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Four Record-Keeping Tips for Homeschools


Don't forget the non-homeschool memories: roses from my daughter.

Be careful not to forget the non-homeschool memories: roses from my daughter.*

We live in a province where no official homeschool records need to be kept, except for university admissions.  On top of that, we like to make up our own courses.  I suppose that it is therefore inevitable that we struggle with record-keeping.  I know that we’re not the only family struggling with this issue.  As two of my readers commented recently:  there are so many good ways to keep records that it’s hard to choose just one of them.  But this I have discovered:

No matter where you are in your record-keeping journey, there are four simple things you should do.

Label every piece of work.  Simply write the child’s name, date, and, if applicable, course and assignment information, in the upper right hand corner.  Just like in those old photos of your children, where you can only recognize who each child is by the carpet of the different houses you lived in, so you will need some prompt to remember who wrote that story, drew that picture, or aced that exam, and what is better than a name and date?  Obviously, a course title, textbook title, or assignment page, if applicable, will also be very helpful.

Keep copies of all assignments, tests, projects, and marks yourself.  This is not a job for kids, although the kids should obviously keep a personal copy of whatever is important to them.  Who wants to go through a child’s personal papers in search of that elusive biology test or award-winning project?  It’s a great idea to store all of this paperwork year by year in a binder or some other safe, logical way, but just shoving it all into a box is an option when mom is at the end of her rope.

When in doubt, don’t throw it out.  Instead, have a dedicated place for homeschool records.  Where, oh where, are Miss 18’s grade 11 first and second term weekly records?  Gone?  Perhaps they were thrown out.  Perhaps they are hiding somewhere in piles of treasures.  In any case, I can’t find them when I need them, and that is extremely frustrating.  While searching through boxes of semi-organized papers, though, we did find many wonderfully nostalgic treasures…and I’m so glad we kept those precious memories!

Back it up.  Could you reconstruct your homeschool records after a fire?  Me neither.  Well, then, why not store a back up copy of the essentials in a safe place, like online?  I haven’t done this in an organized way, but I’m starting to email copies of all mark lists to myself.  After every few hours of work on Miss 18’s high school records, I email them to myself.    Many assignments and reading lists are also in email land.  Soon I plan to scan all the weekly records, certificates, and important newspaper clippings and store them online.  Hubby’s office or a relative’s filing cabinet are other back-up options.

There are, of course, many other important record-keeping tips, but I’ve discovered that these are among the most important.  What are your favorite record-keeping tips?

*Photo added in 2015.


  1. Neighbor says:

    4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
    5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
    6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
    7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

    Deuteronomy 6:4-7

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.
    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    Matthew 22:37-40

  2. Carletta says:

    I hadn’t considered creating backups of their work. Great idea!

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