April 19, 2012


This post was supposed to follow closely on the heels of my last post Grades but life got in the way. We suffered a loss in our family, followed by some unexpected travel. When we returned, half the household got sick and so we've spent the last week and a half catching up.

In the meantime, we ended one grading period and began the fourth quarter of the school year. To simplify my job, I keep Casia's school year more or less on the public school calendar because I already have Garrett in the system. Casia's year starts with Garrett's and she gets off days that he gets off. When his grading period ends, he is issued a report card. It's at this time that I take a look at what Casia's been doing the last 10 weeks or so and evaluate whether I think she's making good progress and what still needs to be accomplished. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I haven't been placing a lot of emphasis on grades, and I haven't been formally tracking and recording them. She hasn't been getting a report card.... until now. 

This is the first quarter that I issued Casia an actual grade in each subject. And we have also instituted an incentive program. We have always taken our kids out to a restaurant of their choosing for good report cards, and Garrett has been given a separate reward program recently to help encourage positive behaviors for some socializing problems he's been having in school, namely talking too much during instruction time. So for Casia, we've given her a chance to earn an electronic book reader. She just has to get straight A's for the last two quarters of this school year. Casia really wants her own book reader and likes getting good grades anyway, so the extra effort to make sure they are all A's is well worth it for her. That being said, I'm a tough grader and so she is forced to study to get those A's. For me, it's a positive, because if she's getting A's, I know she's both working hard and mastering the material. For Jacob, he wants to get Casia her own book reader anyway, so she'll stop borrowing his all the time.  It's really a win-win-win. 

So far, it's working really well. Casia has stepped up her effort level on papers and tests and has pulled all A's this past quarter. Hopefully she'll keep up the great work, so the squabbling over whose turn it is to use the Nook ends.