Like it or not, record-keeping becomes a necessity, in some way, shape, or form, once your child reaches the high school years. Even if your child doesn't plan on attending college right off the bat, some sort of high school records or documentation may be needed for gaining admission into the armed forces, for seeking employment, or even being granted a volunteer position or internship.
Do yourself a favor, if you're in the beginning of the high school years with your child: start keeping track of all the awesome and interesting things being done by your kid! Heck, even if you're nearing the end of the high school years and didn't start out keeping records, it's still not too late to keep track of what is being done presently while you begin to reconstruct what was done in the past.
The Student Planner
One of the easiest ways to keep track of what is currently being done by your high school age young person is to provide some kind of student planner. There are plenty of pre-made planners on the market, so I'm not going to make suggestions here. If you're a relaxed homeschooler, though, you may find that those planners are too detailed or contain too much extra stuff to be worth the price.
I recently decided to construct a customized planner for my fifteen year old daughter for the upcoming school year, so I'm going to share with you how I went about it.
We are blessed with an abundance of very generous and creative homeschoolers who have been kind enough to share their hard work with the rest of us so we don't have to go about reinventing the wheel! For my daughter's planner I mined the resources at the following websites:
There are many other similar websites which offer a variety of planning pages for free or a very reasonable price, but these two had what I was looking for.
Here are some of the forms I downloaded at Tina's 7-Step Student Planner:
And at Donna Young, I downloaded these forms:
- 4-Year Course Checklist (available in both doc and pdf formats)
- Syllabus Template (Word doc or rtf, editable)
- Monthly Calendars
- Field Trip Log
- Reading List
Aside from the multiplication chart I mentioned above, I also printed out some other handy reference sheets to include in the back of the planner.
From Math Help:
I also printed off graduation requirements for our local district and state. Even though they don't apply to home schoolers in our state, they do come in handy when considering what might be necessary to gain college admission. Alongside the year-long school calendar, I printed off our local district's calendar for reference. Lastly, I included the Holstee Manifesto, because I like the inspiration.
Previously, I have printed off sheets, hole punched them, and stuck them in a 3-ring binder. This time around, I looked into other binding options. I finally decided upon the ProClick DIY Presentation Kit. This kit comes with pre-punched paper, binding coils, clear presentation cover, and a black presentation back. Very inexpensive for a nice-looking planner. I did have some issues with the pre-punched paper not loading correctly every time in my printer. In the future, I think I will spring for the Desktop Binding Machine so I can print first and then punch holes in the paper.
Look for a future post detailing how I organized the binder and how we plan to use it for keeping track of high school learning.