As homeschool parents, it's best to be proactive, protected and organized. We have taken on the great responsibility of educating our children, and we owe it to them and to ourselves to document their progress. Depending on your state, you may have specific record keeping requirements that must be adhered to. Some states may only require that you notify them of your intent to homeschool, while others will require parents to send notification, test scores and/or professional evaluation of student progress. The documentation of your children's academic progress serves many purposes — high schoolers applying for scholarships or submitting college applications need school records in order to meet eligibility requirements. The college application and admission process depend heavily on detailed homeschool record keeping.
There are a number of ways to keep track of records; it can be as simple as keeping a detailed calendar where you list the day's activities, attendance and grades. There are also a number of homeschool planners and online printables that provide adequate record keeping. You may want to choose from a number of online services and computer software programs that allow you to input daily attendance, lessons, grades and test scores. You can even keep a three-ring binder for each child and create a homeschool portfolio with scrapbook type mementos, pictures and field trip brochures. Most importantly, choose a record-keeping system that works for you and your family.
As mentioned before, you will want to familiarize yourself with your state's laws to learn what is required for your state. The most important elements of homeschool record keeping include learning objectives, attendance, completed assignments, test scores, grades and any assessment records you have on file. You may also want to include immunization records, transcripts for high school students, a list of achievements, volunteer projects and extracurricular activities.
If you have yet to start record keeping, it’s never too late to begin. Start out simple and enjoy the process as you record your child’s successes and achievements!
If you keep homeschool records, what programs or methods have worked for you?
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