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What if you had ten minutes to prove what you taught your homeschooled child last year? Could you do it?
If you keep homeschool records then the answer is yes.
Maybe you live in a state that is friendly to homeschooling families.
My home state, New Jersey, doesn’t require homeschool families to jump through the hoops that many other states require.
So for the first year that I homeschooled, I didn’t keep any records of my child’s work.
What If Your State Doesn’t Require You To Keep Homeschool Records?
But over time I gained experience and forged relationships with other homeschool families.
And I learned that even if your state doesn’t require you to keep homeschool records, you should.
Here are four reasons why.
1. Keeping records holds you accountable.
You’re probably passionate about the education your child receives.
But when you store your lesson plans in your brain, it becomes tempting to gloss over or justify holes in what you cover.
Keeping records means that you will see in black and white when two weeks pass in between history lessons.
So you will be more likely to get back on track before too long.
2. Your child may return to traditional school one day.
Life, beyond our control, happens. Illness, a change in your state’s law, a move, a new job, even an unexpected death.
Any of these can unravel your plans.
And if your children ever need to enroll in school, records of what they have covered at home can make that transition less stressful by providing evidence of their skill levels in reading, writing and math.
3. You will have protection against educational neglect accusations.
We know one family which was investigated by CFS in NJ after their own pediatrician reported educational neglect.
Because, by his own admission, he believes that all homeschooling is educational neglect.
And of course there is no way to make the state agency’s investigation fun, but if you keep homeschool records you will have confidence and evidence on your side.
4. Homeschool records may help your child as an adult.
While competitive colleges and universities become friendlier to homeschool applicants each year, many still need a way to assess your children’s education.
Reviewing the records you keep of their homeschool years are one way admissions counselors do this.
Even if your child goes to college or trade school, future employers may also want to review some proof of the education your children received at home.
3 Awesome Tools For You To Keep Homeschool Records
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Everything Thinking Tree puts out is amazing, and this portfolio is no exception.
This portfolio is as a ten subject guide to planning your homeschool year, and a way to keep records.
It works with any curriculum or philosophy for all students below high school age.
For high school students, you can move on to the The Thinking Tree 12 Subject Portfolio.
It uses the same bright colors and beautiful fonts as the 10 Subject Portfolio, in the most visually appealing way to keep homeschool records.
This book will satisfy the most Type A homeschool mama.
But also those of us who can benefit from a little more accountability in our record-keeping and homeschooling.
Kim’s portfolio records assessments, lesson plans, attendance, reflections on progress and even homeschool field trips.
And everything she creates aims to glorify God and direct hearts and minds back toward Him.
This is a must-have book when you have college-bound middle school and high school homeschool students.
Rather than providing a fill-in-the-blanks workbook solution, this book equips you to create the exact records that colleges need to see.
You will learn how to write course descriptions, assign grades and even create transcripts of your child’s homeschool years.
And this will give your children the best chance at competing for coveted spots at top colleges for admission and scholarships.
How Late Is Too Late To Start To Keep Homeschool Records?
If you haven’t been keeping homeschool records so far, don’t panic.
But don’t put it off any longer either.
Keeping records of your children’s education will keep you accountable as well as protect you from any educational neglect accusations in the future.
It will also prepare your children for their educational futures, either at a traditional school or down the road when applying to colleges and for employment.
You can start right now.
Choose the tool that you think is the best fit for your family, and commit to using it.
Yes, keeping records adds an extra step to your homeschool day, but the result will be a more confident, better prepared and more successful homeschool family.