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How do you keep yearly records for your homeschoolers?

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  • Maggie
    replied
    Love some of your methods Jochebed! Scanning and making a folder of their work is a wonderful idea!

    Leave a comment:


  • Jochebed
    replied
    I keep digital copies

    (My first post - Yay!) In contrast to California, I'm in a state with next to no reporting requirements! We are just starting homeschool this year PreK-K. I plan to keep all the physical copybooks, coloring books, workbooks, etc that we've used. Loose papers all get scanned. I can actually keep FAR more individual pieces of stuff he's done this way than I ever could in a file cabinet. Drawings, paintings, random letters, sketch paper drawings/writings, even a couple videos of him reading books - all goes into a Portfolio file on my computer dated for the year. I keep the "best of the best" in a notebook in his room as motivation ("Wow! What neat writing you did! Let's put it in your notebook!") but probably still won't keep that after the year - just scan and do away with the hard copy. I simply don't have room to physically store a ton of stuff so I'm making use of digital.

    I lesson plan 1-4 weeks at a time so that if I get "behind" I'm not behind all year. I do this in an Excell chart, print it weekly, put it in a page protector on the fridge and cross stuff off with a wet erase marker. At the end of the week I just go back to the original excell chart, color all the stuff we did in red and save it. Voila. Record of exactly what we did that week. If we didn't finish something I can move it forward to next week and print the next chart.

    I'll probably have him tested/evaluated yearly too - keeps me up with how he's doing, gaps to fill and gives me something physical to prove how he's doing should the state after come knocking (not likely in my state...probably more likely in CA!)

    -Jochebed

    Leave a comment:


  • Mommy2TwoBoys
    replied
    Lena:

    Thank you SO much for the great advice!! That gives me many options to mull over. Very much appreciated.

    Mommy2TwoBoys


    Originally posted by armymom View Post
    As for California specifically, I don't believe that you need to keep a portfolio per se, since you are an organized private school. If you have some Memoria Press materials then you have a curriculum. However, I find it is useful to keep records regardless of state requirements. As a result, I have experiemented a lot this year and here are some examples of methods.

    1. Use you lesson plan book as a record book. I would pick a color for each child and mark their lesson books with dates of completion. You can do this daily or weekly. This is super easy, but doesn't work very well if you are deviating from the daily plans because of special needs of the child. You end up having marks everywhere because in some places you are keeping up a regular schedule, but others, say math, you are taking longer than standard.

    2. If you want a plan for the day to look at you can consider a lesson plan book. There are homeschool specific ones on rainbow resource or free ones online. Some are pretty simple, some like the Ultimate Homeschool Planners are designed to help you journal your year. You can tell how much this will appeal to you. Anyway, it is more work, but you can transcribe the lessons that you are working on into the book several weeks ahead. As a benefit, you can put both children into one planner and have one plan for your day. Plus, you can copy the lesson where you are at. Math is going great - put in the whole lesson. Spelling is super slow? Spread each lesson over several days. The cons to this system are that if you are inclined to work too far ahead, plans can change leading to a lot of erasing or tearing out pages. Also there are so many planners it might take a couple of tries to find one that you are comfortable with.

    3. The most flexible method is to record in a seperate book what you actually get done each day. This is a little tedious and gets inaccurate if you get behind by too far. (Three days behind is not a problem, three weeks behind and you will be guessing somewhat.) However, it puts on paper what your days actually look like. That can be helpful to see. Plus, you aren't as pressured by where you "ought" to be. Instead, you can look at your notes and see that progress IS there, no matter how incremental. This can be as simple as a blank notebook or if you want to get fancy there is something called A Record of the Learning Lifestyle that you can get from rainbow resource or notgrass company. It has a great weekly spread where you can see by subject where your efforts are focused, plus it has space to record things like spiritual teaching. It can help you see if your priorities are lining up with reality.

    Anyway, one of those options will likely work for recording in general what work gets done. As for seeing a progression of your students work, MP stuff is mostly in workbooks. If you save the books you have tedious detail on their year! Personally I have started culling through material and tearing out select pages from the beginning, middle and end of the year. It can go in a binder or any type of file folder. That way you should have a progression of work. If you ever have to submit a portfolio you should note that they are often looking for progress, so try to give examples that include rough drafts or sub-par beginning of the year work and more polished and superior end of the year work. I have found that simply picking from the beginning and the end for a small kid usually gives some kind of progressions. I have an accordian file where I will put work for my dd for K and then 1st next year. By the way, we are DOD overseas, so most of this record keeping is a combo of practice and my husband's peace of mind, because we don't have authorities to report to!

