Easy Fuss Free Homeschool Records Keeping
When you homeschool you are required to do some homeschool records keeping. Keeping it simple is the key.
In Australia has homeschool records keeping requirements for homeschool registration. In the USA homeschool documentation requirements vary from state to state.
Over many years of DIY homeschooling I developed techniques for record keeping that have helped my plan and report what we we learn.
Homeschool Record Keeping – Plans
At My Homeschool we knew this was a burden for many homeschoolers. So all our programs include:
Each purchased grade gives you:
- A Yearly Plan outlining our curriculum for 12 months (6 months for the Primary Lite). This plan is provided in a Word document that you can use. We include prompts, tips and examples of how to answer some of the required forms.
- A Scope and Sequence mapped to the Australian Curriculum and NESA Syllabus for the grade you are teaching.
- Term report templates that are mostly done; you just need to add a few details.
- A week-by-week planner that you can print off, with places to make notes (no need to keep a diary)!!
- End of year Certificate of Completion for our Full Primary programs and our second semester high school programs.
- Prompts and reminders to collect work as part of your child’s portfolio for re-registration.
My Homeschool Record Keeping Planner
I kept records of the children’s achievements by:
- Dating when we finish a particular book
- Keeping a list of books read
- Keeping checklists as a reference for writing up the end of term diary.
- I made a personal homeschool pretty planner
- I kept a portfolio of my children’s work
I never recorded specific school hours. Instead I worked from a basic schedule.
Basic Homeschool Timetable In The Primary Years.
- Morning 0900-1300 Afternoon
- Monday Academics and Book work Academic and Book Work
- Tuesday Academics and Book work Sport
- Wednesday Academics and Book work Music
- Thursday Academics and Book work Dance
- Friday Homeschool group activity Field Trips – (Day off).
Homeschool Term Planner
I have found that the best way for me to do this is to write out what I call a term summary at the beginning of each term with subjects and goals. It shows what we are hoping to achieve for each child that term. Although this is quite specific there is still ‘room to move’. I type this up as a table on Microsoft Word and save it so that I can review my work at the end of term and use this document as the basis for my end of term report.
We have adopted a similar model for My Homeschool. You get an editable word document to complete at the end of each term.
Homeschool Record Keeping Goal Setting
The term planner is the reference for planning our lessons for the week. We have a basic routine that the kids become familiar with and they are expected to accomplish their set work.
I have found that workboxes helped me greatly with scheduling work.
Here is an example from our My Homeschool weekly planner when used with a few grades how we use them when combining grades.
Homeschool Term Diary and Assessment of Progress
This is completed at the end of each term. The electronic version of the term planner that was commenced at the beginning of the term is resurrected and filled in with what has actually been achieved.
Page numbers, chapters, specific book narrations, field trips and unit studies are added. A short assessment is added plus progress notes on specific key learning areas that may need attention or of interest.
At My Homeschool we’ve prefilled your end of term reports and given them to you as a word doc. All you need to do is adjust them to your requirements.
Homeschool Record Keeping Over- documentation
In my years of homeschooling I have seen many friends homeschool records and some of them look stupendous. They have scrapbooking pages, video recordings of narrations, pages of detailed moments in their homeschool day. They also tell me that the education application assessor loved their record keeping. I’m sure they did.
Whilst I commend their efforts and see that they have a great keepsake for their children I do wonder if they are making a rod-for-their back. Can they maintain this type of record keeping? Are they overdoing it?
Keep Your Homeschool Record Keeping Simple
When setting up a record keeping system for yourself, do yourself a favour, and keep it simple and easy to maintain.
Make sure you have the following elements in your program:
- Record of progress of work
- List of Achievements
- Assessment of Progress
- Assessment of future needs of child.
End of Homeschool Term To Do List
It’s always good to have a mental end of homeschool term to do list. Here are three simple things you can do. I find it makes the holidays go smoothly and it also helps me feel prepared to start the next term organised.
1. Tidy up the school desks and boxes
Putting away the school work while you are on a holidays helps you and the kids to take a mental break. Tuck them away in a corner. Out of sight, out of mind.
2. Assess progress during the term
Write up their homeschool term report for the term and write a quick plan for term two.
I see how much they have completed and if I need to make some adjustments for the next term.
I often find I’m a little behind – ever the optimist but sometimes we get through more than expected. Writing up a term report only takes me an hour or two.
3. Order extra resources
If you need to order some new resources it’s a good idea to plan your purchases now so that the new term isn’t wasted while you’re waiting for things to arrive.
Allow three weeks for your overseas orders.
A homeschool portfolio is an educational keepsake that your child can look over, show off and use to remember events from previous school years. My adult children still like looking at them. I also found them helpful for showing evidence of work achieved throughout the year.
How I Organised My Homeschool Portfolio
1. I buy a 20 page clear sleeve pocket file folder.
2. Then I get the kids to make their own cover page for the year.
3. Over the year I add to the portfolio relevant materials. The type of things we put in our portfolio are;
- Art in homeschool portfolio
- Learning plans for the year
- Samples of work including photographs and pictures
- Reading lists
- Assessment reports
At the end of the year, I go through all their work. I keep special pieces and add them to the portfolio and then I throw the rest of the work out. This keeps our records neat and compact.
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