Easy Fuss Free Homeschool Record Keeping
I keep records of the children’s achievements by:
- Dating when we finish a particular book
- Keep a list of books read
- Keep checklists as a reference for writing up the end of term diary.
- I keep a homeschool planner where I record composers studied, read-alouds and a calendar of events.
I do not ever record specific school hours. Instead I work from a basic timetable. We run on a four term schedule. Term times run closely along with the NSW schools, as this works well for other scheduled holiday activities. At times we do vary when certain situations arise.
Here is a sample of my 2011 basic timetable.
Morning 0900-1300 Afternoon
Ø Monday Academics and Book work Academic and Book Work
Ø Tuesday Academics and Book work Sport
Ø Wednesday Academics and Book work Music
Ø Thursday Academics and Book work Dance
Ø Friday Homeschool group activity Field Trips
I have found that the best way for me to do this is to write out what I call a term summary at the beginning of each term with subjects and goals. It shows what we are hoping to achieve for eachchild that term. Although this is quite specific there is still ‘room to move’. I type this up as a table on Microsoft Word and save it so that I can review my work at the end of term and use this document as the basis for my end of term report.
Here is a sample of this Term 1 Planner 2011
Weekly Goal Setting
The term summary is the reference for planning our goals for the week. I do not set a specifictimetable rather we work on achieving our goals for the week. We have a basic routine that the kids become familiar with and they are expected to accomplish their set work.
I have found that Sue Patrick’s Workbox system has helped me greatly with this phase. I also use checklists .
Homeschool Term Diary and Assessment of Progress (A homeschool report)
This is completed at the end of each term. The electronic version of the term planner that was commenced at the beginning of the term is resurrected and filled in with what has actually been achieved.
Page numbers, chapters, specific book narrations, field trips and unit studies are added. A short assessment is added plus progress notes on specific key learning areas that may need attention or of interest.
Here is a sample of Term 1 Summary
Is This Really Enough?
I have been registered to homeschool for 10 years and I’ve been using this method for about 5 years. Each time I register with the Board of Studies (NSW) they are always happy with this approach.
In my years of homeschooling I have seen many friends homeschool records and some of them look stupendous. They have scrapbooking pages, video recordings of narrations, pages of detailed moments in their homeschool day. They also tell me that the Board of Studies loved their record keeping. I’m sure they did.
Whilst I commend their efforts and see that they have a great keepsake for their children I do wonder if they are making a rod-for-their back. Can they maintain this type of record keeping? Are they overdoing it?
Keep It Simple
When setting up a record keeping system for yourself, do yourself a favour, and keep it simple and easy to maintain.
Make sure you have the following elements in your program:
Ø Record of progress of work
Ø List of Achievements
Ø Assessment of Progress
Ø Assessment of future needs of child.