Documenting your child's education is an important part of homeschooling, but the kinds of records you keep will depend on your method of schooling and your state's legal requirements. Be sure you know what records your state requires you to keep. From calendars and journals to scrapbooks and portfolios, inevitably you will develop a system that works for you. If your homeschooling consists primarily of field trips and extracurricular activities, then calendars, scrapbooks, and journals are great options. If you are a more traditional homeschooler, you may prefer to keep a three-ring binder with a detailed course of study, virtual school transcripts, assignment sheets, and book logs.
Whatever method you decide, be sure to keep samples of your child's best work, and keep everything organized in a logical order so your homeschool evaluator can easily see the progress your child has made. Here are a few ways you can keep your child's schoolwork organized:
This method of record keeping works with any method of homeschooling. With them you can plan assignments and projects as well as keep track of field trips and extra curricular activities. Calendars and planners are especially useful to stay in compliance with state mandated attendance laws. If your child is enrolled in a virtual school, calendars and planners can help you keep up with your child's pace and test schedules, too.
These are great for unschoolers and homeschoolers who do unit studies. Parents and older students can keep a journal or log of learning experiences and a scrapbook filled will museum brochures, ticket stubs, artwork, memoirs, and photographs from field trips and activities. Combined with calendars and planners, scrapbooks and journals will help you document the places your children went, what they did, when they did it, and what they learned.
Oftentimes organized in folders or arranged in a divided three-ring binder, portfolios can include a combination of all of the above or simply samples of your child's work throughout the school year. You can keep things like schedules, curriculum information such as the scope and sequence, book lists, field trips, samples of your child's work, photographs, standardized tests, and anything else related to your child's education.
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