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Records and "progress reports" for unschoolers?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi all!
I've looked through this and the learning at home forums and I'm still searching... I need advice on what you guys are doing in regards to record keeping and, especially, progress reports that are state mandated.
Our state requires semi-annual progress reports to be filed for each child, but I don't "grade" their learning... I'm at a loss as to what I can do here. I've found some advice on translating our learning into "educationese" and I'm busily reworking most of our year's worth of learning (my scant notes) into something that looks like what the state wants to see... but the progress reports are still a sticking point.

Any advice?? TIA!
post #2 of 8
I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but I just started using the Homeschool Tracker program. The basic version (which is what I have) is free, and though we're not using "traditional" grades as such, it allows me to enter what we did do and "grade" it accordingly. A lot of it is participation=yes or no type stuff that I say is "in-class" work and just assign it a random point value.

Once you add all of your subjects and materials and some assignments, you can print progress reports and report cards.
I am no expert; I just started using it a couple of days ago, but it seems like it will work well for what I want. Maybe it will help you, too?

Here's the link: http://www.homeschooltracker.com/
post #3 of 8
I don't know if there's anything within the links and ideas in this thread, but it's worth a look: "Need transcripts for HS'd, UnSchooled DD" - Lillian

post #4 of 8
[QUOTE=dkenagy;15050506]
Our state requires semi-annual progress reports to be filed for each child, but I don't "grade" their learning... I'm at a loss as to what I can do here.[QUOTE]

Do they want a packet of information or a report-card type of report?

When my oldest was in school, they experimented with "authentic assessment" using Rubrics (if you google rubrics you'll find some ready-made as well as generators where you can customize your own.)

We don't need to report where I live, but I always thought that was the way I'd go if we needed to. Basically, Rubrics read like a checklist of skills that the child has either mastered, is working on, or will work on. It seemed like a quick and easy way of assessing (especially when it's your own child, whom you know well!) And it wouldn't require your child to jump through any hoops.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
SagMom- I like that idea! I'll go google that in a min. Our state requires that you keep a portfolio of student work and the progress report in separate from that. The samples I have seen on sites containing the state laws look an awful lot like the report cards I took home as a kid.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm off to re-google!!
post #6 of 8
Our unschooling-friendly umbrella school creates progress reports for each child two or three times a year. They are just collections of observations (reported anecdotally to the "teacher" by me) pulled together with some educationese and grouped (approximately) by subject area. Here are some quotes to give you an idea of the tone and content. The first is from my 13yo's "Language Arts" subject area, the latter from the "Learning to Learn" section of my 7yo's report:

"Progress in languaging is noted specifically in the following areas and activities:
Viewing classic films, discovering and recalling references to them throughout the media, literature and popular culture.
Developing and improving own style in handwriting. Finding a comfortable approach to practicing cursive handwriting skills.
Developing understanding of and ability to use second languages through practicing (Portuguese, Zulu, Latin, French, Italian and other languages) choral pieces in his World Music youth choir.
Demonstrates understanding of nuances of the English language by participating in word games and riddles with family members."

"Specific highlights of developing skills and knowledge include the following:
Took on responsibility with home-alone time, completing expectation lists.
Dove into practice in piano playing and demonstrated enjoyment in the challenge of new learning techniques.
Continued to practice and polish piano pieces despite a break in lessons over the holidays.
Faced challenges with violin and found ways to overcome them with the help of her mother.
Completed Level 3 Math workbook. Challenged herself with multiplication drills and practiced difficult equations.
Expressing thoughts and feelings in a healthy, respectful manner.
Learning science through curiosity and inquiry. Through asking her mom and using technology, Fiona found answers to her science questions, then relayed them to her siblings in subsequent discussion.
Consistently demonstrates confidence and enthusiasm in new tasks and moving forward in her learning goals. She enjoys structuring her time to work on all areas of learning."

Hope that gives you a little insight into one possible style of reporting.

Miranda
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks Miranda and Lillian. Very helpful. I've got some work to do!!
post #8 of 8
These guides were developed, in part, to satisfy state mandated record keeping. I bought them to get a sense of whether my kids are gaining skills as they might if they were in school:

http://www.fun-books.com/books/livin...ing_guides.htm
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