Paperwork and Grading

I’m tired.

It’s week four of our homeschool year and I am worn out.

So far, the year has been about what I had expected. We’re getting things done and most of our days are fairly productive.

Last week was the county fair. Aside from a couple of days when I needed to go outside and scream just for stress relief, we even got some academic work done.

I’m starting to feel the rhythm of the school year. I like this place. I know what to expect and so do the kids. It seems like it took longer this year to get to this place, but it’s working. It’s peaceful and I know what to expect.

One big sign that the week is going well is whether or not I am caught up on grading papers. Paperwork is the bane of my existence. Whether it’s marking math papers, filing invoices and receipts, or balancing the checkbook, I hate all forms of paperwork.



I’ve learned that I must keep ahead of the grading or I will hate myself. I also know that it is terribly unfair for my kids to put in time doing work if they are not going to get feedback on how well that they did it. My part of being a good teacher is to get those papers graded so that we can know how well the kids are learning and how well I am teaching.

To keep myself from getting behind, as my kids complete work, I have them leave their papers and workbooks open to the correct page on the kitchen counter. I’ve learned through the years that I can’t put this task off until later in the day because it won’t get done. When I have a few minutes in the morning while the kids are occupied, I go ahead and check papers.

It doesn’t take long if I will just do it.

My seventh grade daughter has an assignment list. To make sure that I’ve checked over every paper that she completed, I look at her assignment book and highlight each subject as I grade it. When the whole list is pink or yellow, I am done with her grading. It helps that she uses Teaching Textbooks, a computer-based math program that automatically checks all of her work for me.

My second daughter does her math work in a spiral notebook. I check over her work right after she’s done so that she can do any necessary corrections within just a few minutes. I also go right behind her in spelling, English, and handwriting to help her stay on task. Since she’s just in the 4th grade it’s not to onerous.

Paperwork is an essential part of every household, whether you are homeschooling or not. Some people have a gift for this, while others (like me) have to just muddle through.

How do you keep yourself on task with grading papers? Are you naturally organized? Do you hate paperwork as much as I do? Leave a comment below to commiserate or give me some tips to help me get better at this life skill.


***Photo Credit Death Means Paperwork by John Patrick Robichaud via Flikr


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebeca Jones
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 13:01:28

    Oh, I sure can commiserate on this one! I too have found that just doing it right away keeps me on track. I find that it is also more helpful to my kids if they can correct their mistakes immediately. For some things, I allow my older kids to check their own work. I like that they can then see what the publisher wanted or how to arrive at an answer they missed. As long as they can learn how to LEARN…to find answers, and to reason, well, isn’t that what we desire? If only we could teach those things with NO blasted paperwork, eh? Grace and peace to you–


  2. fairfarmhand79
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 15:59:16

    Can we create an I hate paperwork support group?


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