Keeping homeschool records is becoming increasingly more important in the UK. This is because the government is pushing for homeschooling in England to become more regulated. It needn’t be a hassle though, and there are enough options out there that even the most hardcore organisationally challenged families should be able to find a method which suits them. First, I am going to list the many options out there. Next, I will briefly describe the method I use. And lastly, I will give you an option which allows your own children to keep their own school records, and have lots of learning fun at the same time.
Lots of Ideas for Keeping Homeschool Records
- Regular pad, perhaps one for each child. Fill in nightly, making a note of everything which might be countable as learning.
- A Diary for each child, again filling it in each night.
- Using a word document, draft email or notebook within your computer which you add to each night or even throughout the day. Sue from Stories of an Unschooling Family uses Evernote, which she has posted extensively on.
- Using your voice recorder on your phone, to record activities over the day or week, then transfer those notes into a notebook, diary or document.
- Take photos using your phone and keep them in named folders until you have a moment to write up notes. Add everything to a memory stick. Videos could also be taken and stored in a similar way.
- More formal type sheets which need to be filled in: Excel, weekly or daily check lists, weekly report cards, Google sheets.
- Binder for each child which can include as much or as little as you like. Any of the above could be printed and popped into the binder. Also, lists of curriculum/books/audibles and YouTube videos, as well as notes regarding project based learning and skill based learning. And, of course you can put copies of your children’s work.
- Facebook Page or Private Facebook groups
- Digital scrapbook or an analogue scrapbook – get your creative juices running and add fun anecdotes to photos, tickets and pamphlets. Add your children’s art work, writing and basically anything you can think of!
- Build a portfolio for each child over the year
And for the Really Disorganised…
- Last but not least, for the really disorganised amongst you, grab a huge plastic box and chuck all your children’s work in each day. It’s not pretty, it’s not even that organised, but it is all together. This means that at the end of the year you have at least been keeping some sort of homeschool records to draw from to write the report. You’re welcome 😇
The Angelicscalliwags Method of Keeping Homeschool Records
I have kept records from the first year I homeschooled. Which is weird because I’m not a naturally organised person in anything else in my life 😬. At first I used a word document and kind of scrap booked into it, reserving any workbooks tests the children took. As we moved onto book units, my records became more pictorial. And then I started to blog. This is where I found my planning and recording feet, so to speak. I found I was able to plan straight into a draft post, add the photos of us actually doing the work and also including any interesting or fun tidbits we’d had along the way. Each week for almost a decade, I have posted a weekly wrap up post which then evolved into a precious moments post.
This year, because of changes in the expectations from local authorities, I have written a monthly homeschool log book. I still plan into a draft post and then each day, add photos and notes. It is a simple method of planning, carrying out and recording the work we do in our homeschool. It takes minutes each day and I can send the authorities the links for the year. Alternatively, I could go through each post and write a more official post, knowing that I was including everything. Another option would be to copy and paste each post into a word document convert this into a pdf to be sent off to the authorities.
You Could Keep a Blog Too!
If this method appeals to you, you don’t need to create a public blog. You can start up a free WordPress blog and keep it private. You could even make it pass word protected so that the authorise can read it (should you wish) and your relatives. Having a blog has been an amazing way to keep relatives in Northern Ireland up to date with our lives ❤️. Try it! You won’t regret it 👍
Methods of Keeping Homeschool Records for Children
There are many positives for having your children keep their own records. Writing a blog is a great way of recording their own learning. For example, during our Little House on the Prairie Summer the children wrote their own blog, ‘Little House Living‘. They posted about the activities they did each week, learning the skills of blogging at the same time. To this day, the children still have visitors to this blog.
Another idea is to ask your children to write a daily letter to their daddy, telling him everything they have done. This works even better when daddy writes back! When the littles were still learning to write, they would write letters to Gary and the rest of the family. And then their sisters (and Gary occasionally) would write back, which would encourage them to write another letter back. Alternatively, they could write a letter, or send a scrap book page to their grandparents, relatives or close friends. You could photocopy each page before it is sent and pop it in a file to use as part of their homeschool report.
A secret diary is something else they could write in each day. Although they may not wish to share this 🤔
I hope this post about keeping homeschool records has been helpful. There are many ways to keep records. You just need to find the right one for you. It does not need to take long each day, but it does need to be done diligently. Keeping daily or weekly records will prevent any panic at the end of the year. Everything will be there for you to use and create a yearly report you can be proud of. I love my blog on so many levels. But one of the most useful things about it is that I have detailed records available anytime of the year, should the local authorities ask me for them.
For information regarding the UK government surrounding Home Education and tips to complete your yearly report, head over to Education Otherwise.
Next week, I will be writing in detail about how I plan my homeschool, the Bible verses which have been my mainstay throughout our homeschool adventures and how I find a lovely balance between child-led learning and parent-led learning.