How to set up recordkeeping for home schooling

JamieTurner Mar 25, 2008 School
For homeschooling, there are families who keep some kind of record for the type of education being provided and their child's progress during at least 180 days of the year to prove that the minimum requirements of the law are being met. However, there is no mandatory reporting system for homeschoolers required by law in most states. If truancy investigations, custody conflicts or other legal proceedings are a concern for your family, recordkeeping may be a good idea. Here are some of the more common types if you want to set up recordkeeping for homeschooling.


Things you’ll need

  • journal notebook
  • portfolio presentation notebook
  • daily planner
  • Microsoft Excel
  • record keeping software


Procedure Steps

  1. Journals—This can be done by the teacher or by the student. Basically, it's keeping a daily or weekly log of what was done and what was learned. It’s also a good place to record the memorable events that happen throughout your home schooling years that would be forgotten otherwise. This is a great resource for reminiscing later on.
  2. Portfolios—Some families enjoy keeping a portfolio containing representative samples of their child’s work. Portfolios are a good system for child-led learning and unit studies. A portfolio is a collection of varied materials that show what the student has learned, experienced, and accomplished.
  3. Daily planner—Lay out your assignments for the week in a teachers planning book. Then check them off as they are completed. You can also jot down other educational things you did, such as field trips, videos, projects, etc. in the planner. Quarterly, make a summary of what was completed and an overview of what was covered in each subject.
  4. Purchased Record Keeping Systems—Some of these are good and well worth their money. Try the Harris Home School Planner, but be prepared for a lot of copying. The Keepers At Home Organizer is also a good choice. It gives you freedom to personalize it by adding and taking away elements as you need to. The best part of this system is that you have all your paperwork in one spot and easily accessible. There are certainly other systems out there if you do your research. Do what’s right for you. 
  5. Once you've made your choice on your record keeping method and obtained the necessary materials, be diligent in keeping it up. It is easier to record as you go than to play catch-up and try to remember what was done.


  • For college-bound students, it is probable that some documentation of educational pursuits will be necessary for college admission. 
  • It is extremely unlikely that the typical home schooling family would face a legal challenge regarding their ability to teach their own children. If one arose, the burden of proof would rest with the state, which means that the state would have to prove that the law was not being met. The home schooling family would not have to prove compliance, although records might bring the case to a swifter conclusion.
  • You can create your own record keeping system with something as simple as Microsoft Excel.


  • It is neither necessary nor advisable to offer curriculum information, lesson plans, or other records to school districts or state officials. Seek an attorney's advice before giving records to anyone. As in similar legal situations, a search warrant is necessary for law enforcement agencies to enter your home or obtain your home schooling records.


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  • Last Updated : Mar 25, 2008