This post is part of a series titled, “Homeschool Q&A.” The series features questions we’ve received from parents on a variety of topics–and the answers! This question, originally answered in 2010, is still accurate in 2012.
Q. I just started homeschooling my kindergartner. How much grading/grade-keeping I am required to do?
A. The Virginia homeschool law does not require you to maintain grades for your child. Neither are you required to report grades to the state for any homeschooled child at any grade level. Instead, by August 1 each year, you must submit to your division superintendent the results of a standardized achievement test or independent evaluation (provided you are homeschooling under the homeschool statute). There is an exception to this accountability requirement: If your child was not six on September 30 of this school year, testing will not be required.
So while the law does not require you to maintain grades, you may assign grades in a manner that is suitable to you for work completed. For young children, a teacher plan book works easily for grades as well as comments. Because you’re working one-on-one with a kindergarten child, it is sometimes not necessary to assign grades because you know exactly how your child is progressing.
For a young child, you want to stress mastery of basic skills and make learning enjoyable. As a student matures, you can increase your use of grades, especially for spelling, math, and language arts. By the time your child is in ninth grade, you should keep careful records and begin preparing a high school transcript.