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Homeschool Record Keeping

How to Keep Records for Homeschool and Where to Find Free Printable Homeschool Record Keeping Forms

Homeschool Record Keeping

By: Mindy Scirri, Ph.D.  

As a new homeschooler, you may know that you need to keep records of what you are doing, but record-keeping for homeschooling may cause you some anxiety if you are easily flustered by paperwork. Even if homeschool record keeping doesn’t seem so daunting to you, you can always use suggestions for how to make the process more effective or efficient. This is a great place to find ideas for homeschool records that can save you time and effort and help you feel confident that you will have what you need when you need it!

General Tips on Homeschool Record Keeping 

How to Keep a Record of Lesson Planning

How to Keep Track of Homeschool Hours and Attendance

How to Keep Track of Homeschool Grades and Progress

Free Printable Homeschool Record Keeping Forms

Other Homeschool Record Keeping Resources

*This post contains affiliate links. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Although most of the resources listed here are free, those marked with a $ have a cost or require a fee/subscription in order to access the full range of materials. 

  

General Tips on Homeschool Record Keeping 

Keeping homeschool records doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but there are many reasons that you want to get it precisely right. In some states, homeschool record keeping is an important part of what is required of you to be legally homeschooling. Even in states where there are few or no mandatory homeschool records, you may need to provide homeschool documents if your child returns to traditional schooling, for colleges and/or college sports, or for other postsecondary pursuits. In essence, you need to be able to prove that your homeschool meets the requirements for compulsory education, and you may need to show how you are doing that. One of the primary reasons, however, for keeping good records of your homeschooling is that it is simply good educational practice. Knowing how to document homeschooling goals and plans and your child’s progress can help you manage your homeschool and provide data upon which to build the best possible educational experience for your child. Here are some general tips on how to keep homeschool records:

  • Before you begin homeschooling, be sure to check your state’s homeschooling laws for homeschool records that may need to be submitted to your state or to your local school district. Make sure you are aware of any standardized forms that may be mandated.
  •  If your state requires certain documentation but does not provide standardized forms, find or create templates for collecting the information that is needed. There are lots of resources below if you want to find premade forms for the different types of homeschool record keeping.
  •  If there are no requirements for homeschool records in your state, consider keeping at least the following records for your own purposes or for those “just in case” situations:
    •  Lesson Planning
    • Attendance
    • Student Progress
    • Course Grades
  •  Evaluate your homeschool record keeping system periodically to see how it is working. When necessary, use your homeschool network to find suggestions about other ways to document what you need.

Would some advice from other homeschoolers and homeschooling organizations be helpful? Check out these resources:

Comprehensive Homeschool Records: Put Your Best Foot Forward to Win College Admission and Scholarships $
By Lee Binz (Author)
Does thinking about college admission for your homeschool student fill you with dread? Do you ever wonder how humble homeschool parents can compete with those insanely rigorous college prep schools to gain their students admission for colleges? […] Fear not, Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, can show you the way! Using this proven strategy, you can learn to put your student in the best possible light for college admission and scholarship consideration by creating fabulous homeschool records.

Homeschool Record Keeping | Coalition for Responsible Home Education
“Your homeschool is a school, and schools maintain student records — both in the present and in the future. Whether or not your state mandates specific record keeping requirements, it is your responsibility as a homeschooling parent to create and maintain your child’s educational records.

Homeschool Record Keeping: How to Save time! | The Unexpected Homeschooler
Homeschool record keeping doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right tools and a simple plan, you can make this part of your student’s everyday habits, and it will automatically be done for you.

How to Keep Homeschool Records with 2 Free Digital Tools | BookShark
“One of the most worrisome parts of homeschooling is record keeping; especially for those homeschooling families who live in places with strict homeschooling laws. And just because you live in a homeschool friendly place right now doesn’t guarantee you will never move to a place that requires you to keep regular records of your kids’ home education. No matter where you live, it is always a good idea to keep at least a minimal amount of homeschool records.” Read to learn more about digital organization methods for homeschool record keeping.

