Homeschool Record Keeping & Scheduling

homeschool record keeping

homeschool record keeping

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It’s been ten years since I last homeschooled.  I have fond memories of those years although I’m also glad they’re done.

I’m not one of those people who believe everyone should homeschool.  You have to do what’s best for your family.  Homeschooling was a good choice for us.

I’ve had several readers ask me about my homeschool recordkeeping and time management practices so I thought it was time to share.  Keep in mind that it’s been 10 years and things change!

Curriculum
Library Use

I homeschooled my two kids from kindergarten through high school.  We tried using a traditional curriculum but it wasn’t for us.  We ended up using a hodge podge and used a LOT of library books.  We usually had between 150 and 200 books checked out at all times.  Yes, I had a system for keeping track of all those books.  When we got home from the library, no one was allowed to touch the book bags until I made a list of all the books.  I used a spiral notebook and recorded the books by due date.  When it was time to go to the library, we gathered all the books we were done with and the books that were due.  As we placed them in the bags, I highlighted them on the lists.  If any that were due weren’t highlighted, the search began.  In all our years of using the library, we only paid for four books.  Two were lost but eventually turned up and two were eaten by the dog.

But back to our curriculum.  We used:

  • Sonlight
  • Trisms
  • Saxon Math
  • School of Tomorrow (not our favorite – too traditional)
  • How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

I can’t remember what else.  The bottom line is that we liked variety and non-traditional methods.  They worked for us.

Schedule

We weren’t rigid about homeschool hours but we did try to work from 9 to 12 as much as possible.  We stopped at 12 for a lunch break.  At 1:00 we did chores.  After chores, any remaining school work was completed.

In the earlier years, we followed a traditional school schedule.  But later we switched to a year round school schedule with three weeks on and one week off.  The kids LOVED this schedule.  They looked forward to that week off and so did I.  That’s when I scheduled doctor’s appointments and worked on projects.

My daughter was always easily distracted.  I really do mean easily.  She could lose her focus at the sight of a pretty butterfly flying by.  Seriously.  Or cool looking clouds.  It really didn’t take much.  Consequently, her school work tended to take her ALL DAY.  We finally figured out that she worked best with a schedule.  It didn’t work every day, but most of the time, if she had a schedule, she was able to stay focused better.  It helped if she worked away from the windows and the pets, too.

Homeschooling record keeping
This is a sample schedule for Rachel. You can see her note at the bottom about getting done “ahead of schedule”.
Recordkeeping

For recordkeeping, I started out using teacher plan books.  Those worked pretty well.

homeschool record keeping

homeschooling record keeping
This was our week off. I still logged activities and I did a summary of our hours at the top of the page.

But later, after we switched to Sonlight curriculum, we switched to an 8-1/2×11 planning sheet and ended up using that most of the time.  I spent time on the weekend planning the upcoming week.

Homeschooling record keeping

Homeschooling record keeping

I usually planned one week at a time but occasionally, after we started the three weeks on, one week off, I started planning three weeks at a time.

homeschooling record keeping
This is the three week schedule. That only happened when I was really on the ball.

I’m not sure what the requirements are now, but back then we were required to offer 1,000 hours of instruction with 600 being in the core subjects and 400 in electives.  I used this sheet provided by the homeschool group to keep track.

homeschooling record keeping

Sometimes I filled it out at the end of each week but most of the time I filled it out at the end of the month. I knew how many hours we needed each week in order to accomplish the requirements and I built those into my planning.

Portfolios

I also created a portfolio for each year.  I wish I still had one to show you but I got rid of them a while back.  I went through and pulled out all the important stuff and tossed the rest.

At the beginning of each year I purchased two large three ring binders.  I also purchased 12 filing pockets – one for each month.  I dated the pockets for each month.  As the month progressed, I saved important papers, including:

  • Tests
  • Samples of daily work
  • Writing assignments (I saved most of those)
  • Programs, ticket stubs, etc. from outings
  • Photos

All those important papers went in the appropriate month’s folder.

I also kept in the notebooks:

  • Monthly Hours Sheets
  • Assignment Sheets
  • Standardized Test Results

At the end of the year, I had a comprehensive record of all we had accomplished during the year.  The best part was that the portfolio practically put itself together.  I loved this system!

So that’s it.  If I missed anything or you have a question, please let me know.

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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5 thoughts on “Homeschool Record Keeping & Scheduling

  1. Excellent! I homeschool my three daughters, and I pretty much use the same system as you do. I do like the planners with the days of the week on the top, and the subjects on the side.

    Thank you for sharing!
    Brenda

  2. I am not homeschooling, but I was homeschooled. The requirements vary from state to state. In NY, we had to follow NY rules, and our progress was monitored by the local school district, where parent and student met with a representative quarterly to evaluate progress. I remember my mother stressing a great deal about these meetings.

    If you use a curriculum from a company certified in another state, it is more work to get everything to align with your state’s rules. It’s also a big pain if your child enters public school locally, because the order of subjects is different from state to state.

    I entered public school in 11th grade for college prep (NYS colleges did not welcome homeschoolers at that time – things have changed, some), but ended up in classes with 9th and 10th graders because the Illinois curriculum we used didn’t align with NYS – I had already taken most of the 11th and 12th grade subjects.

    1. That’s a bummer. I don’t know how things are now but we were kind of in the middle. Others had paved the way for us so it wasn’t as hard. But it still wasn’t incredibly easy. My state, Missouri, was very hands off, though. I felt fortunate about that.

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