One of the joys of homeschooling is that you’re in the best position to really know your child—including how he or she is doing in academic subjects and maturity.

When evaluating your child in the early education years, it really can be enough for you to mark your child’s work with a smiley or sad face, bake cookies for a job well done, or restrict video game time until neatness improves . . . you get the idea. The choice is yours!

(The exception is if your state requires letter grades, in which case you’ll need to make sure you comply with the homeschool law.)

The three most commonly used methods for assessing your child throughout the year (versus year-end evaluations) are:

  • Checklists—Find or create a list of the skills you want your child to learn, and simply check them off as you go along!
  • Rubrics—These are structured ways to evaluate different aspects of your child’s learning in a particular subject or assignment.
  • Letter grades—Grades are a bit more complicated than checklists and rubrics, but they can be a good choice. To decide if letter grades might be right for you and your child, read 4 Reasons to Grade before High School.

Which assessment is best for your child and for your goals as his or her teacher? We’ll help you sort out the options! Move on to 4 Reasons to Grade before High School or skip ahead to checklists, rubrics, or letter grades.