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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Keeping Records

Kelsey asks: I love reading to the kids and would love to actually homeschool them on my own...but am TERRIFIED of the record keeping and putting an entire curriculum together. I really like how you focus on one area with all the boys, and do extra stuff with your oldest as is needed. I know your boys aren't all actually in school yet, but being that you are in Oregon too, what is the record keeping like and what does it involve, how do you do it? I have tried to find out online and it I find it very overwhelming!

Heidi answers: I will be going into more detail on how I've put together my curriculum in other posts, but I wanted to address the record keeping issue, particularly for fellow Oregonians. I have good news for you, Kelsey. Record keeping in our state is easy. Detailed information can be found here, but following is the short version:

If your child is seven or older at the start of the school year, you must notify the ESD in your county (simply send a letter).

Homeschooled children must complete standardized testing by the conclusion of grades 3, 5, 8, and 10.

That's it.

A few states have no regulations, and some states make life very difficult for homeschoolers. For details on other states, read here.

Additional record keeping is up to you as the parent/teacher. The notebook system outlined in The Well-Trained Mind makes perfect sense to me, and keeps all the student's work organized and available for review. Not only that, but the notebooks could also serve to enhance a student's ownership of their education and be a tangible reminder of what they have learned. Some parents take the papers out of the notebooks no longer being actively used and have them spiral bound at a local office supply/copy store.

I won't go into the details of the notebook system here. Try to borrow a copy of The Well-Trained Mind from your local library or purchase a copy. It is full of helpful information for lesson planning, scheduling, and record keeping.

I also keep weekly records of our lessons and activities. More on that later as well.

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

Thank you Heidi!!! I printed out all the Oregon state stuff last summer and was really overwhelming, overwhelming enough that I set it aside and looked at my other options for the current year. I guess it is just all the codes and stuff that freaked me out.
I just ordered a copy of the book from Amazon and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival!!!