Are grade levels important? Does it matter what grade kids are in? Let’s chat about when “what grade are you in” matters and when it doesn’t.
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 after we started homeschooling. 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 my second son 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 daughter 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 my daughter ‘graduates’ from what would be eighth grade. 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, my daughter 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, her 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.
Encouragement for Homeschool Moms
Below, I’ve featured just a handful of books meant to encourage homeschool moms that will help your readers celebrate their favorite characters.
You should be able to find them at your local library or bookstore. If you can’t find them locally, you can click each image cover to purchase them on Amazon.
Creating Homeschool Balance – “Creating Homeschool Balance” will help you understand what balance looks like, feels like, and how to create it. You’ll learn strategie
Your Goals This Year – No matter which kind of homeschool parent you are, this book will help you understand the stages of homeschooling high school, put you on the path to success, and keep you from feeling overwhelmed. You can homeschool through high school, and here are the tools to help you.
Scheduling: The Secret to Homeschool Sanity – When you homeschool, it’s important to take time to plan and rest, and not just work, work, work! Using schedules in your homeschool can help you avoid burnout.