    By the end of the year I had a less then stellar portfolio of work, because we moved and I lost some stuff in the shuffle. Plus, we have toddler terrors with crayons that added extra decoration. At the end of the year I have settled into using option 3 above for keeping school records because it was frustrating me that we were all over the place in skills. I am bugged by being behind here, ahead there and writing in a different math program anyway. Recording each day after the fact saves me planning and erasing because the best laid plans... Also, I liked laying out my week by subject to see if we were keeping up in the areas that I really thought were important. I might change my tune when I have several kids to record, rather than just the eldest. Hopefully, these musings will help you figure something out. The HSLDA usually has a state by state list of legal requirements so you can make sure those are covered.

    Lena

    Leave a comment:


  • armymom
    replied
    As for California specifically, I don't believe that you need to keep a portfolio per se, since you are an organized private school. If you have some Memoria Press materials then you have a curriculum. However, I find it is useful to keep records regardless of state requirements. As a result, I have experiemented a lot this year and here are some examples of methods.

    1. Use you lesson plan book as a record book. I would pick a color for each child and mark their lesson books with dates of completion. You can do this daily or weekly. This is super easy, but doesn't work very well if you are deviating from the daily plans because of special needs of the child. You end up having marks everywhere because in some places you are keeping up a regular schedule, but others, say math, you are taking longer than standard.

    2. If you want a plan for the day to look at you can consider a lesson plan book. There are homeschool specific ones on rainbow resource or free ones online. Some are pretty simple, some like the Ultimate Homeschool Planners are designed to help you journal your year. You can tell how much this will appeal to you. Anyway, it is more work, but you can transcribe the lessons that you are working on into the book several weeks ahead. As a benefit, you can put both children into one planner and have one plan for your day. Plus, you can copy the lesson where you are at. Math is going great - put in the whole lesson. Spelling is super slow? Spread each lesson over several days. The cons to this system are that if you are inclined to work too far ahead, plans can change leading to a lot of erasing or tearing out pages. Also there are so many planners it might take a couple of tries to find one that you are comfortable with.

    3. The most flexible method is to record in a seperate book what you actually get done each day. This is a little tedious and gets inaccurate if you get behind by too far. (Three days behind is not a problem, three weeks behind and you will be guessing somewhat.) However, it puts on paper what your days actually look like. That can be helpful to see. Plus, you aren't as pressured by where you "ought" to be. Instead, you can look at your notes and see that progress IS there, no matter how incremental. This can be as simple as a blank notebook or if you want to get fancy there is something called A Record of the Learning Lifestyle that you can get from rainbow resource or notgrass company. It has a great weekly spread where you can see by subject where your efforts are focused, plus it has space to record things like spiritual teaching. It can help you see if your priorities are lining up with reality.

    Anyway, one of those options will likely work for recording in general what work gets done. As for seeing a progression of your students work, MP stuff is mostly in workbooks. If you save the books you have tedious detail on their year! Personally I have started culling through material and tearing out select pages from the beginning, middle and end of the year. It can go in a binder or any type of file folder. That way you should have a progression of work. If you ever have to submit a portfolio you should note that they are often looking for progress, so try to give examples that include rough drafts or sub-par beginning of the year work and more polished and superior end of the year work. I have found that simply picking from the beginning and the end for a small kid usually gives some kind of progressions. I have an accordian file where I will put work for my dd for K and then 1st next year. By the way, we are DOD overseas, so most of this record keeping is a combo of practice and my husband's peace of mind, because we don't have authorities to report to!

    By the end of the year I had a less then stellar portfolio of work, because we moved and I lost some stuff in the shuffle. Plus, we have toddler terrors with crayons that added extra decoration. At the end of the year I have settled into using option 3 above for keeping school records because it was frustrating me that we were all over the place in skills. I am bugged by being behind here, ahead there and writing in a different math program anyway. Recording each day after the fact saves me planning and erasing because the best laid plans... Also, I liked laying out my week by subject to see if we were keeping up in the areas that I really thought were important. I might change my tune when I have several kids to record, rather than just the eldest. Hopefully, these musings will help you figure something out. The HSLDA usually has a state by state list of legal requirements so you can make sure those are covered.

    Lena

    Leave a comment:


  • How do you keep yearly records for your homeschoolers?

    Hi again:

    I would love to know how everyone keeps their yearly records for homeschooling. I have not been able to find a good answer for this on-line anywhere (unless it's high-school related). We are in California. What records should I have for each of my children for each school year? What documents? How formal should it be? Are there any websites that give examples as to what you should keep on file? (My children are 7 & 11).

    Thank you!!
    Mommy2TwoBoys
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