Most states in the United States require you to track your homeschool attendance. Some require grades and curriculum. However, it differs by state (and country) and I am NO expert. I can tell you that here, in Indiana, I am required to track our annual attendance. Regardless of whether you are required to track it, tracking attendance can be helpful to you and your family.
Additionally, even if you do not give grades (which we do not), tracking “grades” or notes about the successful completion of courses, books, or subjects is also helpful. Tracking your annual accomplishments can do this as formally or as informally as you wish. But keeping track of these accomplishments can also be helpful
You can track attendance many ways. Determine when your school year begins and then start tracking. You can use a software program if you wish or you can do it in an Excel spreadsheet or on a calendar. You can also find many free attendance trackers online that you can print out and hang up or place in your planner or your student’s planner. We use an attendance tracker and the kids are responsible for marking off the days. This helps them with calendar time and counting, depending upon their age. If you have an older student, it definitely can be their responsibility. Of course, I am a control freak at times so I also have a software program that I use that tracks it and I track it for myself. It allows me to run an attendance report anytime and I can print it at the end of the year and place it in the notebook with our keepsakes from the year.
We do not give grades as we have elementary age children. I’m sure that will change when we begin filling in a transcript but, for now, I find it unnecessary. Since we work toward mastery of a subject, grades are irrelevant. (But that is another topic for another post.)
However, if you do keep grades, tracking them is also important. You can do this in a spreadsheet or transcript format or a semester or annual report you make on your own. You don’t need anything fancy and formal (unless your state requires a specific format) but tracking it will be of assistance later, especially as you get more subjects, years, and students under your belt. Keeping track with grades will help you recall how your student performed in specific areas as you look back at their progression.
We use “notes” if you will. This is a place to make notes at the end of the year to mark what we covered, how we did, what the student excelled in and worked harder in and we keep it with any “certificates of completion” or special projects to help us recall what we did over the year. I make notes on special accomplishments, road blocks, or anything special about the year so I can remember if I need to in the future. This has been a great way to monitor our homeschool progression.
Even if your state is lenient, like our state, and doesn’t require much, you may find establishing the habit of keeping track helpful. It only takes a little time to jot something down or issue a completion certificate and then you have a great year-by-year record to look back upon.
How do you track attendance and accomplishments? What works best for your family?