Are you keeping track of learning in your homeschool this year? Some states require parents to track progress and compile portfolios for their homeschool students each year. Even if you’re not in a state that requires you to keep track, there are many benefits to keeping good records.
Keeping track of what we’re learning in our homeschool gives us the opportunity to plan for the future and mark our progress. When your homeschoolers enter high school, you’ll need to prepare transcripts. Good records make creating transcripts for high school easier.
Want to learn more about how we’re keeping track of learning in our homeschool? Keep reading to discover why we think it matters and get some easy homeschool planning tools to help you get started with record keeping this year.
Why Keeping Track of Learning In Your Homeschool Matters
There are lots of great reasons to keep good homeschool records. I like being able to look through our records and see Emily’s progress.
It’s both motivating and affirming to see all the field trips, books read, and concepts mastered as I thumb through our homeschool records. Good records give students evidence of education they can use to further their learning when entering the military, seeking employment, or continuing education.
Some states require homeschoolers to keep records. In Florida, I am required to keep a homeschool portfolio.
There are three different homeschooling options in the state of Florida. Depending on the homeschooling option you choose, your records may include a notice of intent, educational evaluation form, or notice of termination. There are other important records we need to keep as well.
Our homeschool records include attendance logs, informations about oboks we are using, samples of Emily’s work, and any other documents to show that she is receiving a great education in compliance with the homeschooling laws in our state.
It’s important to keep elementary and middle grade homeschool records for at least two years, just in case. High school records should be kept on file throughout all four of your student’s high school years.
My favorite aspect of record keeping is the ability to see progress. Keeping track of learning in our homeschool helps us to see all the concepts Emily has mastered and all the amazing things we’ve learned over the years. It’s affirmation that we are successfully cultivating lifelong learning as a family.
When Emily is struggling with a new or challenging subject, I can turn to our records and get information about what may have helped in the past. It’s a great way to boost her confidence during stressful times too.
Another fun aspect of record keeping is that it makes planning for the future easier. I can see all the things we have studied, the subjects Emily really enjoyed and those she found challenging, and what really works for us as a family. That’s truly valuable information when you’re planning the next homeschool year!
Easy Transcripts For High School
Once your homeschooler enters the high school years, record keeping is truly essential. If you’ve been keeping track of learning in your homeschool all along, building a transcript will be easier than it would be for someone who is new to record keeping. Tracking what you’ve studied and how well your student learned the material becomes essential during those critical high school years.
Beginning to keep records of what you’re learning now will give you a blueprint you can follow during high school. Plus, it’s a great way to get your feet wet before you have to build a transcript for your homeschooler.
Keeping Track Of Learning In Your Homeschool
I understand that keeping track of learning in your homeschool can feel a bit intimidating at first. We began keeping records because our state requires it, but we have come to enjoy tracking our learning for all kinds of wonderful reasons!
I use my homeschool planners to keep track of our day-to-day plans, progress, books we are reading, and games we play. My flexible homeschool planners are completely customizable.
You can edit the pages in my planners and choose from a variety of layouts to find what fits best for your family. I print all the pages I need and add more whenever I need. Unlike other planners I’ve tried, this system actually decreases the amount of time I spend planning and helps me get organized with everything from simple weekly layouts to password logs and menu planning pages.
We keep our long-term homeschool portfolio records digital with the help of Microsoft OneNote. It’s like a digital bookshelf where I can keep multiple notebooks, divided by section, with individual notes in each section. I use a different “notebook” for each school year.
For example, I have a records section, a weekly log section, and a work samples section. In the records section I can keep track of our goals for the year, resources we are using, book logs, and work samples.
In my weekly digital log, I include all the things we do that aren’t really tangible. This is where you’ll find things like time spent outside in nature study, board games we play, and other learning adventures that don’t necessarily fit on a worksheet.
There’s also a samples section where I can include samples of written work Emily has completed throughout the year. Our state recommends a few samples of each subject for the year, including samples from the beginning, middle, and end of the year. I really love looking back at these samples to see how far we’ve come through the year.
Want to learn more about how I create our digital record-keeping portfolio? Read about Creating a Digital Homeschool Portfolio to help you get started with your own digital records.
Additional Homeschool Planning and Organizational Resources
Good record keeping can definitely make planning and organizing a homeschool year a little bit easier. I’ve got lots of additional homeschool planning tools and organizational tips you can use to make planning your next year a breeze! Check out some of my helpful articles and resources below.
- Am I Behind On My Homeschool Planning?
- Why Unit Studies are the Best Place to Start Homeschool Planning
- Homeschool Planning for the Rest of Your School Year
What’s your favorite homeschool planning tool or organizational resource? How do you keep track of learning in your homeschool? Share your own tips and tools in the comments for everyone to discover!