This page is dedicated to answering the question we get from families and friends: How do you document what you do?
We live in TX which is a great place for homeschooling because there are no strict regulations. Formal documentation is not required. However, we do document. We document so we have records perchance we return to public school, enroll in a private school, or move. I was inspired by state regulations from CO, WA, and PA and various home school groups in those states for coming up with our documentation. I also opted to document by hours per day as it was the easiest for me. TX does not have a requirement. From looking across the USA, hourly requirements ranged from 600 hours to 1080 per year while some states just require a minimum number of days of at least 4 hours in length. Not all states have their students in school 180 days but if you multiplied 180 days by 6 hours you would come up with 1080. In addition, in a traditional school not all of the time they spend during a school day is instructional. Thus, we used the 1080 hours per year as our target goal. We have learned, we far exceed it. Partly it is because our son’s brain doesn’t stop. We don’t cut him off. In addition there are lots of learning opportunities throughout the year and beyond weekdays which is why our calendar is year round. We have a daily activity log, hour log (cumulative log of hours per day), book list, and a running grade list (not everything is graded but some of the programs give grades, so we record them). All documents I created in google drive so I have ease of access from anywhere. It really does not take hardly any time to complete. And, we have gotten to the point where our son will go and enter in activities himself.
Here is what our weekly activity log looks like:
Weekly Log for _____ Week of ________:
For our book log we keep a running record broken down by social studies, science, PE, health, life/social skills, art, music, fiction, non-fiction, ELA (formal English Language Arts), Math, educational videos, and educational software. For each entry I fill out the following:
My hourly log was inspired directly from askPauline’s Guide to Homeschooling in PA. I tweaked it slightly and created it in a spreadsheet in google docs for ease of entry. Here is an awesome template in pdf format straight from askPauline http://home.comcast.net/~askpauline/hs/docs/attendancecalendar.pdf