When making the decision to homeschool your children, there will be a variety of things you'll need to be aware of. Some of those things include laws, where to find resources and materials, how to plan a schedule and curriculum, and even record-keeping and grading. Elementary record-keeping is often simpler than during high school (and possibly also in grades 6 - 8). This is due to the necessity of transcripts and course credits in higher grade levels. As a veteran homeschool mom, I've tried many record keeping methods.
What Records and Grades Will You Track?
This might seem like a question that has a simple answer, but it may not. Does your state require attendance records? If so, you will need to record attendance daily. Even if they do not, this is something you just may want to have for your personal records. This way, if any questions or issues related to attendance or truancy come up later, you always have it for reference. Some states require records of the lessons or materials used to teach the children, as well as grades and scores received daily and on lessons. Some have no regulation or requirements on this at all.
Do I Really Need to Track Everything?
Whether your state requires it or not, you may choose to record this information for your own personal information. You never know when the information will come in handy personally or professionally. It is always better to have too many records than it is to be caught off guard and have none. While some states require no record-keeping and are not allowed to inquire about your child's studies, other states are allowed to ask and you are required to provide that information when asked. Outside of following regulations, keeping records will help you keep your child on track.
Preparing Homeschool Record-Keeping and Grade-Tracking Methods
Teacher's planners can be purchased at office supply and teacher supply stores. There are also many homeschool sites that offer printable plans. I personally prefer to use a combination of my own forms and a few quality ones I've found online. Remember that you are going to need several things, including attendance forms, grade sheets, report card sheets, a curriculum and material list, and more. Those are the basics, but your state may ask for more.
Documenting the Grades in a Homeschool
Determine how often you will take down grades and what exactly needs to be graded. You can determine this by evaluating your individual needs and comparing it to state requirements. You may have extra tracking that you would like to do outside of what is asked for. Because you are the teacher, unless your state requires a specific method, you can choose how to determine grades. You may simply follow what is done by area schools, operate on a pass/fail plan, or opt for something else. As long as your method is in compliance with area regulations, being consistent matters more than the method itself.
*Please note that laws and requirements vary by area. Please check with the area Department of Education to see what is required in your state. This guide is meant for informational purposes only.
Home School Laws
Homeschool Reporting Online
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