Mommy Grades

“Mommy grades” is a negative term typically used to describe grades given by a homeschooling parent.  As a homeschooling parent I am embarking on giving grades for the first time this school year.  “Mommy grades” are often derided as being unreliable because all parents want their children to get straight A’s.  While, I suppose, that may be true with some families the vast majority give accurate representations of their child’s abilities.  My eight year old son has asked to start receiving grades.  So I am about to begin the grading journey with him.  While many subjects do come easily to him, I don’t plan for A’s to be easy to obtain.  Many years ago when I taught a college class it wasn’t difficult to receive an A if you came to class and turned in your assignments.  I don’t plan to offer easy A’s this time.   I have decided to make half of my son’s grade based on effort and attitude.  I want him to understand the value of working hard and having a good attitude.  To me those are more important than learning the material thoroughly.  As a homeschooling parent who does not have to turn in grades to anyone I have the freedom to do that.

So, here are our mommy grades:

Each subject’s work is based on his current ability level and not his grade level.  I’ve separated the letter grade levels by the standard percentages.  I plan on averaging every assignment, project, and test to come up with the total grade.  Each assignment, project, or test will be given equal value.

A:  90-100 %
B:  80-89 %
C:  70-79%
D:  60-69%
F:  59% or lower

As far as effort and attitude goes I have made up a little scale that I will refer to in order to determine a daily grade that will be averaged for the final grade.

90-100%:  Attending to the lesson, assignment, project, activity
Working without complaining or whining
Asking for help when stuck
Asking questions
Completing work in appropriate time frame 
Completing work neatly
Participating in group activities
Checking work for mistakes before turning in
80-89%: 1 or 2 small infractions of items on the A list
70-79%:  3 or 4 small infractions of items on the A list
60-69%:  1 big infraction or 5+ small infractions
59% or lower:  Melt down, refusing to complete assignment, giving up
That is the long and short of it anyway.  We’ll give it a go and see how it works for us.   I suspect grades will be highly motivating for my third grader.  Whether or not they are called “mommy grades” they are just another tool on the learning journey that I can use to help my child see the importance of trying his best.  


  1. A big thanks from me, too. I’ve been pondering this very issue myself and like your approach (as usual, I might add!). I’ll be interested to hear a follow-up on how this goes for you.

  2. Thanks for this…. I’m finding a need for more accountability and motivation, and perhaps a report card would do the trick. I’m going to bookmark your post to use for ideas!

  3. Thanks for the ideas Amy! I am reposting again. As middle schools looms its something I need to start thinking about as well.

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