Did you know, that depending on where you live, your state might require you to keep records? Some states have strict requirements – others do not. If you don’t know what your state requires, you can look them up here.
What are some examples of paperwork that might be required? A declaration of intent, homeschool registration forms, curriculum summary, attendance summary, and more.
Even if you’re lucky and your state doesn’t have an endless list of requirements, you will still have to keep some basic homeschool records. We suggest you keep the following:
If you immunize your children, you should keep these records on file – even duplicates, as originals tend to get lost. Your pediatrician or family doctor has these cards available and will fill them out for you – so really, all you have to do is keep them in a safe place.
Attendance records show the days/hours you homeschool during the year. Most states require 180 days of school – and this applies to homeschools as well. You can note these times on a physical calendar, or on an online calendar, and summarize at the end of the month. You can also find attendance forms at any number of homeschool websites/homeschool blog sites, your local homeschool support group, and more. There are an abundance of free forms available. Again, these are pretty easy records to keep.
Grades, Transcripts, and Test Scores
When it comes to grades and transcripts – many homeschoolers don’t give grades, or compile transcripts until middle school or high school. This is perfectly OK. Once you’re ready, you can check out a myriad of grade and transcript info and templates. As mentioned previously, your local support group may have forms available, as will any number of homeschool websites and blogs. We think the transcript info at The HomeScholar is pretty amazing – you might want to check it out.
Some states require homeschoolers take annual standardized tests. Whether you choose a testing agency or administer the tests at home, you should keep these records/scores in a safe place, and on hand.
Although the following records my not be required, you may choose to keep them, as they come in handy when summarizing your year, scheduling your future homeschooling endeavors, and yes, while developing transcripts for college. Even if your child doesn’t go to college, high school records, a homeschool transcript, and a homeschool diploma will be important for future employment. These are easier to create, if you have the records on hand.
The additional records you might want to keep include the following:
- An annual list of homeschool courses your child took
- A list of yearly reading material
- Summary of all field trips taken (and how they tied into your studies)
- List of outside classes or extracurricular activities your child participated in (chess club, sporting activities, dance class, and more)
- A portfolio of sample work for every year (essays, book reports, science projects, etc.)
- Summary of accomplishments and recognitions (Eagle Scout award, 4-H awards, and more)
- List of community service projects (volunteer work, church-related work, work with charitable organizations, etc.)
One last note – don’t get obsessed with paperwork and don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to record everything. However, the more info you keep, the easier it will be to summarize your year, realize how much your children have grown academically, and most importantly, you and your children will be in a much better position to toot your own horns, and exclaim to the world – “Homeschooling is great and this is what we’ve learned.”