Written by Shannon

As I was preparing the slides and pulling examples for last week’s Record Keeping -Keeping Track of It All workshop, a thought kept circling in my head that it was too much. I needed to narrow it down.

So I sat down and asked myself, “what are the most important take-aways?”

If you never watch the Record Keeping workshop, what is important for you to know – to internalize – about Record Keeping (from the transcript perspective)?

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Keeping records – of some kind – helps you when it comes time to put the transcript together. Here’s a clip from the slide – it’s the simplest answer I have for you on why to keep some sort of records

Image text: To Save Your Self a headache

Image:  A woman sitting at a desk with a lamp, laptop, pen cup, and small plant.  She has he head bowed with her eyes closed, lips flat, and her right hand is covering her face.

2. Make it work for YOU! In the workshop I showed multiple examples of different types of record keeping I myself did over the course of homeschooling four kids, plus the semester my sister spent with us. Here’s a few for inspiration:

Collage of variety of images: 
1. a screen capture of a Facebook post featuring two teen girls scuba diving
2. hand written notes outlining past events in timeline format
3. rough draft of typed notes about courses completed and credits associated 
4. Final transcript formatted to fit a single page

3. It’s okay if the methodology you use to keep records changes over time, adjusting to the season you are in.

4. Make it Doable for You – for how you best keep track of and process information, for what fits naturally into your life, for the season you are in.

Record keeping can be as simple as photos as things are happening, or loose handwritten notes every few months or a couple times a year.

In the workshop, I shared several examples of how to make photos work, even if your teen doesn’t want their picture taken.

Hint: Respect your teen’s wishes and shift from photographing them, to photographing things that will jog your memory or helps illustrate the story.

5. Start an “In Progress Transcript” and update that periodically as you go along. It makes life easier later – especially if you need a transcript quick.

6. Give Yourself Grace. If you haven’t kept records thus far, it’s okay. You can begin now.

Or, if you are already at or near the end of the high school years and you don’t have records, it’s okay.  You can still create a transcript.  Just allocate a little more time to the process.

7. Remember the goal – you are taking real life activity and ultimately, eventually, packaging it up onto the transcript. We are capturing the credit as or after it happens.

You only need enough information for you to remember or have on hand the info you need for the transcript and the course description (if you need a course description). More is not always better.

And we certainly don’t want the record keeping to get in the way of the learning.

Ultimately, Keep it simple and doable for you, in a way that allows your teen the freedom to learn and grow, while still giving you that data you need to package it up as credit later.
That’s it – the most important things to understand about Record Keeping from the transcript perspective. Make it Yours, for where you are at. Be Kind to Yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into my recommendations for Record Keeping and see all the examples, the full replay – all 1 hour and 48 minutes of it – is now available in the Record Keeping – Keeping Track of It All module, in Getting Started with Homeschool Transcripts.

  • For quick reference, a PDF of the slides with all the examples I shared is there too. This includes:
  • Differences in Approaches
  • What Information do You NEED
  • What about Hours and Credits?
  • What Situations Need More
  • How Often to Update Your Records
  • Too Much vs. Too Little
  • Who Should Keep Records
  • Gotchas
  • Make It Work For You – Giving Yourself Grace
  • As well as record keeping examples and tips for:
  • Organized Documentation
  • A running document vs. a Narrative Assessment
  • Calendars and Schedules
  • Social Media and/or Photos
  • Social Media and/or Photos with Camera Shy Teens

If you don’t have access yet, it’s just a one-time $27 for full access to all the workshop recordings and PDFs of the slide decks – including Understanding Credits, Course Titles, Course Description Basics, and Record Keeping – Keeping Track of It All.

At last count, we were up to almost 7 hours of training inside Getting Started with Homeschool Transcripts with lots of examples so that you can feel confident about packaging up your teen’s knowledge, skills, and experience on the high school transcript.

Regardless of whether you get into Getting Started with Homeschool Transcripts or not, I am always willing to answer questions – especially about packaging up our teen’s learning on the transcript or embracing our kids’ interest, passions, and deep dives in the high school years.

Until next time, Happy Learning!

P.S. Just a reminder: I’m talking record keeping from the transcript perspective. If your state has records requirements – they still apply.

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