Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our Homeschool: Grading papers

I spent most of yesterday grading papers.
Essays, worldview studies - years 1 and 3, short stories, creative writing, the beginnings of a novel...all single tests,
grammar worksheets, scripture handwriting, art journals, algebra...
oh, my.

This does not include the daily papers
and journals and art projects 
from my youngest four children.
It does not include all of the private interests...
guitar, piano, computer science, typing,
photography, design, foreign languages... 

My "old" children (ages 17, 15, 14 and 11) are at
the stage where grading involves a lot of
reading, writing, and interacting - for me.
It is interesting, as the conversations have
been taken to a whole new level.  It's not enough
for the most part to check off boxes (has it ever been?)
The big kids need analysis, feedback, suggestions,
encouragement, and constructive direction.

Some days, I wonder whose idea it was
to have three teenagers right in a row, and then
I remember that the first two were "our" idea...
and the third one was a "surprise" to us...
(but not to God.)  :)

It is a very challenging task, but a good one, 
a very rewarding one.
Some weeks, I groan when I feel the 
weight of the stack of papers - but as
I dive in and see how they are 
learning and growing and developing...
well, honestly, it is sometimes 
overwhelming to think that I am in charge
of this huge task.  I'm in charge of supplying
and talking and grading and holding to accounting...
and when I can't teach something I'm in
charge of connecting them to someone who can.
But what a privilege - to share so deeply 
as young people begin to formulate and articulate the
ideas that will frame their thought processes.
I want to equip, to ignite, to foster.  I want to challenge
them to surpass me and their Dad, 
to go beyond what they can learn from me.

So often, that begins with a small comment beside a 
written paragraph, a "what if," or a "have you
thought of this angle of things?"  It begins with a huge
stack of papers and books, a pencil, and a 
few refills of the afternoon coffee.

Thanks, kids.  It's a joy to journey with you.
Looking forward to next week's stack ~


  1. Wow! I think I'm glad to just be enjoying teaching how to do a book report right now. lol. And we are learning how to do a "sandwich book report"....which my children think is so neat. :)

  2. Holly, think of me, and English teacher, marking about 100 essays a week!! I don't miss it....


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  4. I have it easy for grading. Mine are in 4th, 1st, and a 4 year old. I am able to do the little bit of grading that I have as we go along. I know that it will be a little more each year, though.

  5. so just what is a sandwich book report?

  6. Yes, Tracy, what is a sandwich report? Fill us in! :)

    Anna - I didn't grade much at one point, either...or, if I did, it was mostly a "look at the page as soon as they were done and okay it, or help them where they needed help."

    Then...high school hit. Oy.

    Val, I can't imagine grading 100 essays a week. That would be laborious. I think what I find challenging is setting aside the time for such heavy grading in the midst of potty training and teaching little ones to read, etc. It's good, though, it makes me think and respond and give back...these are just crazy years. It would be surprising, I think, if they were anything BUT crazy!


    There is the link to the sandwich book report directions and template!! It is fun for younger ones and gives them a good intro. to book reports. IMHO.