Some people just have that gift to organize, schedule, and record…while others were just born without that gene. If you’re a homeschooling family, whether or not you have the “gene” doesn’t matter… record keeping is a must. So, for those who just aren’t organized and who hate to keep records… there are some simple ways to keep you “official” without driving you crazy. Here are a few tips…
1) Pick a record keeping method that suits you… some like technology – others hate it – here are some ideas
- Use a daily planner to record what you do in your homeschool that day.
- Use a journal and just let your words freely describe what homeschool was for your family that day.
- Use an online media such as blogging to record what you’ve done
- Use a record keeping system such as a teacher planner/grade book
- Use an online form or software to record grades and assignments
2) Hang on to important pieces of work that your children do.
- Use a rubbermaid container to store things until you feel up to organizing it…
- Use a pendeflex file folder. Has tons of pockets and is usually big enough for one child per year,
- you can put the words in ABC order – so that you can find everything easily later.
- Use the notebooking or portfolio method and then keep their notebooks on a bookshelf
- Make a photo library of what your kids do… and then post it on a blog!
3) As my children get older and into high school, I have them keep a single notebook for each subject. Then we keep everything that we did for that subject in that notebook, I keep them until I know they are safely through college.
4) It is also very important to begin establishing a transcript for your older child. You can do this simply by finding a copy of one and making a Word document like it, by purchasing on online version, or using software to develop a transcript.
Homeschool record keeping is one of those necessary evils. It really isn’t fun, but you MUST do it. However, there are many ways to go about keeping records for your homeschooling endeavors. You can be extremely detailed or a bit relaxed. Whatever your family’s personality – there is a record keeping method out there to match it, you just need to find it!
Here are a few handy examples of record keeping that just may inspire you.
1) Be official and use a teacher planner. These books often have a little grade book built in, and you can keep you lesson plans and grades all in one handy place.
2) Use a calendar to keep track of your lessons and your grades. Use the daily spaces to record what happened on what day.
3) Use Microsoft Word to find a gradebook template that works for you. I do this, and am able to print my children report cards to use for “perks” at certain restaurants and kid fun places.
4) Homeschool record keeping and lesson planning software make this super easy!
5)Use a plastic rubber maid container to store examples of all your children’s work.
6) Assemble a homeschool portfolio to keep records. Some of the best homeschool records I’ve seen have been this type. The portfolio is simply a collection of the student’s work over a period of time. You can choose some, and then let you child choose some to put into their portfolios. Parents can keep a grade sheet and other pertinent info within the book as well. Typically a three ring binder is used.
7) or you can use an online curriculum that keeps records for you! Parent work is kept at a minimum and when the time comes, all you need to do is print out your portfolio.
Whichever method best suits your family is the way to go! If you don’t keep records at all, I hope that this article has motivated you to keep track of all your hard work homeschooling. If you are going to do the work, you’ve got to have proof!