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Keeping records of what your children learn is required in many states. Some states are more strict on how detailed your records have to be. Here are ideas on how to keep things straight, regardless of how detailed (or not) that you need to be.
This may seem obvious, but many homeschool parents use these for their own children. They already have the weeks laid out. You can either plan ahead or write things down as you go. If you do the same subjects every day, this may be a great way for you to keep things straight. If you have multiple children that you are homeschooling, you may need more than one book. I am currently using this method for my oldest, who is on a middle school level for most of our subjects right now. I write out the plan in red using these pens (my absolute favorite for everything, including record keeping and grading or checking), and then erase and write it in black once it has actually been completed. This way, I can visually see that we are making progress each day. The downfall that I have found with this method is that this particular book only has a five day week and we tend to use every day as a school day. For those other days, we use an attendance chart and I just put a check mark below the subject we worked on that day. And yes, we count reading as a school activity.
This is the same type of thing as the teacher plan book mentioned above. The only difference is that this has a seven day week instead of only five. I used to use this, but found that I was spending too much time writing everything out. These can also be expensive and the days may not have the space you need.
This is a way to keep worksheets, workbooks, activities, and pictures all filed in order. At the front of the files, keep a simple attendance chart (like this one) and make a separate file for each subject. Make sure you put a date on each paper or picture and file them in order, always putting the newest in the back. Done! If you unschool but still need to show proof of school, pictures of your child doing an activity are a perfect way to track progress!
If you would rather have everything digital, this is an excellent way to keep pictures for your end of the year assessment or proof. Many parents add the person doing the assessment to the group to see everything, and then remove them once it is complete. You can keep the pictures all on the main feed or even add an album for each subject!
Teaching a child how to keep a planner is a vital life skill. It teaches them how to keep track of their own progress, as well as plan ahead. Have your child sit down with you on a Sunday afternoon. Talk to them about what their expectations are and help them write it down in their planner for the week. Have them track each day on their own and see if they have followed their plan. Do they need to add more? Take some things away? Help them to learn to not burn themselves out and find a balance that works for them and the rest of the family.
There are numerous apps out there to help with creating a portfolio. Our family is considering using an app just to keep everything together so we have less paperwork to keep track of. Here are a few of our favorites.
Now that you know what type of planner will help you keep track of your student’s work, you must be wondering what you have to include. Do you have to keep everything? What is considered important?
First, divide your portfolio into the basic subjects. Then add in samples of the work that your children did throughout the year. For example:
Remember that you don’t need to include everything. You have to show progress. Take your students’ worst work from the beginning of the year, add in some of their samples that show progress, and then finish with their best work. Show that your child learned something, even if it was small. Everything in life is a learning opportunity. Don’t miss the small moments.