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Why Should I Keep Extracurricular Records?
Most states require homeschool parents to keep basic records, although formal records are not always mandatory. Sometimes a portfolio format meets the state’s regulations, which works well with various subjects like physical education and sports activities, if formal records aren’t your style.
Keeping records of your children’s extracurricular activities can serve numerous purposes, and many colleges appreciate a comprehensive record of homeschoolers’ activities during the college application process. Keeping a list or portfolio of all the extracurricular things in which your child participates, such as art competitions, horseback riding lessons, etc., will not only provide a lasting record, but can be a lot of fun to create.
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Types of Records
You can keep as detailed a record of your homeschooler's activities as you wish. If you want to use a minimalist approach, try just recording the bare essential information for each extracurricular activity, such as:
- assignments or project names
- grades (if applicable)
But for a more elaborate approach, you can add audiovisual elements. In addition to all the basic info listed above, you could take pictures or videos of your children and keep them in a computer file to add to your portfolio. You could collect samples and memorabilia from their activities, as well. For example, you could include pictures of your child’s karate belt promotions, videos of your child in a local theater production, or recipes your child used when learning cooking methods.
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Methods of Record Keeping
Allow your personal style to determine your record-keeping methods. Some parents do well with the traditional paper method. This only requires a teacher grade book or computer printouts to record the basic information for each extracurricular subject.
Another method is the file folder method, which serves well for those parents who lack time. This can help you collect records throughout the year to create an end-of-year homeschool portfolio where you can highlight your children’s extracurricular involvement. Simply keep a folder or box handy and store pictures and memorabilia of all your children’s fun projects. For example, you could put 4-H ribbons your child has earned in the box, or newspaper clippings in which your child was recognized.
A third method of record keeping is a computer program. You can make homeschool records on the computer by using a simple word processing program. A great tip is to keep a file folder on the computer and simply drag and drop in any digital videos or pictures pertaining to their activities. If your child was in a local bike race, for example, make sure to snap a few pictures and drag them into the folder for safe keeping.
Not only will these records serve as a tool to evaluate your children’s education, but they will also create a family memento and keepsake that you and your kids will cherish in years to come.