Record Keeping

In most states, parents are required to keep account of 180 days of school. And, in most cases, they have a lot of freedom deciding when to teach required subjects and how much time to devote to them. For example, in Oklahoma, parents are not required to teach every subject every day or to teach a particular number of hours per day. (Check your homeschool laws at HSLDA.) Instead, many parents teach two major subjects per day (ie. history and language one day, science and math another day). They spend larger amounts of time on those two subjects and cover in one day what would normally be covered in two or three days. Some parents teach history for one-half year and science the other half. Use a schedule that works for you.

Until a child has mastered his basic reading, writing, and math skills, it's important to do a little of each of these every day, even if for only 10 - 15 minutes per day. An average homeschool day includes 1/2 hr to 1 hour of one-on-one teaching for preschool or kindergarten, 1 to 2 hours for 1st through 4th, and 2 to 3 hours for 5th and up.

During the remainder of the day, the child (depending on the age) is assigned reading, writing, or studies on their own, participates in hands-on activities and field trips, or works on extracurricular classes.  

I recommend two resources for recordkeeping: a log book and a portfolio.

Log Book

Most log books are geared toward a traditional classroom and have predetermined blocks of time allowed for each subject each day. This is not necessary for a homeschool environment. Instead, I recommend using a record book that leaves out the subject headings, allowing you to write in only what you need to each day. You can keep track of more than one child by drawing vertical lines to create a column for each child.

    

For homeschoolers, I highly recommend the Record Book or the Teacher Plan Book (ISBN 1576900932) pictured above. The Teacher Plan Book is more expensive but has a lot more room. You could easily keep track of six kids in this one. The Record Book will track up to three. 

Be sure to write down all extra-curricular activities, volunteer opportunities, work experiences, and field trips. 

Portfolios

Another resource I recommend for homeschoolers is a portfolio. These are becoming increasing important for admission into college and they are a fun way to review what you've accomplished each year. For more information, read over my Portfolio page.

FREE Recordkeeping Forms

The following recordkeeping forms have been created for homeschoolers and educators to use in their classroom. They are copyrighted by Cindy Downes and may not be used for commercial purposes, distributed and/or stored electronically. For information, contact Cindy at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Forms are in PDF format and require the free  Acrobat Reader software to read and print.

For more information on record keeping, read why, as a homeschooler, you should keep records.