Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Ann Karako.

This week on HSHSP Ep 192: Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Ann Karako. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Anne Karako. Anne shares realistic tips for staying on top of the endless homeschool task for moms. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolPaperwork #HomeschoolOrganization #AnneKarako #DealingWithHomeschoolPaperwork

Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Ann Karako

We are joined again this week by our friend, Ann Karako, of Annie and Everything. We are talking about PAPERWORK!

Who LOVES paperwork…Crickets…crickets…That’s right. Most homeschool moms do not love paperwork.

Ever felt overwhelmed with the tons of paperwork in your homeschool? It is a necessary part of education, but not much fun to keep up with!

Vicki shares that during her years of being homeschool advisor, she sometimes found overwhelmed moms bringing in boxes of unsorted paperwork to their mid-year reviews because they got overwhelmed and gave up. Vicki and the mom would sort and grade, then develop a system that would hopefully work for that mom to help her keep up!

Ann encourages us that she’s felt been there, done that. For instance, her daughter needed a GPA for sports recently. There was some scrambling to pull it together but it got done.

Ann handled the event by saying to herself:

  • Life happens
  • I won’t place a boatload of guilt on myself
  • I don’t need to be a perfect mom or a perfect grader

Did you hear that? Maybe I’ll share it again:

  • Life happens
  • I won’t place a boatload of guilt on myself
  • I don’t need to be a perfect mom or a perfect grader
Ann Karako
Ann Karako. Photo used with permission.

Want Ann’s advice? She encourages homeschool moms to decide:

  • What really must be graded
    • You do not need to grade EVERY single thing!
    • Anne does not grade daily work. She feels like daily work is simply learning activity and is not fair to be grading that. Daily work is practice! They need to make mistakes and learn and correct, not be graded.
    • If teens are allowed to learn and not have perfection on first try, they won’t be frozen by fear of failure.
    • When moms try to grade daily work, they often get bogged down.
  • Instead, grade these assignments:
    • Things that show mastery, (things usually done at the end of a textbook chapter)
    • tests (because that requires review and practice and shows they learned)
    • papers
    • projects
    • lab reports

Ann reminds mom, though, that big piles of paperwork are bad news.

When you have a huge pile, you might find things get lost along the way. That is not helpful when concepts build on one another (such as math). You do not want this to happen!

  • Own up to your failures when you get behind
  • Adjust grades if you made a mistake in instruction (or you got behind on grading which cost your teens some accurate learning)
  • Be honest but you don’t have to be rigid
  • You can drop lowest grade, then average the rest of the test
  • You can give extra credit assignments:
    • reading a book
    • writing a paper
    • doing test retakes for partial score
  • When grading look for growth and redemption. If there is a problem due to instruction, you can help.

But remember this key principle! In high school, teens need to come to you when they need help on academics. They need to learn to advocate for themselves.

  • Their diligence is a factor in their grade, if they did not ask for help when they needed it, you do not need to adjust grades!
  • Better to fail and bounce back by asking for help at home than waiting to learn that resilience when they are at college.

Teach your teens each day (and remember it yourself):

  • Start fresh.
    • This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
    • His mercies are new every morning.

Handling paper is an issue. There is paperwork everywhere. Be merciful to you! Get tips on handling paperwork with Anne Karako and Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

Handling paper is an issue. There is paperwork everywhere. How does Ann handle grading?

  • When Ann’s daughter has something to be graded, she places it in Ann’s grading “inbox”. Anne grades everything there and records the grade on the papers. Discuss grades with her teen. If grades are poor, decisions are discussed about what to do. 80 or above, no extra credit or redo. Redo’s get half credit.
  • Graded papers go into a file folder. Ann’s file is not divided into subjects. Instead, she waits until the end of the semester she places everything into folders for the subject. Then she averages the grades for each subject. Then she records that average on the top paper for each subject and puts it back into the file until the end of the year. At the end of the year the final grade can go onto the transcript.
  • See how easy it is to do, when you follow Ann’s process? Why have a mountain when you can have a mole hill?
  • While you are at it, check out our Authoritative Guide to Record Keeping for Homeschool High School

Join Vicki and Ann for fun and encouragement about PAPERWORK!

And check out Ann’s encouragement at:

Want more encouragement on homeschool organization? Check out these posts from

And this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Homeschool Organization.


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Keeping Up With Homeschool Paperwork, Interview with Ann Karako

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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