What grade are your kids in? That’s a fairly benign question for most people. However, I know that there is a large population of the homeschool community that doesn’t assign grade levels to their kids. They just kind of go along doing their own thing since they have no intention of sending their kids to school.
Does it really matter? Is it necessary to assign a grade level? I mean other than so they won’t have that deer-in-the-headlights look when someone asks them what grade they’re in?
Are Grade Levels Important in Homeschooling
Honestly, I don’t think grade levels are all that important. However, my kids have always known what grade they were in. Not because I care, but because they do.
My oldest attended public school through 2nd grade. It just made sense to keep counting as we went along. Then, when my middle one started homeschooling with us, he started at the same time the neighborhood boys started kindergarten. Again, we just kept counting. In reality, whether it’s the teacher in me or not, it never occurred to me not to assign a grade level. When Isaac started officially homeschooling at the same time the neighborhood kids started school, we just called it kindergarten and went from there.
As I said, though, I don’t think grade levels are all that important. They may give me a starting point for purchasing curriculum, but I’m free to move ahead or lag behind wherever my kids need it. At one point, my dd was three ‘grades’ ahead in spelling while my son was one ‘grade’ behind. I don’t put much emphasis on grade levels there, and we just work where it best suits each child.
We do still like to celebrate our children’s achievements though. There will definitely be a celebration when Emma ‘graduates’ from what would be eighth grade. Her friends have recommended she start looking at sites like 21 Unique Gift Ideas For 8th-Grade Graduation – GiftUnicorn for gift ideas. Ultimately, rewarding children for their hard work is perhaps even more important in a home schooling environment.
Our homeschool co-op classes are divided into age ranges. So, Emma is taking classes geared either for kids ages 10-12 or 11-13. They aren’t divided by grade. It’s a wonderful opportunity, again, for kids to work at their own pace.
In her old dance studio, Emma’s classes were assigned by grade level, though. It was helpful to know what grade she would be in if she attended public school. We could just as easily have gone with the average age of the class, too, if we truly didn’t pay attention to what grade they were in.
Would I assign a grade level if my kids had never gone to public school? If I hadn’t started out as a public school teacher? I don’t know. It’s just a number. However, some kids take great pride in being promoted from one grade to the next even in homeschooling. So, I say just do what fits your homeschooling style. Don’t sweat it.
Do your kids know what grade they’re in?
This post is part of my ABC’s of Homeschooling series! To read the entire series, visit my ABCs of Homeschooling page. I’ll add to this page each day as the posts go live.