Keeping records when you homeschool is a must. In some states it is required. However, I think all homeschooling parents should keep records. Homeschool records will make it much easier on the parents teaching the homeschool. And there are many reasons you should keep records and many ways to do it.
First we’ll look at Lesson Plans. When you start homeschooling, lesson plans will help a great deal. At first it may be a little overwhelming but having a year planned out in advance will make it easier on you. You will get an idea on what you are going to teach and what supplies you will need. You can buy the lesson plan books from Office Depot or somewhere along those lines. They run from around $10 up to $100. It all depends on what type of lesson plan book you want. The higher ones get more detailed. I created mine in Word and printed them out. You could just use notebook paper if you wanted to.
Daily Journals are a must too. Most states require that you keep a Daily Journal. In the journal you would write down what you did for that day. For example, you would write down the Date, the name of the books in each subject, worksheets you may have done, test the kids may have taken, etc. And explain how everything went. That will help you look back and see what they need more help in or what you covered. Then if the state comes in to check up on your homeschool then you would have your journal for them to look at.
Field Trip Records are required by some states too. When you homeschool you need to take a few field trips a school year. How many is totally up to you. There are no required number of field trips. Keep a record of the field trips by writing where you go, taking photos, keeping souvenirs. There are many ways to keep records of your field trips. Use your imagination and you can come up with some really neat ideas.
Keep a list of Books and Materials that you will be using in the homeschool. On a sheet of paper you can write down the name of the book, the ISBN number, and the Author of that book. Also write down worksheets that you will be using. Any materials that you use I would write down.
Homeschool Portfolios are a good idea and again, are required by most states. A portfolio is where you keep samples of your child’s work. For example, worksheets, book reports, test, etc. Also consider taking pictures of your child creating projects and place that in your portfolio.
It is required that a child attend school 180 days in a year. It is no different when you homeschool. So it would be a good idea for you to print out an attendance record.
The best way to keep track of all the homeschool records is to place everything in a big binder. Buy one of those three inch ring binders and some folders with tabs. Organize your stuff that way. It makes it easier on you to have everything in one place. Also, if you have to do a binder for each child. So if you have two children, you will need two of everything. Homeschooling is a lot of work, but once you get pass that first year you will sail right through it.