How do I test and grade my student?

The purpose of Notgrass curriculum is to help you teach the heart, soul, and mind of your student. We want to help your student grow as a Christian and as a person, and we want to help your student get a good understanding of the subject being studied.

Quizzes and tests are one component of Notgrass curriculum. If you choose to use them, they should not be the only component that receives a grade. Reading the daily lessons and answering the lesson review questions (with the text open and available) should also be part of the student's history grade.

Designing a one-size-fits-all test is hard. Different details stand out to different people, and some students have a hard time with tests even if they know the material well. As a homeschooling family, we did not do a lot of testing in high school. We talked to our children about what they were studying, and they demonstrated their understanding in other ways.

If the tests in Notgrass curriculum are discouraging your child, it's okay to change the way you use them. Instead of having your child take a traditional closed-book, time-limited test, you can use the test questions as conversation starters or writing prompts, or your child can have an open-book test. As your student gets used to the style of our quizzes and tests, you can move toward closed-book examinations.

Test taking is an important skill for college if your child plans to pursue a degree. The professor will expect a student to know the material she has covered, whether or not she provides a study guide. After college, however, we can almost always look something up when we need it.

A big part of your child's grade in Notgrass courses should be based on effort. Our goal with the tests is not to trick or discourage anyone, but to give you one tool to help measure comprehension. A "bad" grade on a test does not have to be the final word. Tests can be a step toward better understanding. If they are not serving that purpose, you don't have to use them.