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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Do You Have Tips on Finishing School Before Summer?


If you need practical advice about finishing schoolwork more quickly without sacrificing quality the Seton Academic Counselors await your call or email.

It is now March, about ¾ of the way through the school year, and we are barely half done with our work. I know we have a full year to complete our schooling, but I’d like to be done by the end of May. What can I do?

There are ways to finish two-quarters worth of work in less time. Remember that our lesson plans are a suggestion. You do not have to do everything that is in them. There is a lot of daily work that can be eliminated if you are pressed for time.

One of the things you can do is to look at the Quarter Report Forms (QRFs) and see what is required for that quarter, and work backwards from there.

For example, if you are working on a concept in Math or English, and you feel your child has a good grasp of the material, have him do just a couple problems on the page to be sure, then move on to the next lesson. If you know your child is strong with verbs, quickly review the material and have him take the verb test.

If he needs more time with adverbs, work on those, then take the test. If he’s a good speller, let him look over the words for the quarter, and give him a pre-test – if he does well, gives him the quarter test. Let him work on the book report for each quarter, but eliminate some of the reading from the readers.

Allow him to do the religion, history, and science questions orally, and discuss the things that you think are important for the quarter or chapter tests. Count writing their Spelling words neatly for Handwriting. In summary, do the things that you feel will help your child do well on the assignments sent to Seton.

Can my child listen to an audiobook for his book report? Can we watch the movie instead?

While it may be tempting to watch a movie or listen to an audiobook instead of reading, the point of doing a book report is to get better at reading.

Some parents say they use audiobooks because their students don’t like reading, or they read slowly. But that’s part of the point of doing the book report! You can’t get better at something unless you practice doing it. Love for reading can’t develop if the kids aren’t reading, but just listening.

We try to choose interesting and engaging books for our students, but the book reports are not just an opportunity to enjoy a great story.

Reading is fundamental to life in the modern world. As they get older, the students will be reading all kinds of literature unavailable in audio or video form. They need to know how to read, and not just to read, but also to comprehend and analyze. If there is one area of education you don’t want to skimp on, it’s reading.

On our MySeton page, some of the assignments under “graded by” say Parent, and others say, Seton. What is the difference? Can I grade everything? Can you grade everything?

Parent-graded assignments are graded by the parent, and Seton-graded assignments are graded by Seton graders. (On the paper Quarter Report Forms, these are referred to as Part A and Part B.) Seton-graded assignments are required in order for your students to receive a grade on their report cards.

The parent-graded items are usually more of the day-to-day work that your student does, although in some cases there are specific assignments (a paragraph or test). Grades for these assignments are optional; if you don’t assign parent grades, then your child’s grade will be based only on the Seton-graded items.

Regarding Seton-graded items, you may grade these yourself informally to see how the student is doing. Some parents like to look over student work before it is submitted to make sure the student has understood the concepts or has done careful work. However, we can’t accept and record parent grades for Seton-graded assignments. For security reasons, we can’t release the answer keys for the Seton-graded assignments.

Speaking of parent-graded, what is a “parent-graded course”?

A parent-graded course is one that has no Seton-graded assignments, meaning everything in the course is graded by the parents. These include Art, Music, and PE for all grades, Handwriting for the elementary grades, History, and Science up to Grade 3, and the entirety of the Pre-K and Kindergarten programs.

Besides using the Seton-provided books and lesson plans, you are also welcome to supplement or substitute anything else at your discretion.

You do not have to let us know what modifications you are making. Just enter the grades on your MySeton account or the quarter report forms.

How do I determine the parent grade for my child’s assignments?

Remember, if it’s a parent grade, it’s completely up to you how you want to determine the grade, but here are some suggestions.

If it’s something objective, like a spelling test, divide the number correct by the total number and that’s your grade. If it’s something more subjective, feel free to give partial credit for any question.

If it’s for the daily work, for example, the workbook pages of the English or Phonics books, you do not have to grade every single page and average the grades.

Hopefully, you are at least looking over the work students do every day. Just give us your sense of how you think they are doing in those courses (and yes, attitude counts!).

But again, it’s entirely up to you.

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