Keeping Homeschool Records | Homeschool.com
“Homeschool record-keeping and planning can be stressful, especially for new homeschoolers. Here is our best advice to get started! […] Looking for an organizational tool that puts it all together? Register now to experience planning like never before. Goals, attendance, student checklists, and more are all at your fingertips!”


How to Keep a Record of Lesson Planning

Unless you buy a complete boxed curriculum with a specified scope and sequence or are using an online curriculum that allows you to schedule ordered lessons easily, lesson planning will be a large part of your role as a homeschool guide. To make documentation of the lesson planning process more streamlined, you may choose to purchase a pre-made homeschool planner or create a homemade homeschool planning file. Whatever your method, make sure it works for you!

Good homeschool lesson planning starts with effective student goals. Your lesson plan record keeping should begin with goal creation and end with goal reflection, with plenty of goal monitoring in between. Here are some resources to help you with designing and tracking homeschool goals:

How to Set SMART and Practical Homeschool Student Goals | Time4Learning
“Being an effective homeschool goal-setter is essential, and there are ways to make the process easier for you and more motivational for your child.” Learn about SMART goal setting and see SMART goal examples for elementary, middle school, and high school, or check out these Time4Learning resources for more subject-specific guidance: Math Goals for Students, Reading Goals for Students, Science Goals for Students.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): SMART Goal Setting with Your Students | Edutopia
See how SMART goal-writing criteria can be applied to social emotional learning. Have you included SEL goals as part of your homeschool planning records?

And here are some resources to help you with documenting your lesson plans:

The Best Homeschool Lesson Planner Might Not Be What You Think | Pam Barnhill
Even for those of us working under more stringent state requirements, most of us don’t need to create complicated daily lesson plans for our homeschool. Instead, something far simpler and more helpful will work.

Lesson Planner Template | Time4Learning
“Time4Learning offers its members tools and tips to make educating their child as simple as possible. The lesson planning calculator makes it easy for parents to estimate the number of daily lessons to have their child do in each subject.”

Tools for Lesson Planning | Homeschool.com
“Is lesson planning taking over your life? For many homeschoolers, lesson planning becomes that dreaded task we never look forward to doing. Sure, it makes teaching lessons easier but at what cost? If you’re sick of feeling stressed about lesson planning, try using online tools and/or apps designed to make this task a tad easier.

  


How to Keep Track of Homeschool Hours and Attendance

Although recording attendance may seem like the simplest of homeschool recordkeeping tasks, there are different ways to do it—from handwritten homeschool attendance sheets to elaborate spreadsheets and digital apps. Some states require more specific tracking of homeschool hours by subject area—especially for the middle and upper grades. Knowing how to keep track of homeschool hours and attendance in an efficient way can save you time and effort in the long run. Here are some resources that can help:

The EASY Solution for Homeschool Attendance Records | The Homeschool Resource Room
“Looking for an easy way to keep homeschool attendance records? I’ll show you a super simple way to keep track of attendance with a flexible free printable attendance log that will work for one or more children!”

3 Simple Steps to Create a Homeschool Time Log for Busy Moms that Have Zero Extra Time | Practical, By Default
“One of the best parts of homeschooling as a working mom is taking full advantage of the fact that homeschooling is flexible. You can homeschool any day or time. The challenging part is keeping track of those homeschooling hours.”

Check out our free printable homeschool attendance record here:


How to Keep Track of Homeschool Grades and Progress

Years ago, homeschool grades and student samples could only be collected in hand-written gradebooks and binders containing assignments and photos of a student’s best work. Now there are so many digital options, you may not know where to start. Whether you love the feel of paper or are seeking the latest and greatest technologies, keeping track of homeschool grades and progress requires organization and a system that works for you. You may be unsure about what you want to use—whether it be grades, narratives, portfolios, transcripts, or some other form of record keeping. Here is some guidance on how to capture your child’s academic successes from homeschoolers and homeschooling organizations who want to help:

 

Homeschool Portfolios | A2Z Homeschooling
Learn what to include in your homeschool portfolio, get homeschool portfolio examples, download free homeschool portfolio printables, and more to help you with your homeschool record keeping.

