No announcement yet.

Checking Work

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Checking Work

    How does checking work look in your house? My oldest is only third grade so most of his work I'm there but curious as we move to more independent work.
    For things like math, Latin and grammar where there is one correct answer, do you just point out mistakes? Or have them correct it themselves? I usually just point it out but feel like it goes in one ear and out the other.
    How does feedback look for written answers? Particularly when their answer is not particularly wrong but it's along the lines of "She was good" scrawled sloppily.
    ​​​​​​1 (with some K work still to finish)
    ​With a 4 and 1 year old tag along

    In the beginning of the year, I was more diligent about making sure we came up with an appropriate answer in a complete sentence. Creating one good sentence for a few of the important questions that will appear on a quiz is our goal over assigning her to do them all, which often leads to fragments and the barriers minimum. MP is big into modeling, creating together, and copying what you write or dictate. This tapers off toward 4th grade. I've noticed that I've been able to assign more as independent work now that we're 3 weeks from the end.

    For math, I teach the lesson and board work, I assign flashcards where she times herself with a count-up stopwatch, and she does her book work and supplemental sheet independently. She brings it to me, I circle problems with an error, and it's her responsibility to figure out what she did wrong, be it a copy error or arithmetic.

    For spelling, I check over her practice sheets at the end of the day, ask her how to orally spell the words she misspelled, and if she spells it right, I ask her to read what she wrote. She usually finds her malformed, omitted or mistaken letters.

    For CS and Greek Myths, we do all questions orally except the ones highlighted in the TM. I laminated quiz maps for her to fill in for each unit. I check answers at the end if the day.

    For Latin, the whole 1hr lesson is done together. She does not yet work efficiently alone, but I have quite the wiggly one prone to wander off task. I sit at the same table while she fills in answers. I proofread copywork (from the board) at the end of the lesson and hand it back, asking her to find her own mistakes if there are any. The guy who created VideoText Algebra just gave an incredible talk on the beauty of allowing your children to find and justify their way of doing something or explain where they made their mistakes. It reassured me that what I was doing was beneficial to the learning process.

    I do assign Astronomy alone, and I have penalties of making her rewrite her lists that are illegible or in bad handwriting. My feeling is that calls to correction (with age-appropriate expectations for ability and effort) that are done in love without judgment will pay dividends down the line. As much as I can, I set clear expectations for work now. I'm praying that 4th grade is as magical an age as everyone says. I've been complimenting my eldest a lot on her diligence with studying before breakfast, doing flashcards without prompting, and turning in markedly neater work.
    Mama to 2

    Spring start MP1
    Summer start 5A

    Completed MPK, MP1 Math & Enrichment, MP2, 3A, 4A, SC B, SC C,
    SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1


      I don't do well with stacks of papers to review, so we review the previous day's work for each subject when we sit down for the current day's lesson in that subject.
      Blog: [url][/url]

      DS18: Almost done!
      DS17: MP, MPOA
      DS15: MP, MPOA
      DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
      DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
      DD9: SC3
      DD6: MPK


        Great question!

        Originally posted by Ect876 View Post
        How does checking work look in your house? My oldest is only third grade so most of his work I'm there but curious as we move to more independent work.​​​​​
        Once my kids start working independently, I put a little box on their lesson plan that says "Check and correct with mama." or "Read with mama" or "Discuss with mama". (Depending on the subject.)
        If they can't "check that off" their school isn't finished and their free time doesn't start. So they will usually come and track me down to go over their work. This helps keep ME accountable!

        Hint: If you have a large family, it is easy to feel pulled in many directions at the same time. Schedule a time in your day for grading/discussion for each kid (or subject). That way you can let them know when a good time to go over things is.

        Once they get REALLY independent, I put a little box on their lesson plan that says, "Check and correct using the teacher's manual." This is after years of going over things with me so they really understand the quality of work I expect. (So far 3rd-7th grade they check with me, and then I have them start checking and correcting on their own once they have proven they can be trusted. I know if they really are checking and correcting because their grade comes from quizzes and tests. They won't do well those if they aren't doing the homework.)

        Originally posted by Ect876 View Post
        For things like math, Latin and grammar where there is one correct answer, do you just point out mistakes? Or have them correct it themselves? I usually just point it out but feel like it goes in one ear and out the other.
        In our homeschool, the student correct every mistake.
        I have them grade it with my help. I read the answers while I am kind of watching over their shoulder while they "check" the paper. If I notice one is wrong I will stop and say something like, "Ooops, let's look at #3 again. Do you see anything wrong with it?" Or "Why don't you try number 3 again. It isn't quite right." Sometimes for math I will hand it back to them and give them time to redo missed problems. Same for Latin. If I run out of time, I put a little check box on the next day's work, "Correct L13 workbook".

        Originally posted by Ect876 View Post
        How does feedback look for written answers? Particularly when their answer is not particularly wrong but it's along the lines of "She was good" scrawled sloppily.
        For sloppy work, I have them erase and re-write. Cheryle Lowe has a quote that I am going to completely mess up. It is something like, "Students will rise to the expectations that you set." In other words, if you let sloppy handwriting slide, they will never learn to write better. If you let poorly written answers slide, they will never learn to write better.

