Home School Organization with EASY Record Keeping

by Tanya
(Scottsmoor, FL)

How about a free and easy record keeping solution to improve your home school organization?


We enjoy home schooling and are looking forward to doing it again next year. My children are currently in grades K and 4. With 4 years between their ages, sometimes their needs are so different that record keeping became a challenge for me.

I tried various ways of staying organized: scheduling a day at a time, week at a time, charting completed work on a daily or weekly chart, dating workbook pages, recording in my date planner, and nothing seemed to work for my style.

Just as I needed to record something the younger child needed my attention and then I would loose the recording paper or the entry did not immediately get done. Then I discovered the joy of composition books.

Two years ago I started recording the extra stuff (field trips, tv programming, and such) in composition books. I recorded the date and whatever we did, including the name of place, hours of operation, what we learned and liked about the place.

I also wanted to keep my academics records separate from all the other stuff. Having it all in a composition book helped me as I was not dealing with loose papers - it was always in the same place.

Realizing at the end of the first year how much information was missing from their academic travels, I started recording the same way for their academics, with a little twist.

Before school started last year, I sat down and calculated how many pages I needed to complete each day, in order to finish school on time.

Each academic month I gave the kids and myself an extra day off (to make room for sick days, fun days, and catch up days), in addition to the regular days off that I was planning for them. This took a lot of pressure off us.

In the back of the composition book I wrote on the top of one of the pages: Tracking. This is where I entered the information for where we should be at the end of each month, throughout the year, in order to finish on time or early.

This did away with the need to constantly assess the progress of the children, in relation to what my academic goals were for them. This saved my children and myself much time.

Instead of loosing 45 minutes to an hour to assess each child every week, I now had this time to do more with the kids (even if it was to just talk).

If a family crisis happened, or we wanted an extra field trip I could turn to the back of the composition book and know if we could afford to spend our time that way.

It also relieved the pressure of keeping on schedule when the children had a harder time with a concept or two. We could take the time, as they had quickly gone through other parts and I knew we could camp on that topic for a while.

In the front of the composition book, I wrote the date that we schooled. Then using one line for each subject, I wrote the subject name and what was accomplished for that day (including test and test grades).

Since these pages were bonded in the composition book I no longer dealt with run away papers.

Also, at the end of each month I could see how we were doing by checking the last entry against the tracking page.

At the end of the year when I was putting the evaluation portfolio together...it was simple.

I just turned the page of one book to transfer data to my summary sheets. Much easier than anything else I had done previously. Also much cheaper, as I had bought the composition books when they were on sale for 25 cents a piece.

This year my oldest will be doing parts of the recording by herself (recording the pages she finished) and I will only record the extra stuff.

This will further buy us more time as a family, to devote additional attention to whichever child needs it. We have simplified our record keeping so that we are able to have more time and enjoy greater home school organization.

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Tanya, I am liking your system! Free, easy to use and great for parents who have a hard keeping records, or prefer a notebook system.

Simplicity is best, I say!
:)

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Jul 28, 2008
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GREAT
by: Anonymous

thanks for sharing your great ideas! i like the composition book, pages not lost idea.

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