Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Process We're Using to Document Homeschooling Work

This last summer my kids did about three hours a day of homeschooling lessons daily. The exception was when we were traveling or they were in camps or spending entire days with their friends having summer fun.

Because their work was all independently done I decided to put the onus on documenting the work accomplished on them for the first time.

I wrote a simple list of work to be done in vague terms in a Word document and printed it off. They had to fill in blanks.

Example:

Math: 60 minutes a day
Teaching Textbooks 7
Lesson # ____________ Score _________
Lesson #_____________ Score _________

Science: Read science books 60 minutes a day
Title:
Author:
Topic:
Start page number ___ ending page number ___
Finished book today: yes or no (circle one)

You get the idea. The subjects done over the summer were read science books, read fiction books and math.

I have decided to extend this record keeping for the regular school year. Today I spent time documenting vague check lists like this, expanding them to include other subjects. This is an imperfect system as I'm trying to have one sheet for each of the five days even though some of the lessons are 3x or 4x a week only.

I made a separate sheet for once weekly or once monthly activities. I will have one sheet per month. That sheet has spots to fill in dates they attended a weekly class, with five blank spots (just in case there are five weeks in that month for that day of the week). Two examples:

Attended art history class, group lesson taught by museum docent (90 minutes direct instruction 1x month or 2x month)
Museum: ____________________
Topic: _____________________
Date attended: _____________

Museum: ____________________
Topic: _____________________
Date attended: _____________

Attended experiential science class (1x week = 6 hours direct instruction per class)
attended on: ____________
attended on:_____________
attended on: ____________
attended on: ____________
attended on: ____________

These sheets will be printed off on my home computer, three hole punched and put into a three ring binder.

This new record keeping system will free me from my former system of writing hand written notes in a spiral notebook. I had given up on using the computer software EduTrack due to it taking too long for data entry for assignments ahead of time then tweaking the database to show actual work accomplished.

These sheets that will be used daily will serve as both a check off sheet for my kids to do work independently as well as a documentation of work finished.

I had orignally planned to use a calendar with a check list of topics to do that day filled out by hand by me, but right now I'm thinking that is not detailed enough and to use that in addition would be not necessary and would require more work on my part.

I'll let you know how it goes as the year progresses!

4 comments:

Kelly said...

That is a great idea! Super easy too!

Maria said...

Hello! I am not sure it worked the first time...

Again, I find your posts very wise and I was wondering whether you would like to add a link to your blog on the new homeschool networking website that our small homeschooling community based in the UK has just started. Registering is free and only takes 1 minute - you can add a link pointing to your blog from your public page. Other features include groups, messaging, forums, articles and resources... If this is something you are interested in, have a look at www.networkhomeschool.com.

If you like it, we would be grateful if you could add our site to your “links” list.

Our Website: http://www.networkhomeschool.com

Blessings,

Maria

janicole said...

Great idea! At least now, you can track down all the activities and school stuff your children are doing.
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HomeSchoolCollegeCounselor said...

Great idea. Consistency is so important for record keeping. Keep up the great work!