Homeschooling Record Keeping:

Keep It Simple

homeschool books

Homeschooling record keeping is essential--and relatively easy. Let's gather information, then we'll pull it all together.

First, check your state laws.

Then build your homeschooling record keeping system around them. Many times your state homeschool association has a sample you can follow. Check again at HSLDA if you don't know how to contact the statewide organization.

Another consideration, if you use a program, what does it require? Can its requirements be adapted to the state requirements?

What do you have to keep track of? Hours? Days?

What information do you have to have on hand? Grades? Samples of work? Tests?

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How To Tips

  • Homeschooling record keeping just means tracking the (1) coursework and (2) evaluations of your student.

  • Make it as simple and as convenient as possible. Its supposed to work for you, not the other way around .

  • Write lesson plans weekly.

    List the subjects and the assignments for each day. Keep notes short but specific. (ex.: p. 9, ques. 1-3 written, 4-8 oral)

    As the work is completely finished and checked, put a mark in the top corner. Then you can see at glance where the student is.

    Don't work too far ahead because you don't know if you'll need extra time for a particularly difficult area or if you can speed up for something that is just really easy for your child.

  • Put grades in your lesson plans for the week. For example, if Tuesday is "Test V" for math, just put the grade right on that little square with the assignment. Why bother with a whole different section in the planner just for grades?

  • Keep up-to-date. Get help from your spouse, Mother or the children if necessary.

  • In the planner, make notes (date, where, hours) about field trips, extra-curricular activities, and other activities related to education.

  • Write any awards. service work, special training, etc. (date, reason, hours, etc.)

  • If required, total the hours weekly somewhere on that week's planner page. Be sure to check state law to find out the time period of your school year.

    For example, in my state, Missouri, our school year is from July 1 to June 30. So I can count a summer zoo trip of 3 hours or however long. (Remember, public schools take the students to the zoo, theater, etc.

  • Keep everything. Label a file for any requirements that need to be kept (state law) or sent to your homeschool program. Label another file for "good" work, especially well-done essays, tests, drawings, etc. Put the rest in another file or drawer.

  • Make a report card by quarters or semester. Simply list the courses, grade averages, date and sign it.

Once you work out your homeschooling record keeping system, it will serve you for years. It helps you "keep on top" of your child's education, brings peace of mind and will be in place if you ever are asked for proof of your hard work.

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