        As far as content goes:
        In 3rd grade-4th grade, we would actually compose a good answer together. First we would discuss ----and then we would kind of put their answer together in words. I would write it on the white board and they would then copy it over as copywork into their guide. I would then check spelling, punctuation, capilitization, etc. Don't be alarmed if your student forgets basic things like capitalization or ending punctuation at that stage. I feel like that is normal and they just need to practice it....a lot...and it soon becomes second nature. (They are NOT the only student who does that at this age. They know the rules, but their minds are too busy copying and thinking to put it into application.)

        Eventually, I slowly weened them off of that and they started to writing the answer themselves. This was about half way through 4th and 5th for us. Others might have been able to do it sooner. I still check spelling and punctuation right away. (I circle mispelled words and write them somewhere on the page. They have to erase the whole word and re-write correctly. They don't just fix odd letters. For punctuation, I would often write the punctuation rule number as a hint from EGR and see if they could self correct. I would only expect them to punctuate things they had been taught.)

        Once they were pretty good at that, I then assigned their workbook as independent work.

        For littérature our schedule looks like this:

        Day 1 (With mama)
        -Go over previous lesson comprehension questions and enrichment .(As a bonus, this serves as a review of what happened previously. I read the comprehension question, and then they READ ME their answer. We check content first. A lot of times they will catch silly mistakes when they do this too like missing words. After we get through all of the answers, I quickly check for spelling and neatness. I circle anything that needs fix and they spend a few minutes fixing)

        -Go over current lessons vocabulary and reading notes with mama (I am checking that they did the work neatly and that they can pronounce the words. We sometimes look up pictures of the nouns together.)

        -Read Chapter together keeping an eye out for the vocabulary (we buddy read to work on their read aloud skills...and that way I don't have to pre-read in the summer to discuss! hahaha)

        -Go over quotations or certain enrichment things together

        Day 2 (Independent)
        -Complete Comprehension questions and enrichment for current lesson
        -Complete vocabulary and reading notes for next lesson
        -Review (I give pretty detailed instructions on how to review because they might not have the best study skills at this age. That is something they have to learn.)

        Cathy aka The Attached Mama
        DS 12, 7th Grade
        DD 11, 6th Grade
        DS 5, K


          Everyday i sit down with my 10th and 7th grader’s and go through each subject. They show me what they did since the last day and I grade it with them sitting by me so I can discuss why something was incorrect or how they should give better answers. If they keep giving sloppy answers, i start making them write better ones while sitting with me. Since I grade daily, I see if they aren’t understanding a concept so I can go back over it and ensure they get it. I don’t grade for a grade but rather just to make sure the work was done well. I only record quiz and test grades and then factor in homework effort when calculating final grade (for high school transcripts).
          Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
          DD, 26, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
          DS, 24, BS '18 mechanical engineering
          DS, 22, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
          (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
          DS, 20, Physics major
          DD, 17, dyslexic, 11th grade customizednMP plus co-op
          DS, 13, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 8A
          DD, 7 , 1ST Future astronaut, robot building space artist


            For my 7th grader - I'll preface this with saying she is a very diligent student and I never have to stay on top of her to get her work done. She's very trustworthy in that regard. She and I have class once a week with FMOG, 200 Questions of American Hx, and Literature. We go over each one of her questions during that time. I modeled answers for her during her 6th grade year (when we started MP cores), and she is now very capable of writing those answers alone.

            She takes 2nd Form with MPOA, so her quizzes and tests are graded through that, but I grade her daily work so she can see where her mistakes lie. She corrects before she takes the weekly quiz.

            I check her English (we use Rod and Staff) and Math every evening. She makes corrections herself the next day. We talk through composition every other day or so.

            For my 5th grader - I have to sit on this child to get her to do work, and she cannot be trusted to complete assignments well without being right under my thumb. So my methods of checking work are very different with her. I look over all of her assignments every night and grade them. She is required to do those corrections before she starts that same subject the next day.

            For poor handwriting and overall poor effort, I require that she either 1) do the assignment again or 2) if it's just a few literature of FMOR answers, she must erase and write the answer that we compose together.

            This requires a LOT of effort. Lots. of. effort. on my part.

            You asked about feedback on written answers - for this particular child, her answers are often poor despite 2 years of modeling, correcting, and guiding. When her literature answers, for example, are not acceptable, I have her dictate an answer aloud and write it on the board. She is then required to copy it perfectly with correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. We do this type of correction most days of the week.

            For my 3rd grader - I check her math and English each night and she corrects the next day. We do spelling, literature, and Latin together so those are corrected in the moment. She also is required to write one sentence from her American Hx reader each day and she verifies that with me before writing.


            I don't give grades for daily work, but I definitely do for quizzes and tests.

            Mama to 5 Sweet Ones

            11th grade DS: Mix of MP materials, MPOA, and BJU
            9th grade DD: Mostly 9M, MPOA, and French
            7th grade DD: 7M
            5th Grade DD: 5M
            4.5 yo DS: Outside as much as possible beating on things with sticks; MP Jr. K and Mom made fun things


              I was sitting down this morning to add our experience, but after reading all the responses thus far, I would rather say, "Bravo, ladies!" So good to read these descriptions and realize how hard everyone is working to be great educators. Yay! And Keep going!

              16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
              DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
              DS, 17
              DD, 15
              DD, 13
              DD, 11
              DD, 9
              DD, 7
              DS, 2


                Thank you all so much for taking the time to write these very helpful replies!
                ​​​​​​1 (with some K work still to finish)
                ​With a 4 and 1 year old tag along