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I’m planning out how I will do grades in high school. I realize there are several ways I can do grades, but I’m not sure if one way is any better or preferred more on a transcript. Should I give a grade per subject twice a year (two semester grades), or just one final grade at the end of the year for each subject?

Also, should I grade tests and quizzes only, or add in daily assignments to the grade as well?

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Unless your state has rules about these things, you can choose.  There are people here who have followed each of the options you've listed, with dc admitted into good colleges. FWIW, I prefer only end of course grades on the transcript. 

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My state does not have any requirements. I looked at the local high school website. It gives a list of minimum requirements for admissions into state colleges and universities. For English, there is a requirement of 8 credits. I’m assuming they are using two semester credits per year?I’ve never heard of this before. I assumed 1 credit per year. I know it is my decision in the end, but I was curious if others would do the traditional 1 credit per year, or two semester credits like the public schools? 

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This isn't even necessarily a decision you need to make now.  I was still deciding within months of preparing my transcript for college applications.  My problem was that mostly I had only end of year grades, without semester 1 grades.  But then she took an online class which awarded a semester grade.  It was higher than her end of year grade, so I was keen to include it on her main transcript, but that would mean either adding semester grades for all her classes which looked cluttered or just for that one class, which looked weird.  Ultimately I stuck to end of year grades only because that nice semester grade would appear in her unofficial transcript from that vendor.  For now keep track of everything, do what makes sense, and then you can make a final decision later.  

 

I agree it's 1 unit per year (or a fraction of that), except in California it's 10 units for some reason.   

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3 hours ago, momandsam said:

My state does not have any requirements. I looked at the local high school website. It gives a list of minimum requirements for admissions into state colleges and universities. For English, there is a requirement of 8 credits. I’m assuming they are using two semester credits per year?I’ve never heard of this before. I assumed 1 credit per year. I know it is my decision in the end, but I was curious if others would do the traditional 1 credit per year, or two semester credits like the public schools? 

Perhaps they do count a credit per semester.  Do the requirements for math and other courses seem to correspond?  (6 or 8 credits of math, 4 or 6 credits of science, etc.)  

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I don't think my grading system applies to your situation in a direct way, but I wanted you to think a bit out-of-the-box by looking at what I had to do. Homeschools are not schools, and we don't have to collect grades like they do.  Here is an x-post I wrote last month about our grading system. My son was admitted to MIT and won the top merit scholarship to CMU with this grading system:

I'm feeling like the only unschooler among everyone here.  🙂  I never gave grades and never considered grading anything, ever. There were three reasons for this. 1) I just wanted to teach the love of learning and was very unstructured in my approach to the point of no clear cut courses even in high school, 2) NZ is an exam based entrance university system, so homeschool courses would NOT count for anything so there was no reason to give grades, and 3) he did not decide to apply to American universities until April of his Junior year.  So as I went into making an American style transcript of our homeschool journey, I had to both create courses from what he read and wrote about, and I had to create grades out of thin air for courses that were years in the past. I will always remember the generosity of some members on this board for taking the time to sort through my often belabored descriptions of what we had studied over the prior 3 years, make sense of it, and recommend how to organize it into courses that admissions folk would understand. 

Basically for grades, I retro-fitted what seemed appropriate given all his standardized testing.

1) Excellences in NZ national math exams, NZ IMO math team for 3 years = all prior math courses earned As

2) Excellences in NZ national writing exams, 780 in SAT verbal, 20 on SAT essay = all prior English and humanities style writing courses earned As

3) Excellences in NZ national physics and chemistry exams = all prior Science courses (including Bio) earned As

4) ABRSM distinctions on music exams - all prior music courses earned As

5) Courses created from his 3000+ hours of reading (Contemporary World Problems, Philosophy, Comparative Government, World History, and Economics) -- All As because he put in way more hours than required for a standard Carnegie credit and read content above high school level (War and Peace, Capital, Godel Esher and Bach, etc).  I made it very clear in my course descriptions that grades were based on readings and discussion. We had no output whatsoever for 2 of them, which I stated clearly on course descriptions. And for the 3 of them that had a small amount of writing, grades were also based off the of the composition exams he took #2 above.

Basically, they required grades, and I had none. I did what I could to make clear the effort put forth and the knowledge and skills learned, and I made this clear in the only way they could understand which was grades. No school questioned the grades I gave. My counselor's letter discussed how these unstructured courses emerged over time through his own interests. 

Hope this helps,

Ruth in NZ

ETA: I included Regentrude's approach of high mastery = A (down to F of unsatisfactory) on the transcript in the grading box. 

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