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Record Your Accomplishments

By Cindy Short and Sue Welch
Editors, The Teaching Home

Set aside a day or more to do the necessary task of gathering, filing, and recording the year’s schoolwork. The rewards are:

  • You can find your records easily.
  • Your children have meaningful memorabilia.
  • You get more space for more books and materials.
  • You might even be able to sell books you don’t need anymore for cash to (you guessed it) buy more books!

Gather up all your schoolwork for the year, then sort and dispose of everything appropriately.

1. Sort, File, and Dispose of Schoolwork

  • Select samples of work for each child in each area of their studies to put in their permanent files.
  • Send some samples to grandparents (with the clear understanding that they are free to toss them after enjoying them for a while).
  • Give each child a certain amount of space in which to keep what he wants.
  • Throw out the rest.

2. Sort, Store, or Dispose of Books

  • Store some books for younger siblings.
  • Shelve some books for reference.
  • Give some away (to a family who needs them, your support group’s library, or a thrift store).
  • Trade some with another family.
  • Sell some at a local, used curriculum sale.

3. Keep Various Records

You might need to keep a record or a portfolio of your children’s studies to comply with your state’s laws or an umbrella organization, as well as for your own benefit.

Choose any, or all, of the following options. Depending on their ages, your children may be able to help you with some of the work.

Record the date and student’s name after he finishes each concept on your scope and sequence chart or list of educational goals.

For reference, see the scope and sequence charts provided online by A Beka Books, World Book, or your state’s testing preview site to view what material is suggested to be known by each grade level.

Use lesson plans as records, checking off and dating each assignment or objective as it is done. See lesson plan books at Birch Court Books and My Homeschool Planner.

Keep track of the hours spent on each subject if you are required to do so by your state law, or wish to for your own information (e.g., for a high-school transcript).

Homeschool Transcripts carries many resources to help you produce professional high-school transcripts. The HSLDA website offers samples of transcripts and a transcript service.

Make Copies of records of family projects, unit studies, field trips, etc. for each child’s individual file as applicable.

Keep a journal for each day of a unit study, briefly listing books read or activities done.

List all books read by the family or individual students, including the title, author, and publisher. (A brief description of contents and your personal evaluation will make this list more valuable to you and your children in the future.)

Print online form for book list and various forms for book recommendations, reports, and a record of reading different genre.

Place artwork and writing assignments in a notebook or file.

Take photos of art, craft, and science projects and activities such as plays, costumes, and field trips. You can use a computer scanner or digital camera to create a CD containing these photos as well as pages of school work, compositions, etc.

Store your records in a labeled box for the year or for each child.

4. Compile Your Homeschool Yearbook

Create a yearbook by placing photos, sample work, and other memorabilia in a scrapbook.

  • See ideas for a homeschool yearbook and links to more ideas and samples.
  • Slides or digital photos can be composed into a digital photo album or put onto a CD and copied for each of your children and other relatives. Check out the website Free Digital Scrapbooking for ideas.

5. Make Sound Records

Tape record some of your family’s answers to evaluation questions (especially positive ones!) as a sound recording of your school year.

(From The Teaching Home e-newsletter No. 213, by Cindy Short and Sue Welch. Used with permission.)

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