Should You Give Your Homeschool Children Grades?

By Melissa Batai

As a homeschooling parent, you may not feel the need to give your children grades. After all, you’re their teacher, and you know what subjects they are mastering and what subjects they struggle with. In addition, assigning grades may dampen your child’s love of learning. While these are valid points, there are some times when you’ll want to give your homeschool children grades.

Your Child Wants Them

Some children are motivated by grades. If your children are like this, giving grades may help them feel validated in their work and strive to keep up the good grades or work harder to get better grades.

I’ve homeschooled three of my kids. My oldest was very motivated by grades, so we used them the entire time he homeschooled. My younger two didn’t care about grades until they reached middle school, so I didn’t start giving them grades and report cards until then.

You’re the parent, and you can choose what works best for your family based on input from your children.

You’re Required to Keep Grades for the State

Having said that, there are some states that require homeschooling parents to keep grades. If that is the requirement for your state, you will need to keep grades to follow your homeschool laws. You may need to submit these to the state every year or keep them in case the state asks for them. (If you’re not sure of the homeschool rules in your state, you can verify here what your state requires .)

You May Send Your Child to Public School

No one knows what the future holds. You may be firm in your decision to homeschool until a parent gets critically ill and is no longer able to do so. Or, both parents may need to begin working. There could be a variety of reasons you eventually feel it’s best to send the kids to school. Keeping a record of the courses you teach your child as well as a general idea of the grades they received will make it easy to create a transcript should you need to send your child to school.

Your Child is in High School

If your child is even remotely considering attending college, you’ll want to begin keeping grades when she is in high school. You’ll also want to learn how to keep a transcript. There is nothing worse than trying to put together a transcript in your child’s senior year. I promise, you’ll have a hard time remembering what classes you taught your child three years ago let alone how she did in those classes.

Keep records every semester of high school. If your child decides to go to college or needs a transcript for another reason, you can easily pull your records together to create one.

You Want to Get Good Grade Discounts

There are many programs that offer students freebies or discounts if they have good grades. When your children are younger, they can get free food and treats at restaurants like Applebee’s, Krispy Kreme, and Baskin Robbins.

When they’re older, you can reap even more rewards for good grades. While they can still enjoy the freebies younger kids get at restaurants, they can also save money on car insurance. For instance, some insurance companies will offer high school and college drivers a 15% to 25% premium discount if they maintain a B average or better.

Final Thoughts

Deciding to assign your children letter grades or not is a personal decision between you and your children. However, after elementary school, there are many reasons why you may want to start giving letter grades and keeping records of the courses you taught and the books you used.