Keeping Record and Attendance

 

Many parents are new at homeschooling and are currently “doing school at home,” and a mom in a homeschooling Facebook group asked, 

“How do you keep attendance? Any ideas or helpful tips?”

Homeschooling is a life-education and children are learning every day, but for the sake of being accountable and keeping track, it is helpful to keep records. Some curriculum providers instruct parents to keep attendance records.  Other parents have had to comply with their child’s school’s regulations during the lockdown.  Many homeschool parents keep attendance record to meet the Department of Education’s requirements.

In my 22-years+ of homeschooling, I kept record purely as part of my own discipline as a former teacher, but I also kept records to be accountable to my husband and family.  I always wanted to have evidence of our schooling should there ever be any query or inspection.  This, thankfully,  has never been required.

Here are some record-keeping tips ~

  • Use a simple print-out of a monthly, block calendar to keep a record of attendance and subject topics ~ I jotted notes in daily blocks on issues, successes, and special or unusual activities.  I used coloured highlighters to block out holidays, days for weekly shopping trips etc.
  • Google Calendars are the most versatile and effective planning and attendance record-keeping tools I used in our homeschooling.
    Google Homeschool Calendar Jan2013

    Google Calendar with school holidays and themes and topics plotted

    • At the end of each school year, I plotted in all the official school holidays for the new year to keep in sync with friends that are not homeschooling or to take advantage of off-season rates for trips.
    • The average yearly schedule comes to about 50 weeks of homeschooling for the year.  This is a very flexible outline. We may take off schooling earlier than government school holidays or continue learning longer in some terms to keep up with our schedule.  My most important tip to any new homeschooler is to give yourselves more time and extend a one-year schedule to 18-months!  This year plan is not a schedule, but a guideline.
    • Created a Google calendar for each child if they are old enough to have their own Gmail account, but it is easy to keep the attendance records of each child all together on a family calendar.
  • Use Google calendar daily to record the days where we were out on appointments, travelling, when a child was sick, etc. and I recorded when we take off one day every week to travel to town for our shopping.
  • Sometimes, when a child “falls behind” for some reason, they continue schooling into a school holiday week.
  • Train your children to date all their work every time they start their daily work.
  • Parents should initial/sign and write the date when checking their children’s books or notes. This also forms a good record of work.
  • Another way of keeping a record is to print out your curriculum year planner and the index page of each child’s textbooks or the contents page of a book or the planner page of a lapbook and sign and date next to each chapter or item when your child completes the work.

You can find all my planning and organization pages here.  I hope that these tips help!  If you have other suggestions or questions, please comment below.

Blessings, Nadene

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Updated Book of Centuries to 2029

Book of CenturiesRecently a mom wrote to me requesting that I add a few more pages to my free Book of Centuries download. I was shocked to realize that we end this decade this year!  My, how time flies!

Charlotte Mason encouraged her students to enter records, illustrate and write brief notes and mark dates of famous people, events, wars, eras, inventions and significant breakthroughs in their Book of Centuries once a week as they study.

Book of CenturiesI wrote about my joy of using a Book of Century as a mother’s record of work and I still love browsing through my BOC and delight in the scope and richness of the education we have journeyed through these 19+ years.

Pop over to my blog posts – Practical Tip Book of Centuries for mom and kids and Mom’s Book of Centuries Record of Work

Here are some links and free Book Of Centuries downloads:

 Blessings, Nadene
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Planning for 2011

It is nearly the end of 2010 and I have been busy planning for 2011!

We filed all this year’s completed work.

I wrote out evaluations and recorded our work we accomplished.

For several months now, I have prayed and planned for the right combinations, curriculums and materials for my children for next year.

I used very similar planners for this year as I did in 2010.

Using a wonderful Overview and Year Planner from “The Wholehearted Child” I jotted all the basic ideas I had in the ‘foundation’, ‘circles’ and ‘roof’.

Starting with the foundation – Discipleship Studies

We will continue with the very successful “Bible Draw!” pictures of each Bible book; concentrating on the New Testament this year.

For Disciplined Studies

These are our basic 3R’s and 2nd language.  We will continue with our current Singapore Maths, Sonlight readers and Language Arts, Sequential Spelling and Copywork and Dictation for handwriting.

Discussion Studies for 2011 –

After the most wonderful year using my first eclectic curriculum, I have chosen to re-use my eldest daughter’s Sonlight American History Core 3 and 4 for the younger 2 next year for the spine of our Discussion Studies.  Although I have purchased the condensed core, I have planned to branch off and take whatever tangent and hands-on activity we may find along the way.  I also want to create new notebook pages and minibook combos, and maybe a lapbook here or there … so we may not complete the package in a year … or at all.

For our Classic Literature we will continue our Little House Series with the wonderful free lapbooks from Homeschoolshare.com.  This has been an absolute highlight for the girls and it will fit in perfectly with our Sonlight cores.

For Fine Arts we will further our monthly studies of Famous Impressionist Artists and Famous Musicians using Charlotte Mason’s wonderful principles and methods.

For Discovery Studies

We will enjoy our weekly Nature Study and Exploring Creation With Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day. I have purchased the lapbook to go with this book (one of the very few purchased lapbooks!) and used my time-saving method of preparing the minibooks.  We’ll complete Geography cards and definitions and add as much map work with our other studies.

Our Discretionary Studies

We will include homesteading skills, cooking, baking, sewing, needle crafts, farming, gardening, guitar lessons and other skills or interests

  1. There! Planning phase 1 done!
  2. Now, 2. I create a simple page with my 2011 Year Plan.  It is a basic planner with daily, weekly or monthly columns.
  3. Next, 3. I type in the most important subjects on my 36 Week Subject Plan and Record of Work.  This forms the most detailed plan and I record everything we do on this same page.  This took the longest time because I had to schedule the Artist/ Composer/ Science Lesson/ Poem/ Bible books across the 36 weeks.
  4. Lastly, 4. I made the Week Timetable for in front of our files. This is the basic daily schedule.

Final Checklist:

Filing done √

Planning done

Printing done

Timetables done

New Cover Pages in the girls’ files

Pop over to my Free Planning Pages for downloads your own personal use.

I trust that your final preparations for the end of this year are going well.

Blessings,

 

 

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