This Article is About
curriculum choices
filling out applications
organizing your home
game plan
peace of mind
statutory requirements
home schooling
Record Keeping For Homeschooling
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If you’re like me and a lot of other homeschooling parents, recordkeeping can be a bit spooky.  Of course, I’m presuming that you have decided to tackle it head-on and not just ignore it or put it “on the back burner”.  One reason for this trepidation is that in the beginning of setting up your homeschooling game plan, there are just so many things to keep track of: statutory requirements, curriculum choices, textbook selection, testing modalities.  And the list goes on.

But it’s precisely because there are such a large amount of tasks to do that recordkeeping is so important.  Also, an odd thing about tracking tasks is that you will likely not need them until and unless you haven’t written them down.  Sadly, this happens much too often.  The point I want to emphasize here, however, is that recordkeeping, while important to homeschoolers, need not be overwhelming.  With a little attention to organizing your home schooling game plan you can find a place to categorize all of the things you’ll need to refer to either presently or in the future.

There are a number of reasons why orderly record keeping is important in the homeschool environment.  One big one is that it affords you peace of mind.  Say your municipality requires you to report various aspects of your child’s progress, or test results, or attendance.  If you are able to put your hands on these facts at reporting time, it will take a lot off your mind.  Another reason is that there are a lot of future needs that will require records that were generated in the past.  These include such things as upcoming admission processes to colleges and trade schools, filling out applications for future employment, and writing résumés.

It’s best to get in the habit early on of writing everything down.  It’s clear that you should track what is required statutorily, but even things that are not required by law should be recorded.  Some reasons for this are that the academic track that our child is on might change, you might move to another state with different requirements, or employment or career requirements that come up that require them.  Then, if any of these things happen, you can respond adequately.  Another reason is that if future circumstances call for a specific skill that you haven’t taught, you might be able show evidence of a related skill that you do have that you can substitute for it. In my state of Maine, it is strongly suggested that homeschoolers keep a “portfolio” of the homeschooling details.  The following list comprises the things that we include in our portfolio:

• General informations such as students’ and parents’ names, addresses, contact information, students’ DOB, et cetera

• Important dates for the academic year: registrations, assessments, evaluations, tests, and so on

• Attendance Charts

• Curriculum listing each subject taught

• Sections  that include samples of students’ work per quarter by subject

• Field trip logs

• Reading lists

• A section that includes sample of plan book or journal entries

• A section that includes notes, comments or any special needs

Additionally, we have found the following items are also useful to record:

• Transcripts from previous school attendance

• Test scores, such as the SAT or the equivalent

• Any special skills, job experiences, or extracurricular activities that took place

It’s best to set up your recordkeeping system so that it is simple to use and easy to maintain.  If you allocate a small amount of time to jot down needed information on a regular basis, then you will not feel overwhelmed when reporting time rolls around.  And if you structure your records in an orderly fashion, but one that is understandable by you, then you will likely find the process not only valuable to your child’s future, but personally rewarding as well.

When my son finished his homeschooling in Maine, he went back to his former high school in Massachusetts.  The record keeping we created of his homeschool experience played an important role in his reinstatement.  There is more to the story about our recordkeeping adventure at Academic Boot Camp Tips.  You are invited to participate as we explore additional details about the process and to take part in our homeschooling community’s experiences.

Street Talk

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