What Homeschooling Records Must I Keep?

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Did you read 10 Questions to Answer Before You Start Homeschooling and complete the free check list? If so, you know the records required by your state. Some states give no specific guidelines. Other states outline types of records but not the how to’s.

If your right to homeschool is ever questioned, your records will be your first line of defense.

Picture of Homeschool journals and record books

Basic records include:

  • a copy of your GED or diploma
  • an attendance record
  • a plan book
  • a portfolio of work samples
  • a progress report.

I kept a copy of my diploma in the front pocket of my older son’s portfolio. If I ever needed it, I could grab it and go.

BONUS TIP I kept all my ‘grab and go’ documents in the same portfolio pocket. And, I kept 2 – 3 of each in case one was lost in transit.

Field trip locations often require proof of homeschooling for admission discounts. I took a ‘grab and go’ copy of our accountability group’s member letter.

At the field trip location, it was easy to get the discount.

If I mislaid my proof of homeschooling, I had other copies (and the original) in that same front portfolio pocket to use later!

Your attendance log demonstrates how actively engaged your kiddos are in homeschooling.

When you can say, “We’ve completed 32 days of school this year,” you indicate competence.  Attendance books are available at office and teacher supply stores as well as Amazon.

You can also print free attendance logs created by homeschool writers. Grab a free attendance sheet at the bottom of this article.

A plan book (planner) documents what you cover in each subject each week.

Planners are available from many homeschool vendors at varying prices. Some are extravagant. Others are simple and straight forward.

Homeschool bloggers often create printable planners or planning pages for sale or as a newsletter bonus.

You can create your own planner with a simple college-ruled notebook. How cost effective is that?

A portfolio shows progress through the material you are teaching.  picture of homeschool planner

A portfolio is a collection of work samples from each subject your child completes during the year.

Portfolios are fun to keep because your students can see how far they’ve come at the end of the year.

Include extras like field trip pictures, 4-H project workbooks, a reading list, videos of cooking projects, audios of your young readers.

Your portfolio is limited only by your imagination! You will love looking back over all your child has accomplished.

Scrapbooking moms often go all out when creating portfolios.

Other moms take a more minimalist approach and keep work samples in an accordion file.

My sons enjoyed going through their accordion files and picking out work samples at the end of each year.

Once we made our choices, I 3-hole punched them and put them in a binder for long-term storage.

Progress reports demonstrate an understanding of your child’s mastery of a subject.

Again, homeschool bloggers often provide report card forms. However, a type-written list of courses and grades will do nicely.

Some states require yearly averages. Others may require recorded grade averages twice a year or four times a year.

Records become pivotally important for high school students eyeing vocational training or college. Athletic coaches may also require grade reports.

Whether your state requires it or not, diligent record keeping will protect you should your right to homeschool ever be challenged. They will protect your students if the legitimacy of your homeschool program is questioned.

picture of pen and paper for planning school assigments

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