How Do You Track Your Homeschooling Hours?

Family Matters on 12.08.11

Photo: Mao Lini/Creative Commons

The weight of homeschooling begins to sink in once you realize that the time to report attendance and academic progress to your school district has arrived. Have we completed the required number of hours? Did my child spend enough time reading and writing? Will we be in compliance with state mandates? Although requirements for reporting vary from state to state, it is helpful for parents to track and record the progress your children make from year to year. But it begs the question--what counts as homeschooling? 

Your Homeschool Style Makes It Easy...Or Not

Curriculum based homeschooling makes record keeping easy. With tests, worksheets, and lesson plans--this style of homeschool allows parents to see a clear progression and track hours with ease. Since it most resembles the structure of traditional school, many families choose to follow this plan of home education and find reporting a breeze.

But how can unschoolers, eclectic and classical homeschoolers, or Charlotte Mason learners record homeschooling hours without a structured curriculum? Easy: Figure out what counts as learning.

Redefining Learning

Does a test, worksheet, or lecture count as learning? Sure--in a traditional system. Does a lemonade stand, scavenger hunt game, or sewing project count, too? You betcha! Homeschoolers need to let go of their preconceived notions of education and see the potential in everyday experiences.

So baking that cake becomes a math (measuring), science (mixing and watching reactions), English (reading the recipe), and home economics project.

A nature walk becomes a biology (observation of bugs and animals in their natural habitats), physical education (walking and moving), and art (making tree rubbings and collecting leaves for a fun craft) class.

A trip to the local grocery store, cemetery, or local business can be education too. Don't overlook daily life experiences, because they hold meaningful education. And paired with reading time, educational videos or computer games, and whatever other methods your have incorporated into your homeschool makes meeting state requirements a breeze. There is nothing that can't be educational--so embrace each moment with your children and watch them grow in knowledge as you start each new homeschool day. 

What activities do you consider homeschooling? What method(s) do you use to record those hours?

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