Making the grade


I don't give out grades in our homeschool. Not in the traditional sense. I don't have a classroom full of kids to "grade" and compare, so we can spend time mastering skills. So technically, Jonathan is a straight A student because we don't have to move on if there's stuff he doesn't understand, umm. . . at least until he understands it - then we move on. It's logical. (duh!)

NOTE: For the record, Lucy's classes are all online and she has "real" teachers that she has to impress and she's also a straight A student, but that's not important right now.

Every month I do have to turn in a sample of all the work we've been doing the previous month for school. It lets my Master Teacher (yes, I answer to a higher credentialed authority) know what we've been doing and it helps me to see exactly where we are and what things we need to work on.

But grades are so arbitrary and the work we turn in doesn't even begin to tell the whole story.  Here's what I know about Jonathan (my 6th grader) that a report card won't necessarily tell:

  • Algebra and Geometry both come easily to him. (That right there proves the existence of a merciful God as far as I'm concerned, but that's not important right now. =D)
  • He's got beautiful penmanship (a pet peeve of mine).
  • He's got a VIVID imagination.
  • He's a voracious reader.
  • He has a big heart.
  • Albert Einstein and Leonardo DaVinci are his heroes.
  • He wants to be a Scientist, a Film Director, or an Imagineer when he grows up.
  • He's a good friend.
  • He's a natural leader.
  • He is a thinker of deep thoughts.
  • He's clever and funny and smart.
  • He cares deeply about a great many things.
  • He writes fabulous stories and makes delightful short films.
  • He's growing up to be a decent human being.
  • He's popular with his peers.

Am I surprised? Not entirely.
Am I bragging? Maybe a little.
Am I relieved. You betcha!
Am I confused? Absolutely.

How would I even go about handing out grades like A, B or C to describe this kid's abilities and talents??
Please. I'm a storyteller.  And I'm his teacher.  And I also happen to be his mother.
How do I go about giving him grades for these "subjects?"

Nope. Can't do it. But I will say this:
I'm so grateful that I've got a ringside seat for The Jonathan Show.

(Hey! There's an idea - Instead of grades, I'll just sell tickets! =D)