How to Create Your Homeschool Portfolio for Record Keeping | Time4Learning
“Student homeschool evaluations don’t need to be a source of anxiety and stress! Learn about portfolio evaluations and local homeschooling laws to simplify keeping student records.”

Homeschool Portfolio Printable Organizer | Homeschool.com
“We love using portfolios around here… it’s the perfect way to showcase your student’s work over the course of the year. But, managing your portfolio and keeping it neat and cute (something you actually want to thumb through) can be a BIG headache! Thankfully, as experienced homeschoolers, we have a few techniques to keep this all-too-familiar situation from happening again. At the root of this disorganization is the fear of not keeping enough. So, our portfolio organizer is here to help you know exactly what you should keep and reduce the guesswork!”


Homeschool Report Cards | A2z Homeschooling
Need a homeschool report card? Find out what to include in your homeschool report card and get homeschool report card templates to help you get started.

Creating Your Homeschool Report Card | Homeschool.com
“Maybe it’s your first year homeschooling, you’re a couple of months into the school year, it’s about the time your child would be receiving their report card if they were in a traditional school, and you may have a moment of panic as you wonder how to make a homeschool report card for your student. Take a breath because we are here for you! Let’s take a minute to talk about report cards and why we use them anyway.” 


Homeschool Transcript Templates

Homeschool Transcripts | A2Z Homeschooling
Homeschooling high school? Get suggestions and templates for making homeschool transcripts work for you.

 

Course Numbers and Transcript Details | A2Z Homeschooling
What important pieces should always be included when preparing a transcript for a college? Learn here.

Guide to Homeschool High School Transcripts | Homeschool.com
“It’s hard to believe your homeschooler is now in high school and that they need a high school transcript! Then there are some fear mongers in the homeschool community that make it seem like an impossible feat for the average homeschool mom to accomplish. Don’t buy into that! It’s a process – yes, but it’s something that anyone can handle.”

Guide to Giving High School Credits | Homeschool.com
“If you are preparing a high school transcript for a homeschooler, and he or she has used a variety of different materials, outside courses and curricula to complete their coursework, then you may be wondering how to tally the credits for the courses they have taken. The purpose of this guide is to help you decide how much credit to assign to each subject by looking at good equivalents for each type of learning tool.”

 

  


Free Printable Homeschool Record Keeping Forms

What’s free AND can help you get organized as a homeschooler? That’s right—free printable homeschool record-keeping forms! We’ve found a bunch, so you don’t have to waste time looking. See if these resources can help in your homeschool:

Donna Young’s Homeschool Planners & How to Plan | YoungMinds
“Donna Young offers the largest selection of printable homeschool planners. Not only will you be able to print a complete homeschool planner, you can also read Donna’s How to Plan Homeschool articles with examples and suggestions.”

Free Homeschool Report Card Templates | A2Z Homeschooling
Need a report card? We have you covered with different free printable variations.

Free Homeschool Transcripts | A2Z Homeschooling 
Get your transcripts finished easily with these free homeschool printable transcripts.

Free Printable Home School Record-Keeping Forms | ThoughtCo.
“Teaching and running a home school requires a lot of administrative organization. You have to keep track of attendance and educational progress. These free printable forms will help you stay organized and make life that much easier. Use these printouts to take attendance throughout the year and to ensure that you are fulfilling the regional physical education requirement.”

Free Printable Attendance Sheet | Homeschooling4him
“Keeping homeschool attendance records is important, even if it is not required by your state. And the good news is, it can be simple with the right resources. Here is the free printable homeschool attendance sheet that I use in my own homeschool. I’ll also share everything you need to know about keeping good homeschool attendance records for yourself.”

Homeschool Goals, Strengths, and Needs Planner | Time4Learning
Recognizing your homeschoolers strengths and weaknesses can be tough. Time4Learning’s homeschool goals, strengths, and needs planner can help you! Listing out the areas your homeschooler excels in as well as the areas that might be a little more troubling can help you stay focused.”

