Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Fair Grade

Part of homeschooling is grading your child. Whether your state requires actual letter or percent grades will vary. In Florida, we only have to show progress throughout the year. We can decide to hold back or move forward as we see fit and the state need never know. Problem is, as a parent, I don't want to fail my kid.

A good thing about homeschooling is that you have a first row seat to the intent of the child. Seeing my kid try and still not quite make it perfect does sway my grading. Will I give an "A" when every problem is wrong? Not likely. But I would give a second chance to correct it before marking it in the grade book. I might go on and take a week or a month to repeat the lessons, this time more indepth, until we retake the failed work and permanently add it to the average.

Doing school at the Zoo.

Then there are the times when my kid does not try. When he puts things off, procrastinates, rushes and distracts himself. I see him doing it. I try and get him back on track. He'd rather play. He'd rather melt his brain with crappy TV shows and idiotic games on the internet  do a lot of other things than the small amount of work I ask of him each day. If we sat down and did school for a set amount of time, it'd probably take us two to three hours out of the day. For a kid that's awake for twelve, that's not asking a whole lot. When schooltime is on, I expect him to work and get it done. If he could get a grade in Lazy he would probably moan and complain about that too.

I don't get it, really. He's super smart. He can read something and retain it like a little sponge. He rarely needs direction on his work that's two grade levels ahead of where he is supposed to be. I try and make school fun, fairly easy and interesting. But even then I find myself with the threatening words "Do you want to go to public school?" teetering on the tip of my tongue.

There are good things about public school. I don't knock it all. In school he'd have competition. He'd have a larger field of recognition. He'd have much, much fewer distractions (like 4 little kids running around that have little to no school work to do). But for us the negative outweight the positive. Other than becoming a dictator, weilding a ruler to thwack nuckles and converting a room in our house to a sound proof cave, distractions will happen. He's got to learn how to deal with it.

But while he's learning that on top of school work, dishing out a fair grade continues to be a challenge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was homeschooled as a kid and my mom ran an in-home daycare at the same time. Talk about distractions! I learned to be very good at tuning out distractions...which now that I'm a mom is sometimes a bit dangerous, or could be. I have to remind myself to pay attention in case my kids need me!

We received our pre-K curriculum in the mail today, so I'm about to embark on the homeschooling road myself. Thankfully, in the state of MO, I don't have to show any sort of grades, progress, anything to the state. I just have to keep a lesson log and have samples of schoolwork on hand (but not till she's 7 anyway).