I began keeping record books early on. I’m so glad I made the habit- especially once we reached HIGH SCHOOL.
Records. Transcripts. Grades. High School. If you are a type A, organized, grading, testing homeschool this may not seem so tricky. If you are like me- laid-back, eclectic, spending-time-learning-with-my-kids kind of a homeschooler– this is absolutely terrifying! Don’t be scared. I did it. I graduated one now…. I grant you she is headed into the big unknown- college. I’m not certain how she’ll do. But I don’t think I’d feel any more comfortable about this if she had been through public school either.
I’ve heard some colleges and military will want to see work from high school. This scares me a little. I haven’t had to do that. But, I have always kept some records. Here is why:
- there is some part of me that always wonders if the government will come knocking on my door and ask what we’ve been up to.
- our state’s homeschool law has changed since I started. Some records were required at first, and some are required now. I just really haven’t changed how I’ve kept them.
- you know that end of the year feeling? You know. The one where you panic and wonder what you did ALL year? How have we not finished a,b,c,d,e,f,g…. that I had planned to to? Well, I’ve found when I look at these record books I can remember Oh, yeah. We did some cool things. Maybe we were too busy to get everything-under-the-sun done,DID do…;)
If you’ve seen my post on digital resources, you know I love 3-ring binders. And that I am particular about them. Well, this is no different. We keep a binder. But not just any binder. this one is recognizable (easy to find- doesn’t mix in with the rest) and is color coded.
These babies are like $5.50! This is big money for me. especially x 4 kiddos 😉 but I like the distinctness for records. (you could use ANY binder!!)
This baby is all set up for me. It has 4 divider tabs (math, social studies, language arts, science) then there is a clear pocket in the back.
now, we’ll have more than 4 subjects- no worries but we’ve already covered the basics. Again, I am a simple person and my aim is to keep it all together.
SHEET PROTECTORS – we go through a LOT of these. I have one kid that puts every sheet of paper in one. Mostly I have them so that those hard to contain items (i.e. we folded a paper Phoenician ship- cool right? now what? – we rolled over it with a rolling pin and put it in the book!)
we include photos in these, or paper rockets from the science center, or that paper model of an eye, fingerprints from Forensic science lab…. So if you just have a few remember this binder has a pocket- if you need more? sheet protectors!
FRIDAYS – We started something new this year. Friday is notebooking day.
I used to stack up all of our stray papers into one box until the end of the semester and then separate them into 4 piles and start filing into our record books. I still do this but there is a LOT less with my new system.
We schedule 4 day weeks. Fridays are a catch-up day, a dive deeper day, a flex day- for field trips, for sick days, for work days (we live on a farm and there are days that require all hands on deck) We watch videos. I do not feel like we take Fridays off. ever. But I DO feel like Fridays are a lot. less. stress. yeah!
WHERE DO YOU PUT THE OTHER STUFF? okay so I listed core stuff on the tabs right? well, after that can be a subject, before that can be a subject, after the clear folder can be a subject? Did I say I was good with organization? Bingo. no. We stuff it in. It’s fairly organized 😉 what else can I file?
- Sunday School Certificate
- Awards or Certificates
- Sheet Music
- flyers/info from field trips
- do you get the idea?
- programs from shows you’ve attended or participate in (band, dance, piano recital…)
Now… WHY keep a record book?
- Do you know that feeling you get at the end of the year when you still have a ton of stuff you meant to get to? Open your record book. I guarantee you that you forgot stuff you did. you’re welcome 😉
- Just-In-Case the state asks or should I decide to enroll them in a school somewhere and they want to see work…
- Are you worried about transcripts? Which records to keep? Which classes you’ll need on the ‘final’ draft? how about you keep a record of it? I print a list of classes we’ve done that year and a grade and tuck it in front. I didn’t do a transcript until She was going into 11th grade.
- It’s fun to look back on!
- What else do you do with all of this bulk?/Helps to know what to save and what to toss.
I’d love to hear how you keep records!
**Okay, so I intended to make a post about transcripts when I began this. It turns out I begin with record books. So if this seems geared toward High School- that is why. I recommend this kind of record book or portfolio of work as a habit from the beginning or as soon as now. I found it was an invaluable resource when it came to eclectic homeschooling and transcripts.