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Grading papers. It’s honestly my LEAST favorite part of homeschooling. Years ago my husband and I used to settle down at night to a good show on Netflix and ice cream. Fast forward a few years and instead, we settled down to a stack full of papers.
But, not anymore. I have decided I’m no longer grading papers. Yep, that’s right. Grading is DONE at least in most subjects.
Grading is not a TRUE measure of understanding
I remember years ago when I was in school studying just enough to pass a test. Do I remember any of that information now? No. Not really. You see studying something to pass a test isn’t a true measure of understanding. Reading a section in a History book and jotting down a few answers doesn’t tell me whether or not the child truly understood the material. All it tells me is that they can read through the text and answer questions.
I know my kids
My kids work independently in a lot of subjects. But, I still KNOW my kids. I know whether or not they are doing their work. I can tell by glancing at their grammar books whether or not they fully understood a lesson. When I ask my kids about what they read in History I can get a general understanding of how much information they retained by their answers.
I don’t need to grade papers to know my kids.
What does grading accomplish?
When I look at work each night and mark answers wrong or right, what am I accomplishing? Nothing. All I am doing is letting my kids see big red ink marks on their paper (if it’s wrong) or a page that looks EXACTLY like it did the day before if all of the answers were right. So, what did that time spent grading actually accomplish?
Who has time for that?
Guys seriously, who has time to grade a stack of papers each night? Not me. Not you. I vote for ditching the grading and instead going back to ice cream and Netflix. Who’s with me?
Do you grade papers?
And because I know people are going to ask… What do I do instead?
So, if I’m not grading papers how do I know my kids are learning the material?
- I talk to them. We discuss science at the dinner table, they narrate History to me. I look over their work AS they are doing it. I am involved in their day to day education.
- We test. Yea, yea, I know how does testing differ from grading papers? To me it does. We complete a standardized test at the end of each school year. I also give each child tests randomly throughout the school year from their textbooks. And yes, I DO still have to grade them… (except MATH!) but it’s not every night!
- I have them do written narrations. If I am busy with their brother, or not available I have the kids read and write out what they learned. This cements the facts they read in their head and lets me know they did complete the lesson for the day ( I do not grade these, just read over them and discuss if needed.)