Ever wonder: What’s a rubric and why homeschool moms should use one?
What’s a Rubric and Why Homeschool Moms Should Use One
When my homeschool teens were entering high school years I spent a lot of time and energy listening to older homeschool moms and asking them LOTS of questions. One thing I those moms with a teaching background would recommend is using rubrics.
Not having been raised in a culture that used rubrics and not having any sort of education background, I was lost? I was also chicken. I was ashamed to ask: what’s a rubric and why should homeschool moms use one?
Here’s what they told me.
*Rubrics are grading guides. They help moms define a set of criteria (or expectations) they are looking for in teens’ writing. Here are a few examples of criteria you might find on a homeschool high school rubric:
- Proper spelling
- Proper language mechanics (punctuation and grammar)
- Rich vocabulary, properly used used
- Varied sentence length used
- Rules for paper (essays written in essay format, MLA-style research papers written in MLA format, APA-style papers written in APA format) followed
- Idea or thesis of the paper clearly developed
- No plagiarism used
- Valid references used
- Properly formatted reference list
- Proper citations used
*There’s not one right way to create a rubric. You can find lots of examples of rubrics with a simple internet search or you may develop your own based on skills you want to emphasize with your homeschool high schoolers.
*Using a rubric makes a mom’s day easier. By comparing teens’ papers with the rubric, it is clear whether or not the goals for that assignment were met. This makes grading much less subjective and removes that wishy-washy feeling about grading writing assignments.
Another thing the old-time homeschool moms told me was to give a copy of the rubric to my homeschool high schoolers when I gave them their writing assignments. That’s because:
- They could use the rubric as a guide
- They could use the rubric to unofficially grade their rough drafts
- They can turn in their own rubric with their rough draft and final draft to show that they are developing critical thinking skills
Thus, since that day, we’ve been BIG fans of rubrics for homeschool high school writing projects. All of 7Sisters’ Essay Writing Guides, Research Paper Writing Guides and Short Story Writing Guides include a rubric that you can use (and not need to develop your own).