An Open Letter to Parents About Wasko Lit Grades

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Dear Wasko Lit Parent:

I get questions occasionally about what Wasko Lit grades mean to homeschooling families. The simple answer is: They mean whatever parents think they mean. 

Frankly, I'm not a fan of academic grading. I think assigning letters and numbers to student achievement does more harm than good. I don't care much about grades, and I don't want my students to care much either. At least I want them to be more concerned about learning and growth than with grades. 

But that's just my idealism. I realize that grades are an unavoidable expectation in our world today. And I realize that most parents want some kind of measure of their student's success in a course-some way of knowing how much they are gaining from the experience. So I give grades. 

But what you do with those grades is up to you. If you are homeschooling, you have full authority over the education of your children. I am simply hired help. My grades are my subjective evaluation of your student's accomplishment. If you think they don't accurately reflect his or her effort or growth, you can feel free to override the grade any way you like. 

I won't mind at all. I don't even have to know. 

I provide a PDF report card that looks nice and official. But Wasko Lit courses are not accredited by any organization. In fact, no organization exists to accredited limited online programs like this. Our classes aren't officially recognized by college admissions personnel, though they might be familiar with or highly regard them. 

If you homeschool, Wasko Lit courses can count as credits toward graduation if you think they should. That's the only criteria they have to meet. Now, I think they should count for credit, of course, because they are great courses with valuable content and require significant time and effort from students. But since we at Wasko Lit don't have any officially recognized authority over students, it's up to you. 

That means if you don't agree with the grade I've assigned, you have several options:

A) You can accept it, reluctantly perhaps, and include it in your student's transcript as is. 

B) You can change it. Yup. If you think the grade is too high or too low, you have full discretion to adjust it accordingly. As a homeschooling parent, you have sole authority over all things academic. 

C) You can disregard it. If the grade is low and you don't want it to negatively affect your student's GPA, you can decide to leave it off any transcript and have your student earn the credit another way.

Now, generally speaking, I recommend choosing A. I don't like grades, but I take them seriously and do my best to be fair and consistent in my grading policy. If anything, I tend to be too lenient. I have many years of experience teaching and assigning grades, and I think most of the time my grades reflect a student's relative success quite accurately. And I would hope that one reason you enrolled a student in my class is that you respect my judgment in such matters. 

But please don't be anxious about grades you disagree with. Do with them what you think best. 


Brian Wasko