Hey there, fellow military moms! If you're reading this, chances are you're navigating the unique path of homeschooling while your husband is serving our country. First and foremost, thank you for your family's service and sacrifice. It's not an easy journey, but you're doing an incredible job!
Today, I want to talk about something that's crucial for homeschoolers across the board, but especially for those of us who are part of the military community: keeping physical records of your child's homeschooling journey. It might sound a bit bureaucratic, but trust me - it's an essential aspect of homeschooling, and can make your life a lot easier in the long run.
Why Keep Physical Records?
Imagine this scenario: you're stationed in a new state, and you need to fulfill the homeschooling requirements of that state. (Tip: each state has different requirements ranging from strict to almost non-existent!) Without proper records, you could face difficulties proving your child's progress and complying with state laws. Physical records serve as tangible evidence of your child's education and can help smooth your transition to a new duty station.
What Records Should You Keep?
As mentioned, every state has its own homeschooling laws and requirements, so it's essential to check your specific state's regulations. However, here's a shortlist of documents that are commonly required by state law:
Attendance Records: Most states require you to keep track of the days your child is engaged in educational activities. Create a simple attendance sheet and mark off each day your child participates in learning.
Curriculum Records: Document the materials you use, textbooks, online courses, or educational software. This shows that you are using an approved curriculum.
Progress Reports: Regularly assess your child's progress and keep these reports on file. Progress can be demonstrated through tests, quizzes, assignments, or even a portfolio of your child's work.
Standardized Test Scores: Some states mandate standardized testing to assess your child's academic progress. Keep copies of these scores for your records.
Immunization and Health Records: Ensure that your child's immunizations are up-to-date, and maintain health records as required by your state.
A Record of Special Accommodations: If your child has any special needs or requires accommodations, keep records of these to demonstrate that you're meeting their educational needs.
Correspondence with School Officials: Any communication with school district officials, whether by email or letters, should be kept on file. This includes any requests for approval to homeschool.
A Few Extra Tips
Stay Organized: Use our Education Binders to keep your records neat and organized, where you have a designated place for all of the above-mentioned files and plenty of room to customize! This will save you time and stress when you need to access them.
Backup Digital Copies: In addition to physical records, it's wise to maintain digital copies as a backup. This way, you have a secure and easily accessible version in case of loss or damage.
Research Your State Laws: Always double-check the homeschooling laws and requirements in your current state and any future duty stations, because once again, laws can vary significantly from state to state. One excellent resource is HSLDA (The Homeschool Legal Defense Association), which offers a plethora of legal, financial, and other help for homeschoolers, including those in the military.
Remember, keeping physical records might seem tedious at times, but it's a small price to pay for the flexibility and control that homeschooling offers. Plus, it ensures that you're always prepared to meet state requirements and provide the best education for your child.
You've got this, mom (and dad!) Your dedication to your child's education is commendable, and your commitment to keeping physical records will make your homeschooling journey smoother and more successful. Keep up the fantastic work, and know that you're not alone in this adventure.
Click here to check out our Education Binders!