An Easy A

When it comes to report card time, filling out paperwork is as simple as can be. (Our PSP requires report cards, not the state; just to clarify this point.) In the grades column, I hit the caps lock button and keep my finger on the letter “A”; I run straight down the page and stop when I get to the end.

To some, this might seem ridiculous. All “A’s”; really? But don’t get the wrong idea, my kids never get an easy “A”! It is our method which affords our children the grades they earn.

Easy AAs homeschoolers, there is very little (if any) work my children accomplish that doesn’t meet my eye. We are together almost non-stop; twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. (Frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.)

Because of this, I know exactly how they are progressing and which areas need immediate work. A large part of their success is also due to our mastery method of learning. They earn the “A” because they do not move forward until an “A” can be achieved. Anything less than an “A” would be impossible.

So how do we know when our children have mastered an area of study? Easy; they have mastered an area when they, in turn, can teach it to someone else. The lesson becomes second nature to them and they could work blindfolded, if need be.

Our children’s grades are not calculated based on testing alone. Apart from assigned lessons, they are also expected to meet individual standards of achievement, participation, and show good conduct.

As you can see… there is nothing easy about their “A”!

What’s funny, is that our kids have no idea they are being graded; not really. The only thing they understand is that they should do all their work to the best of their ability and give life their all. That’s it! If I happen to mention, off-hand, what “grade” they earned, it means very little to them. The only thing that concerns them is doing better next time; if it is possible.

Sometimes I wonder what other people might think when they look at our kids’ paperwork. “Sure, Cris, your kids got straight “A’s” all through their schooling. Right!” However, I think “the proof is in the pudding”. The kids’ level of achievement and their attitudes toward learning speak for themselves.

It will be interesting to see how they do when they begin to take college courses come high school. When someone else is grading them and setting the standards, will they be shocked (either way) to find out how they are doing? I would like to think they will rise to the occasion and exceed even their own expectations.

If you file report cards; by what standard do you give an “A”?


8 thoughts on “An Easy A

  1. Makes sense to me! My daughter is only in first grade, but likewise, I don’t really speak of grades – I offer praise and encouragement when she meets or exceeds my expectations, and offer constructive criticism when her work needs improvement. But like you, we don’t really move on until each concept is mastered.


  2. I don’t give grades but it is built into our online learning system and since he went to public school through elementary, he understands what the numbers mean. He is a perfectionist and will accept one missed question on a test,but if more opts a retake (which offers different questions) .


  3. We’re high schoolers, so my kids have to make 90% on tests to get an “A.” But for most written compositions, if I see they’re working to the best of their ability, I give an “A.” But that’s AFTER I’ve made them, revise, re-write, and re-check at least once.


  4. My daughter is home schooling one of her kids for the first time this year during 6th grade. The middle school is undesirable. I will share your blog with her.

    Thanks for stopping in and the ‘Like’ to mine this morning. If you, or your kids, come up with a question on science and want an opinion, don’t hesitate to ask me. I taught 38 yrs in high school physics.

    Have an interesting day. 💡


  5. We have a similar philosophy. Now we see the fruits of it. Several of our co-op’s high school kids are taking classes at the community college. All of them are getting A’s. In all of their classes. I think that learning early to work hard and aim for understanding (vs.regurgitation of facts) has served them well.


  6. We don’t file report cards. In our state, proof of progress is external testing. This year, though, I started recording grades in mental preparation for building a transcript. The only subjects to which I actually assign a letter grade right now (7th grade) are Math, Latin and Science. My grading scale is 93-100 A, 85-93 B, anything else – U for Unmastered. In my thinking having a “B” option provides a little wiggle room for a forgotten name, or mixed up declension, or a math error. Anything else is unacceptable, because clearly, the subject is not mastered. So, we go back, review, and re-test. I suspect the primary reason government/private school children don’t earn all A’s is because they are rushed ahead according to someone’s teaching schedule rather than taking time for mastery. The goal after all as you’ve stated is mastery. We use grades as a tool not a goal.


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