Homeschool recordkeeping will look different in each family, If you have never kept records before, now is a good time to begin.
When I first began homeschooling, I had no clue what I needed to keep. So, I kept everything! Every paper she completed, every workbook she finished, every scratch piece of paper she had doodled on. I didn’t know what one would deem important vs. what one would deem unnecessary. This quickly led to a tote full of books, papers, and artwork that needed to be stored for just one child. Did I mention this was in preschool?
When it comes to homeschool recordkeeping, I have figured out a few things that work, and some that don’t! This is what works for my family, it doesn’t mean it will work for yours but it may.
How to Organize Homeschool Portfolios
Each year I keep a homeschool portfolio for each child. I sort it by subjects (Science, Writing, History, Reading, Art, and Health). I then put a few papers each month (See my paperwork system here!) in the portfolio to show we have been working on these subjects. I keep Spelling Tests, Book Reports, history worksheets, Writing samples and other things that I think show the quality of their work. I do not do this with Math because I save the workbooks. It is good to use them to go back and review, so I do not toss Math books. Everything else-I toss! There is NO need to keep everything. Another thing I keep in their portfolios is a list of the curriculum we used that year, and standardized testing results if we tested that year.
I also snap pictures throughout the year and develop them. I think this will be a good “yearbook” of sorts for them to look back on someday. I also keep a printable sheet in their portfolio that I write down field trips. You can also keep a list of awards they won, extracurricular activities they participated in, co-ops they went to, and anything else you deem beneficial to their education.
Homeschool Academic Records
To record grades and attendance, I use my homeschool planner. I keep attendance and grade by semesters. I can document each day we have done school, what we did each day, and record grades all in one place. This planner works for up to 4 children.
There are a number of good reasons to keep good academic records for your homeschool students. In many states, it is required by law to keep records. Check your state’s laws to find out what paperwork is required for you to keep. Once your child is in Jr. High and High School academic records become very important. Colleges want records, and some colleges want a lot of them. If you begin getting organized early, it will be a lot easier to have everything in place when it is time for college admission.
If you have never kept homeschool records before, now is a good time to begin. Start with something easy, like keeping attendance then move on to grades, or a portfolio. If you have been one of those parents who keep everything, slowly start to “purge” the excess. Or at least organize it a little bit. Homeschool Record keeping will look different in each family, but hopefully, you will find a record keeping system that will work for you!
Want to learn more about homeschooling? Check out my book Homeschool 101!