.
Think about this: history is often seen as a boring subject in schools. Why? Because you have to memorize dates, names, and events for tests. When you teach history in your homeschool, you can present it in a different way. Explore the facts, read historical fiction, read multiple first hand accounts, include minority perspectives, and show how those events effect people today. Doesn’t that sound FAR more interesting than memorizing the month, day and year something happened?
Give your kids the freedom to learn deeply. They will find the things they are passionate about and dive even deeper with those.
Why You Shouldn’t Assign Grades in Your Homeschool
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Assign Grades:
- Grades Do Not Reflect Learning
- Grades Become the End Goal
- Grading Can Be Detrimental to Self-Esteem
3 Things To Do Instead of Grading:
- Evaluate Your Goals
- Evaluate Their Learning
- Delight in the Pursuit of Education
Ditch the traditional grading system & enjoy learning with your kids.
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