Another reason to give Casia grades on her work is because at some point, even if it's not until college, she will re-enter a learning environment that is structured on grades and I want her to be prepared for it. I don't want her to feel pressured to obtain perfect grades, so receiving her share of sub-perfect scores in several years of homeschooling will help alleviate those perfectionist tendencies. On the other hand, I don't want her to dismiss the weight others place on good grades either. I'd hate to see her enter her freshman year of college and and shrug off a bad grade without realizing that graduate schools and possible internships do evaluate based on them.
So now that she is in middle school, I've been handing out more grades and keeping better track of them. I figure it will take another year before I have a good system down, as I am continually tweaking it at this point. And although I do wish we could gauge her progress based on our conversations, her effort and my gut feeling about how well she is mastering topics, I hope this will better prepare her for whatever she chooses to do in the future.