Originally Sent: 5/17/2013
May 17, 2013
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What Records Should You Keep?
While various states may have specific legal requirements regarding what records to keep and how or when to submit them, here are some general guidelines from a practical perspective.
It is wise to keep the records and samples of your child’s work in all subjects from the current year and at least one or two years back (3-5 years for records required by your state statute). These samples should be from various times of the year, to show progress in each subject—for example, a math workbook or notebook page from September, January and May and a writing sample from September and May. If your state law requires you to teach specific subjects, you’ll want to keep some sort of documentation that those were covered; your lesson planning book or daily log could usually satisfy this need. (Later, during high school, you will want to keep these for all four years.)
In our homeschool, we used a plan book that served as a record of our attendance, lesson plans and verification that we covered any required subjects, a record of field trips and reading lists and extracurricular activities, etc. So when the year was over, all I needed to add were a few samples of work from various times of the year and I had a nice portfolio. In most states, this would generally be sufficient for the year and would take up little space—less than a small binder. If you don’t use a lesson plan book, you could keep these records in a notebook, a binder, on the computer, or some other sort of retrievable document.
You’ll also want to hold on to any test scores, attendance records, correspondence related to home education, and other official documentation. Transcripts, report cards, test scores, and diplomas or certificates will stay in your child’s permanent record file which could be useful to him not only now, but into his adult life.
Visit our Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens webpages for more information on record keeping, lesson planning, testing, curriculum, learning styles, gifted learners, and more:
As always, for any legal questions related to your homeschooling, our members are invited to personally contact our HSLDA legal staff at 540-338-5600—if you are not a member yet, be sure to join today!
Praying for you as you finish out your year,
Nothing in this e-newsletter should be considered legal advice.
Articles and Resources
“Recordkeeping—Is It Worth the Trouble?” by Andrea Longbottom
“Planning Tips” by Kara Murphy
What Your Child Needs to Know When by Robin Sampson
Learning Objectives for Grades K-8: Hewitt scope & sequence checklist for various subjects per grade
Edu-Track planning and recordkeeping computer software
Percipion HELPER system (PC or Mac)
My Homeschool Planner (with recordkeeping pages)
Mardel’s A Simple Plan—online lesson planning and recordkeeping (also available in print version)
Planbook—Online lesson planner; basic and premium versions available
“Plan to Learn”—Home School Heartbeat series on lesson planning (Home School Heartbeat also had some episodes on grading.)
“The Importance of Homeschool Record Keeping” Alpha Omega
Homeschool Tracker (also Mac compatible)
Find more record keeping resources at HSLDA’s Toddlers to Tweens section!
List of even more planners (paid and free)
Homeschool Planet online calendar and lesson-planning tool
My Home School Grades—web-based planning, tracking, and recordkeeping; also available for mobile devices.
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