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Homeschooling & Unschooling (Support) *Public* [Open--Join Forum to Post] A place for both current homeschoolers/unschoolers and those who are considering homeschooling to find support.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:45 AM   #1
marbles
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Default Keeping records

We just finished up third and first grades and I am now needing to figure out record-keeping. So far, I write a summary of our work for each year and I have a D-ring binder for each child and I have put everything into it divided by grade. But I can't keep everything! That's way too much paperwork! So what records do you keep? Tests/reports? Just records of results, like report cards? Examples of work? Should I be giving end-of-year grades for subjects? I don't want to toss important things but I don't want to horde either Help an early homeschooler out!
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Keeping records

I would love to hear what people farther along than me do.

This far I have kept almost everything, papers done and photoed printed of projects.

Part of that was because of the state I lived in that offically reserved the right to audit you if they felt the need.

As I now have two students, and no bacement this is not sustainable. How do i decied what to trash what to keep? I haven't ever give test as of yet.

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Old 06-27-2019, 09:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Keeping records

My district only asks for an assessment at the end of the year. So far, they've been wonderfully hands-off. I submit our standardized testing and they don't even ask for it every year. That's it. I don't keep much, but that's going to change next year when I have a High Schooler. I need help, too.

So far I've kept tests (primarily math, we don't really do tests), any large co-op projects like Science Fair boards (they decorate our porch), all the SOTW lapbooks that span an entire book, and any big projects like that as portfolio pieces. I really should have writing projects. We have more than enough art projects. I'm disorganized and I live in a miniscule space, so all that stuff is tucked in different closets and corners. If I had to access it quickly, I'd be up a creek.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Keeping records

Can you use the TinyScanner app on your phone to take pictures and convert into PDFs to keep records electronically? Or does it have to be a physical binder?

Iíd only keep assessments, personally. But I assume those vary depending upon your homeschooling philosophy and curriculum, as well as the ages of your children.

(I was homeschooled in Virginia and my mom didnít keep recordsó we just took a standardized test every year and had to score in a certain percentile, I think).


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Old 06-27-2019, 11:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Keeping records

Does your state require keeping records? IMO what is more helpful are standardized tests - if your kids take those, I would keep those records. I'd also keep their math workbooks and a few written essays.

But honestly the rest is irrelevant until late middle school/high school. Should you need to place them in school, the school would administer assessments for placement. For high school then better record keeping matters IMO, but not for elementary school. For middle school only math really matters IME (though again that is determined more by standardized test scores).

ETA: If you want, you can create a report card for each child for each grade. That should be just 1-2 pages per grade total.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Keeping records

I didn't keep any records until high school. My state doesn't require anything.

Halfway though my eldest's freshman year, we switch to an online curriculum. Her records will be saved for 7 years. I printed off a few things, just in case. But prior to that, I was going to keep track of the textbooks we used. I talked with a few homeschooling families about college applications and what was needed. She's planning on dual enrollment her junior year which will make the college application process much easier.

Next year we are tentatively going to be in a VA which has some record keeping requirements. They include weekly summaries of each core subject (2-3 sentences) and annual standardized tests. Also, an annual summary of the books/products we use for each subject.
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Last edited by Soliloquy; 06-27-2019 at 02:29 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Keeping records

Our state requirements are just to file a letter of intent to Homeschool and to do a standardized test every three years. I wasn't sure if I should keep records for if we ever move or just to have in case whatever. I guess this means I can stick with tests/projects and whatever is special to me or them.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Keeping records

One other thing you could do if your state has requirements is to save copies of the scope and sequence of any curriculum you use, or the table of contents. That way you can sell books you don't need any more or give them away. Often that info is on the publisher's website, too, but only for the most recent edition, usually. It's a general overview of what you covered.

That is what I am going to use for my weekly reports next year, if we join the VA. The curriculum we're using has titles for each lesson and I'll summarize the content for that week using the titles. When I submit my annual summary, I'll summarize what is in the scope and sequence/table of contents for each subject.

