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15 March 2017


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Amy Fisher

Very interesting. Details are certainly easier than summing up in this sort of situation.

What school is it for?


Amy: The very large, local one

Melanie B

" I feel I want to run after the transcript with a corner of my skirt and dab it off, except that to do so would give away the truth."

I love that image so much.


Homeschool grading is something I think about a lot. Right now, I have the option of recording grades as 'S' for Satisfactory and that's what I use all the way down the page. I don't think I am objective enough to judge beyond that and do not want to take the time to set up objective grading schemes, i.e. recording the daily math grade. FTR, I think I am likely to be too harsh in grading rather than the opposite.

I hear other parents claim straight A's for their children because "we teach to mastery" and I am dubious at best.

One thing that did catch my attention is you said you rarely give A's. My immediate thought was the inevitable competition with inflated GPAs. If the colleges want homeschool grades, do you worry they might look especially askance at a more rigourous grading scheme in light of the Wobegone transcripts they see from both parents and institutions?

Baby books: My oldest has one and it is about a quarter finished. I bought one for my second. And that's about it. The others only have my love and devotion.


On submitting grade point averages because universities will require them, and how on earth will we submit grades that compare with institutional schools: I am not even going to worry about it until and unless one of my offspring actually wants to apply to a school that demands them.

But my husband has suggested a plan which seems reasonable to me, since a large university in a neighboring state to mine is one of those that currently requires grades (and an explanation of how you calculated them).

It turns out that ACT and SAT scores can be reasonably well correlated to high school overall GPA. So Mark suggested that we (transparently, with documentation attached) take each student's original set of grades and re-weight them -- I will let Mark work out the details, he is the statistician in this marriage -- so that the average GPA comes out to match the one that would be predicted from whatever that student's ACT/SAT scores are.


(Teaching to mastery is an okay method for deciding when to move on to the next level, but in my opinion mere "mastery" shouldn't earn you an A. A is "excellent," remember, and C is average. In a large classroom I would hope that the great majority of the students -- more than half -- are doing well enough that they are capable of moving on to the next level before the class moves on. Teaching to mastery means you got "at least a C," not "definitely an A." It is appropriate for a "satisfactory" or a "pass" in a pass-fail course. If you give your students an A every time then you are holding them back until they can demonstrate excellency, not mastery, which is perhaps the right goal for some kids, but probably not others, and makes me wonder if you shouldn't be going faster.)

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