Homeschool Records Keeping: Plans and Reports
Homeschool records keeping is a requirement in 35 US states. Sometimes these records need to be handed in for assessment and other times they only need to be kept for a few years. Even if your state does not require you to keep any documentation it can be as a family record of learning.
What Homeschool Records Keeping Should I Do?
There are various aspects to consider when investigating what homeschool records you will need in the future. They include:
- What does my state law mandate for homeschool records keeping?
- What type of homeschool records do I need (or want)? Is it a portfolio, yearly plan or narrative, assessment tests, quarterly reports or just a record of attendance?
- Do I need to cover any mandatory subjects?
- How long do I need to keep homeschool records?
- Do I want my homeschool records to be a keep-sake of my children’s learning?
What Are The Homeschool Records Keeping Requirements In Your State?
When homeschooling in the USA homeschool laws vary from state to state. Some have lots of mandatory requirements, others require no paperwork to be kept at all. Generally speaking, the states with low to nil requirements are considered the easiest states for record keeping. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Texas are in this category.
Alabama, Indiana, and Mississippi only have attendance homeschool records requirements.
New York State, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, and Ohio, have the most regulated homeschool record keeping requirements.
States not listed in the tables below have minimal to nil record keeping requirements.
US States With High Homeschool Records Keeping Requirements
US States With Medium Homeschool Records Keeping Requirements
US States With Low Homeschool Records Keeping Requirements
What Homeschool Records Do You Need To Keep?
Homeschool Attendance Records
These are simple Homeschool Records Keeping tracking attendance. You can use a diary or just an attendance chart.
Here is a simple printable attendance-records-for-homeschool
Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi only have attendance homeschool records keeping requirements.
Mandatory Hours of Attendance
Some states have mandatory instruction hours. On average this is 180 days of school attendance which is 36 weeks of a 5 day week.
In some states this is broken down into a minimum of 4.5 hours a day.
However, in most states, it is worth noting that there is no specific stipulation on the content or mode of delivery of the homeschool instruction. Therefore, many activities can be considered educational.
At My Homeschool we can help you meet this homeschool records keeping requirement. Our courses have 36 weeks which translates to 180 days or 900 to 1300 hours (time increases with each grade) of homeschool instruction. This is not just academic work. It includes enrichment activities, reading and field trips.
Approximate Homeschool Subject Hours With My Homeschool
Yearly Homeschool Plans
Homeschool plans are required for your initial application to homeschool in New York, Ohio, Vermont, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, Hawaii, and Wyoming. Complexity varies according to state. These usually require you to indicate what you plan to teach in the coming year.
In some states like New York an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) needs to be submitted each year.
My Homeschool provides yearly homeschool graded planning templates (in a Word document) using our curriculum. We have prepared 75% of the material you just need to add the finishing touches.
With each planning template we give you a list of the resources broken down into specific subjects. We also provide a detailed scope and sequence with each of its courses which Nebraska families will appreciate.
A homeschool report is a record of progress that needs to be submitted to authorities on a regular basis. In New York you need to submit a quarterly homeschool report. Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Missouri also require regular reports.
A quarterly report usually details what was covered in the previous 8 weeks of lessons. It references curriculum completed, examination results (if any) and field trips. A short assessment is usually added.
At My Homeschool we divide our curriculum into 4 terms and we have Term Reports for weeks 9, 18, 27 and 36 of the programs. These can be used for quarterly reports. Our Term Reports are provided as Word templates and space is given to record an update of progress. Lessons, book and video resources are already added. Space for a short assessment is given. All you need to do is adjust them to your homeschool records keeping requirements.
A homeschool portfolio is an educational keepsake that your child can look over, show off and use to remember events from previous school years. Your children will like looking at them for years to come. These are also helpful for showing evidence of work achieved throughout the year.
The type of things you can put in your portfolio are:
- Learning plans for the year
- Samples of work including photographs and pictures
- Reading lists
- Assessment reports
- Examination results
- External testing results such as the California Achievement Test
At My Homeschool we encourage our families to make a portfolio and we include quarterly prompts as reminders.
We think portfolios are a great idea for all homeschool families. The states that make it mandatory are: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, District of Colombia, and Florida.
Let Us Help You With Your Homeschool Records Keeping
Many of these homeschool records keeping requirements are to help homeschoolers stay accountable and for assessment purposes. Whilst they can seem onerous, we can make it easier for you.
At My Homeschool all our programs include a lot of the extras needed for meeting homeschool state requirements for documentation when homeschooling in the USA.