Homeschool Record-Keeping Guide
Record keeping is not always easy. Here is a free resource that outlines all you will need each year to keep accurate records for your children.
Homeschool record keeping can be a daunting task if you do not know what you are looking for. It can also be hard to know where to start. The purpose of this article is to help you get what you need together, and then make it easy to keep up with it throughout the year. Be sure the selection of records you choose will compliment your lifestyle, and be easy enough to repeat over and over. The forms you choose should suit your family.
The following forms are the ones I would recommend. They will be the easiest and most informative records, keeping them to a minimum while providing all the information that you will need. They are also easy to create on your home computer.
1. Attendance Record: where you keep track of how many days and hours the children spend on learning activities. These can be found online, or you can use a calendar. Be sure to have one for each child.
2. A yearly planner: This will outline your curriculum for the entire year, in a multitude of subjects. It is easy to make this form. Simply make a list of the following things: Math, Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, Spelling, History, Geography, Health, Music, Physical Education, Science, Foreign Language, Bible, Extras. Under each heading, write what you will use to teach these things. This form is a great one for all kinds of homeschooling including unschooling.
3. Priority Sheet or Daily/Weekly Planner: Use a form to write down what you need to accomplish each day or each week, or even each month, depending on what kind of schedule you keep in your home.
4. Reading Record: Your child should include the title, author, and basic summary of every book they read. This is an easy form to type up in a regular word processing program.
5. Field Trip Log: Keep a list of field trips that you have taken and a summary of what you learned from each one.
6. Project Plan Sheet: Plan your projects ahead of time. Write down what you need to complete it, the steps you will take to do so, and the books you used to study it. Place it with the finished project when you are done.
7. Community Service Record: Use this to track the community service your child has completed. The form is a simple one, just write the activity and the dates it was completed.
8. Each year, have children write about themselves. Include what they have learned, what they want from the future, and what they think life is like at the time. Remind them this is going in their transcripts. Be positive, and encourage them to be so. Place this with your yearly records.
9. Depending on your state’s requirements, you will need to choose some sort of end-of-grade testing. Most states require every student, both in-school and homeschool students, to complete an end-of-grade test each in order to proceed to the next grade. The state may require you to fax or email the test results. Be sure to read your state’s laws.
Each year, put these records into a report folder (the cheap kind with the brads that hold papers in place.) Next to that, place a file folder (if you have more than one child, the colors should match for easy filing.) The file folders hold the children’s work until the end of the year. You should put artwork, school papers, evaluations, grades, etc. into this folder. Keep everything you think you might need. These folders can be decorated with a special drawing, a special magazine picture, or a piece of famous artwork printed or purchased. Keep this year after year in a safe spot.
You can also hang a calendar on the wall for each child. On this calendar, record all the important things your children do, and a list of their activities so that you can go back and refer to them if you miss anything in the record keeping. It is also a great personal keepsake and a great child’s health record.
Grade level requirements can be found online with ease. They are just a guideline; you can call your local school district for a copy of the requirements that they use. This is only if you need a starting spot for gathering curriculum. If you use a purchased curriculum there is no need to track these down.
To find free homeschool record-keeping forms, just type “Free forms” into your favorite search engine. You will find many that you need, and many that you don’t. That is why I gave you the general list so that you don’t overwhelm yourself.