Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Homeschool Recordkeeping

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Our past year of homeschooling has been the best yet in terms of organizing and staying on task. I have a couple things that I've done differently that have really helped in that area. I know many people are wrapping up their school year and looking ahead to the fall so I wanted to share.

Probably the biggest thing I've done over the past year and a half is use Scholaric for my recordkeeping and planning. I honestly love this program and I'm so thankful to whoever shared about it for me to see all those months ago. It seriously revolutionized my homeschool and how much time I spend on planning. (I do not get anything for sharing about Scholaric. I just love the program.)

A few quick points on why I love Scholaric:
  • Online program. I've been known to be driving with my hubby and pull it up on my phone to reorganize something so it would be ready for the next day. Simple and easy.
  • Inexpensive. It starts out at $3 a month for one child and maxes out at $7 a month for five or more children. It's worth every cent.
  • Easy to use. I do recommend spending some time in the "Help" section. Once you learn some of the neat tricks to using the program, it's really easy to set up and schedule.
  • Checklists. I used to spend hours every night creating daily checklists for my boys. Seriously! Now, I simply make sure everything that is scheduled is correct and print it out. Done. Daily checklists. So easy.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs /

The other thing I did this past year is create a file in Excel called "Outside Record." It really isn't just about things we did outside our homeschool, but it was a way for me to track all the things we do that pertain to school but don't quite fit in to a nice category in my planning.

The file had a number of spreadsheets. The first one was simply called "Field Trips." On this sheet I just listed the date, where we went, and the focus of that trip. Was it for fine arts or Maine studies?

The next three spreadsheets were the list of books my boys read - one for each of them. I would record the date they finished the book, the title and the author. 

On the next spreadsheet I recorded all the books I read out loud to them. This is something I try to do each day. And yes, I include all my boys, even the 17 year old.

Next I have a spreadsheet that lists all the audio books we listen to. We live in rural Maine and I don't mind driving so I'm up for road trips when they come up. I like listening to audio books and it's a great way to get in some learning while heading to a field trip or even a doctor's appointment. One of my favorite places to get free audio books is LibriVox. These are public domain books read by volunteers. We've downloaded quite a few and only had one reader we just couldn't listen to. Overall we've had a great experience with the service.

The last spreadsheet is for all outside activities or classes. For example, my boys take art classes throughout the year. That is recorded. My two youngest take martial art lessons. That is recorded. Piano lessons. Spanish lessons. Youth Group. 4-H. Swim lessons. Tennis lessons. Well, I'm sure you get the picture. I record the date, what the activity is, where it is held, and the focus of that activity. For example, swim lessons, tennis lessons and martial arts all fall under PE.

I did well keeping all of this updated which is going to save me some time while putting together records for my oldest son who will be graduating next year. I just wish I had thought of it all sooner.

If anyone would like to see what I mean by the spreadsheets I use, please let me know and I would be happy to share a sample file with you.

1 comment:

  1. Last year was my least successful year record keeping. I need to step it up this coming year!


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