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athena1277

How do you determine grades???

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Dd finished 10th grade last week. 1 or 2 subjects have less than a A average if I only average the tests.  I intend to add in daily work to the average, but depending on how much it counts for, I can make her grade whatever I want.  I know I need to be honest about the level of work she did.  Then I think about how less rigorous the class might be if she was in ps.  She has worked hard, but I don’t feel right calling it honors to give the course more weight.  I am only doing that for one class online that is considered an honors class with that school.

We are seriously struggling to figure out college costs and I know many schools and scholarships look at GPA.  I want her to have a 4.0 not a 3.5 or whatever it comes to.  

Im having a serious internal struggle.  What have you done and why?

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I stuck with test grades in courses where I gave tests. In English and some other classes that were based more on writing, my kids revised work that was below A level until they had an A. My advise is be honest. I think colleges have respect for homeschoolers that don't have a 4.0 - too many do. Grade inflation is at least as rampant in the homeschooling community as it is anywhere else. 

No matter how many people answer this question and how different the answers are, it is still your decision. You can give the grade that you believe reflects your students mastery of the subject based on whatever criteria you choose.

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In courses that have tests, I have always given a grade based 50% on tests and 50% on daily work, because that seems to be what the schools around here do.

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In classes where I gave tests (math mostly), 25-30% of the grade was for daily work (graded on completion--with all problems corrected).  I came up with 30% by looking at how the local schools weighed things, and found that when I added up everything that would automatically be given 100% if the kid just tried (so homework that was graded on completion, participation, attendance, etc), most of the time it came to 25-30%.

That said, the most important thing to me has been to make sure that the grade on each test and the grade in the class truly reflects my students' performance.  So it was never the case that the daily work grade boosted the grade in the class to a level that was not aligned with how they did on tests and other graded work.  At most, it changed the grade from an A- to an A.  

If you're feeling weird about boosting your student's grade with daily work, you could give a few extra assignments that are worked to mastery (100%) and given the same weight as tests.

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For classes at home, I don’t give tests or grades on individual assignments. He works to mastery and I give him an A. I will say this kid is a hard worker and deserves an A, so I don’t really feel like it’s grade padding. My son has taken a handful of outside classes each year (so far 3 out of 6 credits a year) and those grades have also been A’s and are more traditionally graded.  This year he took one class  through the public school system and it was shocking to me how lenient it was graded (and it was an AP class). He missed one exam by his own fault (we both read the deadline incorrectly). He sent the professor an apology and asked for an opportunity to re-take it but also said he understood if that wouldn’t be allowed. The teacher emailed back a very stern letter about how he could still take it but with a penalty. He took it and the penalty was 4 points off...which meant he still got an A on it. That made me feel even less worried about giving him A’s in the classes at home.

I plan on saying something in our homeschool description on applications about how our philosophy includes working to mastery. I also think (hope) that since he has outside classes that are similar grades to mine and he has good test scores overall that my grades will seem valid. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

I average her daily work, quiz grades, test grades together.   In the classes with no quiz grades then it is just daily work and test grades. 

This is what I do too. Sometimes that average comes down when I add in daily work and sometimes it goes up, so I understand the OP's struggle. But that is the policy I decided on when we started so I want to be consistent.

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In future, I would have the grade breakdown done before hand.  For 11th grade she should really have a syllabus and know exactly how to earn her grades or not.  It help with accountability, perseverance, and it's also more realistic and will help her prepare better.  What I usually do is google high school syllabus history, and then click on four or five or six random high school syllabus (including some Catholic Schools) and I also have one Catholic school I bookmarked because I found them so thorough. That gives me some ideas to start with.  For example math seems to have a very high percentage of teachers that give a percentage for homework being done (to the obvious best of the students' ability) whether it is correct or not.  something like 25% ...then there are tests and quizzes and sometimes attendance.  Of course with an English Writing class it would mostly be based on essays but what about that research report that the student is supposed to be planning for months?  That should have a high percentage point just for hte one report...looking at multiple well written syllabi gives me a great idea how to break down the grades.

Even with some of our teacher led and graded co-op classes, the teachers don't assign the actual grade (actually the majority of them do not....they report her grades on every individual assignment and then its up to me to assign the final letter grade.  I like to do that ahead of time so my daughter knows what is expected of her.)

Anyway for now you can just work backwards - look at some syllabuses online and work out a percentage that way 🙂

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On 7/8/2019 at 2:59 PM, athena1277 said:

Dd finished 10th grade last week. 1 or 2 subjects have less than a A average if I only average the tests.  I intend to add in daily work to the average, but depending on how much it counts for, I can make her grade whatever I want.  I know I need to be honest about the level of work she did.  Then I think about how less rigorous the class might be if she was in ps.  She has worked hard, but I don’t feel right calling it honors to give the course more weight.  I am only doing that for one class online that is considered an honors class with that school.

Can you clarify why you would not feel right about giving a course honors weight? If it would be an honors level course in your local school district, I don't see why you wouldn't be okay with calling it honors at home. Or are you just guessing that it might be less rigorous at the public school? 

A little research will help you decide if a course is honors level or not. Certain texts are often used in honors/advanced classes, other texts have different schedules and assignments in the teacher's guide for using the book in a basic, average, or advanced class. You can also search for class descriptions, syllabi, and assignments. For example, search "honors chemistry syllabus," "honors English tenth grade schedule," and variations thereof. 

You absolutely want to be honest, but there is also no reason to be harder on your student than necessary. If they are doing the work, give them the grade and give them the honors designation.  

Mom22Ns brought up grade inflation, and I agree that it's just as rampant in homeschools as it is in other schools. However, other people being too lenient with grades is not a reason for you to be too hard with grades. You are only responsible for your student. The number of high schools that do not factor in any daily work is vanishingly small, colleges do not expect that tests and only tests be used for high school grades. I do think it's great to have some outside validation as well - your dd has the one outside class now, and I'd probably try for at least one per year if possible. ACT/SAT scores are another source of validation (so very poor test takers may want more outside classes to offset that). 

 

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