How to Create a Rubric for Homeschool High Schoolers

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How to Create a Rubric for Homeschool High Schoolers

How to Create a Rubric for Homeschool High Schoolers

Rubrics can make life easier for homeschooling parents. A rubric is a form that gives guidelines on how a paper or project will be graded.

Many families are using rubrics with their homeschooling high schoolers. Teens find rubrics help them plan and check their papers and projects. We give a copy of the rubric to our teens when we give them their writing or project assignments. Then, then can use the rubric:

  • as a guide for planning and organizing their work
  • to check and unofficially grade their rough drafts

They also turn in their own rubric with their rough draft and final draft to show that they are developing critical thinking skills.

Parents find rubrics give them clear guidelines to help them grade papers and projects.

We have had requests on how to create rubrics. To answer the request, let me start with: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school.

With that in mind, there’s not ONE right way to create a rubric. Rubrics should be created (or tweaked, if one is provided in curriculum) with your own personal goals for your teens.

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. However, to get you started, we will share some basic tips on how to create a rubric of your own, along with a basic template.

NOTE: 7Sisters writing guides include a rubric to help you and your teens.

Tips for Grading Writing freebie
Click image for full description of this freebie.

Other resources 7Sisters can share with you include:

These rubrics may be tweaked or tossed according you goals and your teens’ needs and goals.

How to create a rubric

When creating a rubric, you may create a pretty form like 7Sisters Tips for Grading Papers freebie (linked in the graphic). On the other hand, you can create a format that looks more like a list with requirements for the paper, along with points that will be added or subtracted according to the need (see example below).

Remember rubrics are simply guides for grading papers or projects. Try not to get too stressed about them.

Some things you might want to include in a rubric for your teens’ writing might include these questions. Did student employ:

Also you can decide how much weight or how many points will be earned for or deducted from their paper.

Many formats assume a top score of 100 points which can be earn (points added, although points might be deducted for poor spelling or grammar).

Another kind of rubric allows students to aim for a category/grade such as:

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Needs Improvement
  • Unacceptable

Carnegie Mellon University has some sample rubrics such as the “category” format.

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.

APA Style Research Paper Writing Guide
Click image for full description.

Note: You determine whether the writing process ends with the grading of the paper (the rubric).

Since we are homeschooling parents, we can discuss with our teens the goals for writing a paper or doing a project. If teens are early in the process of learning essay writing or research-paper writing, we might allow them to use our completed rubric to go back and make corrections to their papers. In this case, we are aiming for master of the writing format.

On the other hand, for teens who have more experience writing, we might not be aiming for mastery but rather attention and skill. Thus, those students may need to accept the grades from our rubric as a final grade for that paper.

Here’s a Simple Rubric for Grading. You can easily tweak it to fit your own goals for your teen.

Simple High School Paper Rubric


(Deduct 1 point for each error)

Spelling errors:
Punctuation errors:
Grammatical errors :
Contractions (this is most pertinent for research paper formats):

Total Deductions:



(Assign points 1-10.)

Well-written introduction paragraph included: (10 points)

Paper includes a body with paragraphs that support the topic of the paper: (50 points)

Proper conclusion paragraph for the paper format: (10 points)


(Assign points 1-10.)

Details presented in each section stay on topic (does not wander off into discussion of other ideas). (1-10 points):
Information presented in a manner that is logical and readable. (1-10 points):
The author of the paper shows he/she has a basic understanding of the topic. (1-10 points):

Total Points:



Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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