Records to Keep
Or: Souvenirs of the Journey—For You, the Children, and the Officials
Just like your banking records, there are certain papers that are useful for you to stash away for the future, whether for a school official, or for your children, or for you to reminisce!
It is helpful to put together a portfolio each year, even if you use a testing option to verify your progress to the school officials. Because I use a homeschool lesson planning/recordkeeping book that is fairly comprehensive, all I need to add to my lesson plan book are some photos and samples of my girls’ work. Your portfolio for the year might include:
There are general homeschool records you will probably want to keep in your files. While not all of these are required by state or local authorities, some helpful records to keep might include:
(Check with HSLDA or your state organization for a listing of any documentation legally required by your state or local officials.)
Keeping a Scrapbook for Encouragement
A scrapbook is a wonderful keepsake for your child. There are many books available on creative scrapbooking, and materials don’t have to be expensive. Photos, journaling pages, ticket stubs, recital programs, field trip flyers, and other mementos make his scrapbook a personal souvenir of his homeschool journey.
I also chose to keep most of the little notes and cards my children gave me to thank me for being their mom and for teaching them at home. They have proven to be priceless encouragement when I have felt weary in well-doing, travel-worn in the journey.
There may be times that you wonder why you are on this road, traveling this course. I, too, have known the raised eyebrows of those close to us who did not understand some of our choices for our family. I have known the heartache of a child’s disillusionment with my parenting or education choices. My children have not all been always excited to be home educated. Our journey, though ultimately joyful, has sometimes been bumpy, yet always worth the trip. To encourage you through those “potholes” and “detours” along the way, let me give you a peek into my private keepsake collection. With my daughter’s permission, I share with you a card that I received from my 21-year-old (the one who at age 14 was vocally skeptical of the wisdom of our choice to homeschool through high school) on the occasion of my birthday:
The pre-printed verse reads:
Happy Birthday, Mom Moms are special people whose real value may not be appreciated until long after any lesson is taught. Thank you for teaching me.
The personal, handwritten inscription reads as follows (the tears make it harder to see the words):
Thank you for being willing to live with all the harassment you got for doing things the way you did, to do what you knew was right in raising me. Thank you for being willing to be hard on me, for putting up with me at home to teach me, for training me to be godly even when it wasn’t the most convenient thing. I love you, and am very, very thankful for you.
I am eternally grateful for the privilege of teaching my children at home. This is truly the Journey of a Lifetime!