Originally Sent: 5/17/2013
May 17, 2013
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
Homeschool Planet online calendar and lesson-planning tool
How Do You Know They Know What They Know? By Teresa Moon
Percipion HELPER system (PC or Mac)
My Home School Grades—web-based planning, tracking, and recordkeeping; also available for mobile devices.
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)
More report card templates:
"Homeschooling Thru the Early Years" is a newsletter of the Home School Legal Defense Association. All rights reserved. For more information on Homeschooling Thru the Early Years or the Home School Legal Defense Association please contact us at:
HSLDA • P.O. Box 3000 • Purcellville, Virginia 20134-9000
Subscription Information: You subscribed to the "Homeschooling Thru the Early Years" email as:
POSTMASTERS: This message is being sent to the most recent address we have for our subscribers. If this is an invalid email address or you have other problems, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: This is considered a private and confidential message from HSLDA to its bonafide HSLDA E-lert Service subscribers. HSLDA cannot attest to the authenticity of copies posted, forwarded, or sent by any party other than HSLDA.
ADVERTISING WITH US: The appearance of advertisements in the Homeschooling thru the Early Years newsletter does not imply recommendation or endorsement by Home School Legal Defense Association, and the opinions expressed by advertisers do not necessarily reflect the views of HSLDA. Use of any information, product, or service herein advertised is voluntary, and reliance upon it should only be undertaken after independent review. Caveat emptor—let the buyer beware.
NOTE: Please do not reply or otherwise use this email address; email@example.com is for broadcast purposes only and is not intended to receive incoming messages. We cannot reply to any email sent to this address. If you have comments or questions, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call HSLDA at 540-338-5600. HSLDA members can also email staff directly through the Members website at http://members.hslda.org/contact.asp. Thank you for your cooperation.© 2017 HSLDA. All rights reserved.