Wednesday, March 18, 2009

High School Again...Contract For Grade

More high school help because I have had more than a few inquiries about this lately.

"How do I give a grade for a class that doesn't have tests?"

This could be because of many reasons. It could be a class like Co-op, or personal finance or if your student is doing literature based history, such as Sonlight. In any of these cases, your student might not have tests or daily graded work such as you would in a math or science class. How then can you give your student an objective grade?

Well, my solution is called "Contract for Grade." When my husband was in seminary he had some classes that were graded this way and I thought it was an excellent idea to use in our homeschool.

You and your spouse or you and your student sit down and hammer out a contract for each class.
It works something like this:

Personal Finance Class-1/2 credit:
In order to get an A in this class:

  • Open a checking account and balance it every month. This will entail getting an official state ID card as well, so you you can use a check at local stores.
  • Set up a spreadsheet itemizing all your monthly expenses, including a budget for things you may only need once or twice a year, such as shoes or money for Christmas gifts.
  • Help mom[or dad] pay the household bills for 3 months.
  • Pretend you are going to rent an apartment, buy a car, pay for insurance and so forth. Figure how much it will cost you to live and how much you have to make to support yourself.
  • Read Money, Possessions and Eternity and one book of your choice about personal finance [or another book you might want to specify] and outline each chapter. Discuss each chapter with a parent after you read it.
  • Do a 7-10 page research paper having to do with personal finance issues: topic to be approved by parents
In order to get a B in this class:
  • Open a checking account and balance it every month. This will entail getting an official state ID card as well, so you you can use a check at local stores.
  • Set up a spreadsheet itemizing all your monthly expenses, including a budget for things you may only need once or twice a year, such as shoes or money for Christmas gifts.
  • Help mom[or dad] pay the household bills for 3 months.
  • Pretend you are going to rent an apartment, buy a car, pay for insurance and so forth. Figure how much it will cost you to live and how much you have to make to support yourself.
  • Read Money, Possessions and Eternity [or another book you might want to specify] and outline each chapter. Discuss each chapter with a parent after you read it.
  • Do a 2-3 page min-research paper having to do with personal finance issues: topic to be approved by parents
Then you and your teen sign it. This is a contract. They know what is expected, and you know it too. You might put a completion date on it, and you might talk about penalties if it is not done on time, etc. Their written work is a paper trail and the contract is your "proof" of how you graded, in case anyone asks. You can be as general or as specific as you want to be.

I hope this gives you some idea of how you can give fair grades in non-traditional classes. This is a legitimate way to give grades, as evidenced by the fact that Bob earned some grades this way in graduate school.

Let me know if you have questions I can help you with.

Take care,
Jill

For ideas on how to give high school credits for Sonlight Cores, go here.
For ideas on how to make high school transcripts, go here.

For More High School Helps

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