Homeschool Happiness

Depending on the laws of your state, you may need to keep detailed homeschool records and, in some areas, report them to your school district regularly. Read on to learn more about record keeping for homeschooling families.

What you need to document

Check with the requirements from the state to find out exactly what items you need to keep track of. Some may require just an outline of your curriculum, while others may require test scores, attendance records and other information. Some organized homeschooling parents keep very diligent records that include the lesson plans for each day or week, along with attendance records, reading lists, samples of the child's work, standardized test results, progress reports and other info about activities, projects and field trips. Very few states would require such details but it's nice to have to look back on.

Choosing a record-keeping system

When it comes to maintaining your child's homeschool records, you can keep it simple and use a journal or scrapbook, do it online with a software program, or through any number of other ways. If you are an unschooling or eclectic homeschooling family, record keeping may seem extremely tedious – so keep it basic.

As long as you meet the legal requirement for documentation, you don't have to do much more.

Read about choosing a homeschool method >>

Read about planning your homeschool schedule >>

Common record-keeping methods

You can use a scrapbook or album to put together your child's school records, photographs and other keepsakes. Also try one of the common electronic organization methods.

  • Edu-Track homeschool record-keeping software can help to improve the quality of your organization, lesson planning and recording keeping. The program, which costs about $60, exceeds all state requirements for tracking and reporting – so you don't have to worry about that part. It includes assignment sheets, attendance tracking, progress reports, transcripts and over 80 different reports. If you are looking for a do-it-all program, then this is it.
  • Homeschool Tracker is also a fantastic option. This planning and organizing software for homeschool families is very flexible. You can skip the things you don't need, and pick and choose the ones you want. It's an easy way to keep homeschool records and establish lesson plans. They offer annual and monthly subscription options, where you can pay as little as $5 a month to use their web-based planner, or instead you can download their "Plus" version and install it on your PC for $49.

Whatever type of homeschool record-keeping method you choose – stick to it. Record keeping is a fantastic way to stay organized and it's fun to look back on all the things your children have accomplished through home education.

More on homeschooling

Is homeschooling right for you and your child?
5 Homeschooling myths debunked
Homeschooling 101: How to get started homeschooling

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