A little while ago I handed my son his first quarter grades. It is the first year I am attempting homeschooling grades and I have learned a couple of things this quarter. For a full description on how I figure grades you can read this post.
I learned that grades are pretty meaningless when you give your child work at the right level. The subjects where I challenged my son more showed slightly lower grades than other subjects right at his level. Since the work is at his level he was pretty much performing well in all his subjects. I also learned that attitude and grades seem to go hand in hand. I count attitude and effort as half of my son’s grade and then I averaged the actual work with the attitude/effort grade to come up with a final grade. In so doing I was able to compare attitude/effort with the actual work and they were quite comparable. Subjects with lower scores for attitude and effort tended to have lower scores for the actual work.
With all that said, my son loved getting grades. It gave him concrete feedback on how he was doing in each subject area. It also motivates him to have a better attitude and put more effort into his work. So I will continue with the grading process. If nothing else it gives me an opportunity to emphasize the importance of putting his best effort into his work.