Love Learning Without Grades

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A couple weeks ago Autoblot™ blogged about Motivating Learning. He discussed taking grades "off the table" and focusing instead on the joy of learning.

In the comments that followed, someone asked for a few practical ideas/tips for making a "gradeless" educational environment a reality in your homeschool. What a great idea! So, I'm going to try to do that now...

I grew up in a world without grades.

I attended a private school in Kindergarten, and I don't remember if they graded me on anything. I know they had a chart that said things like:

  • Luke excels at being polite.
  • Luke has growth opportunities in his balance.

But grades? I don't remember them.

And then I was homeschooled. I did my work until I got it right. The idea that you could be done with something that wasn't up to snuff was completely foreign to me. I did my math until it was clear I understood the concept. I kept doing the spelling words until I had them down.

For things like creative writing, my parents didn't focus on the spelling and grammar. That wasn't the point of those exercises. The goal was to encourage me to think creatively and express it. The spelling and such would come with time and practice.

In other words: What function could grades play in such a world? They didn't belong.

What about transcripts for high schoolers?

That's a question best handled by those who have graduated high schoolers and been through the college admission process. That's why I highly recommend Sonlight's College and Career Planning Kit. This is a great tool if you're thinking about starting homeschooling high school. It covers things like transcripts and such. ...very good stuff.

In the end, you know what your student knows and what they have done. You are capable of converting that into a grade designation of your choice--especially if you've kept records.

I am a huge fan of learning environments where grades clearly don't belong. Prior to high school, this is easy. And if you're concerned about what you should do for homeschool high school transcripts... Sonlight's College and Career Planning Kit has you covered.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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