Homeschool recordkeeping can be time consuming if you don’t what to keep and what to toss! Learn what’s valuable and what is not.
What does homeschool recordkeeping look like in your homeschool? Are you one who has lines of neatly organized portfolios sorted by grade? Do you have a plastic tote with stuff just thrown inside? Or are you somewhere in between? I will be honest and say that I have been on both sides of that scenario ;)
Homeschool recordkeeping can be overwhelming, especially when you have more than one child, and have NO clue what to keep. We are starting our 5th year, and with three kids, the clutter from homeschooling paperwork was piling up fast. So, here is what I have decided to keep-and not to keep!
Keep: A few samples of each child’s penmanship at various stages throughout the school year
Don’t Keep: EVERY single tablet they wrote in, all year long!
Keep: Math tests and quizzes
Don’t Keep: All 10 light unit math books from the school year!
Keep: Random grammar sheets, tests or worksheets from various lessons during the school year.
Don’t Keep: Every lesson she completed this school year!
Keep: Pamphlets from field trips, church plays, and other activities
Don’t Keep: Coloring books, worksheets, and the like from field trips and Sunday school
Keep: An attendance log, tracking days that we have had school during the year.
Don’t Keep: An hour, by hour log documenting every.single.thing we have done.
Keep: Samples of my toddlers crayon scribbles, and first time cutting with scissors
Don’t Keep: Every coloring book he has attacked with a crayon!
Record keeping is something that all homeschool parents must deal with. You want to keep samples of your child’s work, but you don’t want to go overboard! Typically, the rule of thumb during the elementary years (So I’ve heard) is to keep samples for 3 years and high school records permanently.
I have decided to keep a small portfolio, per child, each year. That’s it. If it doesn’t fit, I toss it. This guarantees that I will only keep what is quality work, and what truly shows my children’s capabilities.
Find a balance that works for you. Record keeping will look different in each family, and once your child is in high school, record keeping will be more complex. But with a little time, you will find a record keeping system that will work for your family.
If you would like more information regarding recordkeeping, check out this article from Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
Author: Misty Bailey
Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.