The school years fly by – When there is so much to do every day, time seems to fly. Yet… I can’t avoid the fact that we need to revisit our yearly goals, and make sure that we attain those goals.
As we face the end of the year another important aspect of wrapping it all up, is making sure that we have kept and maintain good records of what our children did throughout the year. Some parents are extremely gifted in this area, and others need lots of help. Either way, the records have to be kept and maintained. Just as each family has their own particular style of schooling, so does each family have their own style of record keeping. The important thing is that it gets done, and then preserved.
Here are a few simple ideas that just might inspire you to get crackin’ on the record keeping…
1) Some parents use journaling (writing in a journal all of the learning experiences that their children had on that day), others use online journals like blogs, some use teacher planners and gradebooks, others use portfolios (student’s work is collected over time and kept in a 3 ring binder), some use a combination of many things. I like to blog, and I like to record our quizzes and assessments on a Google docs spreadsheet.
2) Once my children reach junior high/ high school, I like to keep more evidence of their hard work. I typically have my children take notes, do chapter questions, test reviews, etc. in one spiral bound notebook. Then at the end of the year, I keep that notebook on a shelf as evidence of all of their work. I really hate having lots of papers to keep track of, so this is my solution to a small “paper trail.”
3) I make each child a report card at the end of the year. I take all of my recorded information and enter it into another simple spreadsheet that had a “report card” look to it. My kids love for me to do this, because there are business and restaurants that will often reward them if they show their report cards. There are lots of great free report card programs online. If you are technically inclined, you can always make a pencil paper version. Seeing their achievements in black and white seems to really help my children own up to their successes or failures. It also helps us to stay focused on what we need to be learning.
4) Once you’ve found a record keeping method that works for you and your family, stick with it. Also make sure that you keep the records in a safe place. These records will need to follow your child. They are essentially their “transcripts.” When I was principal of a local private school, we were/are required to keep those transcripts indefinitely. I can’t tell you how many times requests came in for transcripts just because a previous student wanted a job. These are vital pieces of information – and we were actually informed that they were legal documents – that our children will need for the rest of their lives!