An organized homeschool is a successful homeschool! One important piece of organization is in record-keeping. Just how do the authors of the Curriculum Choice stay on top of record keeping? We share our secrets in this post!
From The Curriculum Choice Archives
Be sure to browse the tabs above to find reviews for record keeping and organizational helps. You might also enjoy these that we’ve selected from our archives.
- A Plan in Place is Help for Your Homeschool “Every day is logged, all achievements are noted and samples from each subject are stored in the pockets!”
- A Plan in Place Homeschool Planners
- Homeschoolers’ College Admissions Handbook Review
- Keeping an Ordered Homeschool
- Preparing for Homeschooling High School
- Wrapping Up a Homeschool Year – Storage Ideas
- Organization Ideas from our Review Authors
- Transcripts Made Easy
- Let’s Homeschool High School website review
- How to Make an Overall Plan for the Year
Homeschool Record Keeping From Curriculum Choice Authors
The Curriculum Choice authors have active blogs where they regularly offer ideas and experiences about their homeschool adventures. Below are their very favorite tips for homeschool record keeping.
Tea Time with Annie Kate
No matter where you are in your homeschool record-keeping journey, there are four simple things you absolutely need to do.
When it comes to high school records and university applications, I researched several options and fell in love with The Home Scholar. Lee Binz, a former homeschooling mom, is super-organized, understanding, and practical, and her resources suit our family beautifully. We use her Comprehensive Record Solution program (see my preview, review #1, and review #2) and I highly recommend that program even though it is expensive. With records based on Lee’s templates and advice, two of my children received marks-based scholarships from a university that officially does not accept ‘mommy marks’! (You can read more about that here and here.)
If you are a confident person and cannot afford the Comprehensive Record—but do remember that it is an investment in scholarship potential—you can do a similar thing yourself using Lee’s book, Setting the Records Straight, which I reviewed here.
Tricia at Hodgepodge
I am really considering all of Annie Kate’s suggestions, above! So far on our high school journey, I kept track of high school records in the most natural way for me. I write a narrative of: course work, course descriptions and curricula used, extracurricular and enrichment activities, electives, science fair projects, awards, leadership positions at church. Standardized testing. And I put it all in Evernote (Hodgepodgedad’s review – our uses for this have expanded even more!) I can see how this could easily translate into an official transcript. I have a rising senior, so I will let you know!
I have a separate notebook for each of my children in Evernote. (Great post here on creating an Evernote Portfolio). I have a template I use that a fellow mom in our homeschool group shared. But I also understand that one of the best ways to track credits is to go to the website of the college your child is considering and download their credit tracker. That way your can tailor your high school credit and planning towards the college of their choice. If that is what your child is considering.
- Well Planned Day High School Planners – includes spots for record keeping and transcripts.
- Weekly Homeschool Planning Meeting for All Ages – We are expanding our weekly homeschool planning meeting. Why? Things are always changing at Hodgepodge: our children’s needs, moving into older grades, more accountability needed. This year our eldest three children simply needed to SEE all their subjects and practice scheduling their time.
- Homeschool Planning at Hodgepodge – the best of all my tips for goal setting, planning and record keeping.
Cindy at Our Journey Westward
Record keeping in our homeschool includes several things: a list of curriculum we use each year, notes of lessons we’ve completed, a list of grades (aka the report card), a transcript beginning in high school, and a portfolio of “best work” compiled at the end of the year.
My system doesn’t always look exactly the same from year to year, but it always encompasses the things listed above. Here are a few posts that highlight my method of record keeping from getting myself organized and the beginning of the year to maintaining great lessons plans to pulling it all together at the end of the year.
- Weekly Lesson Notebooks
- My (printable) Charlotte Mason Weekly Planner
- A Plan In Place Student Planner
- Wrapping Up the Homeschool Year
Kortney at One Deep Drawer
We’re at the oppose end of the spectrum from Tricia and Annie Kate. Our children are still young, our homeschooling methods still gentle. This means that our recording keeping is more intuitive too.
I keep a journal that holds our calendar, reading lists, and weekly checklists. This is also where I think on paper: trying to guide each child in the path they should go.
I also schedule time to plan each week. Our homeschool is relaxed, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take planning to make sure we have the tools and resources we need!
Finally, I’m including a link to a collage that I made. This one was for a business plan, but this same process would be great to use as a way to think through a school year or to plot a course of study. The collage could even be a collaboration between the child and parent!
Betsy from BJ’s Homeschool
Record-keeping in our homeschool centered around saving special art projects, drawings, essays, journals and projects. I made a simple file system, and saved these special treasures, usually by subject. I so treasure these keepsakes today. I even still have my daughter’s “Little Kitty” journal, from second grade, with all of her important entries in there. I also have the first “book” that she made, in K, when I helped her to create her own storyline.
When it comes to our official records, those consisted of our annual testing or assessments, which I kept in a special file. Our state (Washington) does not require us to keep other formal records. But, for myself, I usually saved our yearly planners, which gave me an idea of what we covered each year.
When we hit the high school years, things got a lot more formal. First, I needed to learn how to assign high school credit. Then, I set about making our long range plan for the high school years. I picked a four year planner to use, to record our courses and credits.
Then, beginning in junior year, I began to transfer all of our high school information into our high school transcript. It was not hard to do, as we had our records from the Well Planned Day 4 year planner. But it can be reconstructed, if you start your record-keeping later.
Recently I wrote a post on my favorite five frugal helps for making your high school transcripts. This post includes all of them, and features Fast Transcripts, from HSLDA. Did you know that, by subscribing to HSLDA’s transcript service, they help you to compile all of your high school data into one complete transcript? Now, that’s what I call helpful! I wish I had known about them when I was making up my daughter’s transcript!
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The Curriculum Choice Review Team Features
- We have a wonderful Homeschool Planning and Organization Pinterest board!
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~ Hosted by Cindy West, mom of three who just graduated her first child who was homeschooled from the very beginning. Every minute of the journey is worth it!