Homeschool Files, Papers, and Records…OH MY!
You’re starting to think about how much coffee and tea you’re going to have to drink in order to even START planning your homeschool year….I get that! Between registrations, letter of intent, standing in line, praying for curriculum sales, and wondering if you’re making the right decision, the LAST thing you want to think about it is keeping records.
As daunting of a task as this is, especially if you have multiple kids, it’s a necessity. “But, Tammie, how do I keep things documented without becoming a hoarder?” WHEW! I understand that, too. Take it from someone whose Mom kept every Christmas ornament from ALL THREE kids…yeah!
So how do you control homeschool files?
First, get a documentation binder. This was a lifesaver for me when I started and still is now.
In my binder, I have the following sections:
- State laws and evaluation protocols from HSLDA and my state’s website
- Cover school confirmation of enrollment and teacher verification
- Curriculum/resource list for all of our children along with receipts of purchase
- Attendance reports—number of days, number of hours, etc.
- Medical reports such as shot records, physicals, eye exams, etc
- Activity pics from field trips and co-op moments
- Work samples—don’t save EVERYTHING, just show progress
- Community service, including letters of commendation, letters of recommendation, awards, etc.
Next, get a Planner!
There are a MYRIAD of planners out there for you to use, but putting things in writing is important, especially if you have to call in a substitute family member to help you out for the day. Believe it or not, as a working homeschool mom myself, I made a Substitute Teacher Binder for my own HUSBAND!
When it comes to choosing a planner, always ask yourself if the design answers these seven questions:
- How much?
Why these seven questions?
It’s because these are the questions you will wake up and go to sleep answering on a daily basis. The planner that you use needs to help you get that out of your head and onto paper! If you are in the market for a planner that has a layout like this, check out my planners!
Also, consider getting planners for your children as well and help them to help you stay on track. Giving THEM a checklist of things to do gives you one less thing to think about. Only answer the questions asked. When it comes to record-keeping, we are prone to include ALL THE THINGS when we document what we do in your homeschool—STOP IT! Those same seven questions listed above are the same seven questions your documentation binder and planner should answer, whether it’s for your eyes only, an evaluator, or a friend or family member who’s coming to help.
Record-keeping doesn’t have to be as daunting of a task as others make it out to be! Stick to what is most needed and keep it moving! You have more important things to focus on, right?
(Are you overwhelmed with homeschooling madness? Maybe it’s time to check out True North Homeschool Academy’s Academic Advising!)
Tammie Polk is a Mompreneur on a Mission! She is a married, homeschooling mother of three girls ages 15, 10, and 5 from Memphis, Tennessee. When she’s not pouring into her girls, you can find her writing, doing crossword puzzles, or playing games! Her major claim to fame is being the author of over 30 books on life, faith, family, and business- all of which were written in the last three years. Tammie is also a business coach, homeschool consultant, motivational and inspirational speaker, and international radio show host!