---------- Post added at 02:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:32 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by marbles View Post
Our state requirements are just to file a letter of intent to Homeschool and to do a standardized test every three years. I wasn't sure if I should keep records for if we ever move or just to have in case whatever. I guess this means I can stick with tests/projects and whatever is special to me or them.
If you move to another state they can not make you meet their requirements for previous years where you lived elsewhere. Their requirements will go into effect when you start homeschooling in that state.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Keeping records

I don't keep anything except test scores. DD homeschooled K through 5th grade and the only thing I have is emails of standardized test scores for 3rd and 5th grade. DS just finished 2nd. I just threw away his workbooks for the year.

Our state requires attendance and vaccination records. I also have those on file.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Keeping records

Mine are going into 10th and 8th this year and we have been homeschooling since the beginning. I have only kept whatever was special to them. Our state doesn't have any requirements and when dd was thinking about attending a charter school last year they only asked for standardized test scores and or a report card. Since we don't do grades I just gave a course list with short descriptions and they said that was fine.

---------- Post added at 08:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:04 PM ----------

I think if anything were to happen they could easily be tested and that would show that they have been educated. I did save the previous years math and language workbooks for a while when they were first starting just so I would have something to show, but I have gotten rid of those since then.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Keeping records

This whole thread has me thinking about what and how to weed things out.

Have any of y'all ( or honistly some one you have heard about) who didn't keep something and they wished they had latter?

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Old 07-01-2019, 06:54 AM   #12
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Default Re: Keeping records

Quote:
Originally Posted by marbles View Post
Our state requirements are just to file a letter of intent to Homeschool and to do a standardized test every three years. I wasn't sure if I should keep records for if we ever move or just to have in case whatever. I guess this means I can stick with tests/projects and whatever is special to me or them.
I only keep what is special to us. I start keeping the big binder in high school, just in case a kid ends up wanting a college that asks for more than a transcript. My first college student got accepted to 4 schools on the basis of his transcript and act scores. We didn't have to show anything to back up his transcript.


Quote:
Originally Posted by knitlove View Post
This whole thread has me thinking about what and how to weed things out.

Have any of y'all ( or honistly some one you have heard about) who didn't keep something and they wished they had latter?

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I've never regretted not keeping anything. Or heard of anyone regretting it. I do know quite a few people who've had issues with putting their kids in public high school past 9th grade and the schools not accepting their high school credits for English, math, etc. It doesn't matter what records they have. They will test them in some areas like math, but they make them do credit recovery in other areas even though they have records to show what they did. So in my experience, records don't really matter.

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Old 07-01-2019, 07:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Keeping records

I only keep our annual assessments. For the older kids, almost all their writing is in google docs so I can pritn as needed. I should never need to.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: Keeping records

Our state doesn't require any kind of record keeping or proof of homeschooling. For my own peace of mind, however, I have kept the lessons plans on which I mark off every single thing we accomplish in a day. I didn't keep any grades until high school nor did we do any assessments so I felt like that was my only proof should it be called into question. For high school, HSLDA had me document one year (for good student discount insurance purposes) the scope of each subject which I thought was a good idea. One of my friends had to include that info for her child when he transferred to a public high school so they could determine his level. Of course I kept official ACT scores and the official transcript plus transcripts from concurrent classes at the community college. In full disclosure, I have kept probably most of the work my children have done during homeschooling in boxes in the garage, but I definitely don't think it is necessary at all and in all likelihood will toss quite a bit of it except for some special things.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: Keeping records

Iíve graduated a kid and I keep very little. All we needed to help dd get into a few colleges was a transcript, her DPI forms (official homeschool registration) and ACT scores. Beyond that, I kept few projects and pieces of writing that were sentimental like her college essays that made me cry

Iím using same approach w ds. A transcript, his dpi forms, and testing ó except he will more than likely only test to get into technical college (accuplacer) instead of taking ACTs. Heís now considering a 4 year degree but would likely start at technical college to save money.


I donít plan to expand what Iím documenting for homeschooling w DD2 except sheís planning college classes in high school. She potentially needs to be significantly more competitive as sheís already expressing interest in a very competitive pre- physical therapy and will need to get scholarships or to go to a public college
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