This post is the sixth in a series of six simple homeschool tips moms can do to rock homeschool and to have a wonderful year.
In the past five weeks, we worked on determining our why, what is important to us, envisioning our destination, checking the pulse to determine where we are today, Mapping the Journey, putting a foundation in place, and momculture; we are now ready to consider record keeping. Remember, education is a work in progress!
Homeschool Tip 6: Record Keeping
Good records are important. Whatever your choice of record keeping is, learn how to keep the records and make it a habit. Once you have the habit, have your child keep the record with you. Keeping records with them helps them not be overwhelmed. While keeping a record with you, they are learning the pattern of keeping good records.
3 Ways to Keep Homeschool Records
1. A Commonplace Book
The simplest form is the commonplace book. This is exactly what it sounds like, a common place to record those things you want to keep a record of. I use a composition book. I date the top right corner. I divide the page into two sections. The top is for me to list each thing we did together as a family. I list Bible stories read and discussed, pages read aloud, and anything else I taught them from Power of an Hour. Then on the bottom half of the page I list each child and what we did one-on-one, together. When a child begins to keep their own Commonplace Book, they list what we taught them together, what we did one-on-one, learning activities engaged in with younger siblings, and learning activities they did during their independent interest-led learning time that day.
2. Universal Homeschool Record Keeping System
As children get older and the commonplace book is a habit, you can expand their record keeping skills and teach them a more detailed and annotated kind of record keeping system. We have created a Universal Homeschool Record Keeping System, learning portfolios for children 0-8,
8-12, and 12-adult. There are pages to record- books read, lectures attended, fieldtrips, book reports, learning commitments, and much more. The Personal Scholar Portfolio can also be used to provide documentation to build a transcript. This system becomes a detailed paper trail. Anyone looking at this will see a child has had a broad educational foundation. To find out more about the Universal Homeschool Record Keeping system, read the description found in the catalog here. (Scroll down and click on the Record keeping and Book List tab).
3. Digital Portfolio
Children make all kinds of things and create a lot of paper trail for their learning activities. Taking pictures of their work, makes for easy storage and can be organized digitally in files by child and year. Some creations are simply bulky and the picture is a way to preserve images of three dimensional projects to. Most of us have smart phones and can record viedo and audio of our children giving reports or performing. This can be added as a digital file in a folder for them on your computer. Then you can take a look at the end of the year and ask the child what pictures they would like to keep.
Frankly, I prefer a blend of the three. I like to keep a running leger of what we do. I also like to have a deeper record of information listing books, fieldtrips, lectures, etc. This makes for a clear picture of what was learned. You cannot beat the digital record for three dimensional creations and to record activities.
Whichever you choose, enjoy the journey.
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Links to the Rest of the Series:
Tip One: A Clear Vision. Here!
Tip Two: Checking the Pulse. Here!
Tip Three: Mapping the Journey. Here!
Tip Four: Lay a Solid Foundation Here
Tip Five: Momculture. Here!