"Do I need to keep home school records?"
Yes, keeping good home school records is important regardless of where you live...
Experts agree that you should faithfully keep home school records to protect your family and to help you have something tangible to show authorities or visitors if requested, according to home schooling law.
The following is a list of seven different home school records you should keep. Not all of these home school forms are required in every area you may live in. So it is important that you find out which ones are required in your country, state, or region.
7 Home School Record Forms:
1. A Daily School Log:
- Faithfully keep a good home school record book of each school day and write down what school work was done, what tests were given, what educational video or audio tapes the children listened to, what outings, recreational activity, games were played, etc.
These home school records can be very helpful in court and some places even require them by law. Photos and videos of your activities can help as well.
2. A Portfolio of each child's work:
- From time to time, set aside samples of each child's better work that could be shown to school authorities, social workers, lawyers, etc. as further proof that you are in fact teaching your children and have it together.
3. An Attendance Record
- It is generally required that children go to school certain number of days or hours each year, so it is good to have some home school records of your children's attendance. Of course, since for the most part they live and study at home, their attendance will be pretty good! Your daily log should show your school work, but if you have a group of children it would be good to have a list of their names with a check box by each name for each day of attendance.
4. A Record of Tests and Official Evaluations
- There are several nationally recognized standardized tests for children. Often you have to have a "professional" teacher or a neutral party give the test to your child. Home schooled children, with just a little help to learn what tests are all about, usually do quite well on these tests. Your home schooling state laws may require that your child be tested from time to time.
5. A Curriculum Outline
- This needs to be a subject-by-subject outline of what material you will be teaching your child and how much you plan to cover in a year. Several home schools and organizations offer ready-made curriculums.
6. Third Party Reports
- Keep a file of any letters or comments that professional people make about your children. Try to get them to put it on letterhead paper and sign their name to it. In some places, if you have a teacher friend who can check in from time to time and give you counsel or supervision, it can be a real boost to your credibility in the authorities' eyes.
7. Immunization Records
- Some areas also require home schooling records of immunization.
Although it is very helpful, advisable and wise to be informed about home schooling laws in different areas it is important to emphasize the importance of praying and counselling to find the best way to apply these home school records and home school forms to your particular situation.
You can keep these records by hand or you can use a computer using Excel. The following link takes you to where you can download sample spreadsheets for use in Excel. These spreadsheets are the same ones that we have used. Feel free to use the ones you find useful and make changes to them as needed.
Home school records sample files