Homeschool High School Transcript Template | Time4Learning
“This free high school transcript template can be downloaded, printed out, and customized to the specifics of your individual homeschooler.”

Homeschool Portfolio Checklist | A2Z Homeschooling 
Get this free portfolio checklist to guide you to creating the perfect portfolio for your homeschoolers.

Simple Homeschool Hour Tracker | Mama Teaches
“This simple homeschool hour tracker lets you keep track of the hours spent homeschooling without the fuss.”

Two Fantastic Homeschool Planners (Plus Transcripts!) | The Homeschool Mom
“The printable planner is a comprehensive organizer for appointments, school assignments, lesson planning, record keeping, and family menu planning.”

Weekly Homeschool Planner | Time4Learning
“Being a homeschool teacher can get quite busy at times, which is why Time4Learning makes planning your child’s homeschool schedule easy with our built-in lesson plans and activity planner. Even though Time4Learning is an online curriculum, we offer parents many helpful worksheets and planners that can be printed and on hand for a quick reference.”


Other Homeschool Record Keeping Resources

Looking for more resources to help you keep records for homeschool? How about a student planner or a homeschool record-keeping app? Explore these additional resources to see what could work for your homeschool:

CM Organizer $
“Simplify your planning and record-keeping with the CM Organizer, the only online homeschool planner designed especially for Charlotte Mason homeschoolers.”

Free Online Gradebook | ThinkWave
“ThinkWave Educator is great for solo teachers who want a basic, free gradebook. […] ThinkWave Educator is completely cloud based, which means there is no software to install and teachers can access data from school or home. ThinkWave can be used with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari and Chrome on PC, MAC, Linux, iOS and Android devices.”

Gradekeeper App $
“Gradekeeper makes dealing with grades easy! Enter assignments and scores and let Gradekeeper do the rest. […] Gradekeeper is easy on your budget, too. […] Licenses do not need to be renewed each year. And you can update to new versions without paying again.”

Homeschool Day Book
Make your homeschooling day easier! Keep easy, flexible, and accurate records of your homeschool day. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on record keeping. Get back to the things that matter more.” Even better: “You don’t need to pay for a license anymore: the “free trial” is now actually a permanent license with unlimited use.” But hurry, the website is disappearing sometime in 2023!

Homeschool Mom Life Binder | The Homeschool Mom $
“Finally, an easy, stress-free way to organize all areas of your busy homeschool mom life! If you are ready to say goodbye to the chaos that stems from being unorganized and unprepared, then the Homeschool Mom Life Binder is for you.”

The Homeschooler’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule with Any Curriculum or Program | Lulu $
By Megan E. A. Nassir (Author)
“Do you want to homeschool but don’t know where to start? Does the idea of homeschooling excite you, but the unknown scare you? Do you wish you knew how other families scheduled their day? Are you already homeschooling but feel very frustrated not knowing if you are doing things “right”? Do you wish you had access to tried and true schedules that you could use? […] In this book you will find real schedules from homeschoolers of Christian, secular, single child, multiple children, special needs, pre-school to high school, working/homeschooling moms, and un-schooling families, and where to find FREE and discounted resources. Once you have confidence, the rest will all fall into place.”

Homeschool Reporting Online $
“Whether you are an individual family needing a convenient record keeping solution, an umbrella school, homeschool co-op or support group desiring to reduce administrative overhead, Homeschool Reporting Online offers online software solutions.” 

Self-Propelled STUDENT Planner | URtheMom $
“The Self-Propelled STUDENT Planner sets YOU and YOUR CHILD free to enjoy each school day. Providing a student with one of our planners gives him a sense of ownership of his work, which in turn fosters motivation and a positive attitude yielding an educational advantage over time.”

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Do you have some advice to share about homeschool record keeping? Please extend a helping hand to other homeschooling families by adding comments below….

 

Do you need more guidance on homeschool record keeping and homeschool requirements? Check out your nearby homeschool support groups for local help.

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