I'm sure this has been asked a million times, but what do you guys use for tracking stuff your kid does? My objective is to satisfy attendance requirements, and also to have some idea of what my kid is doing from year to year. And if we end up going all through high school, to have a portfolio of sorts or transcript for colleges. My oldest would be starting K next year, and I'd like to get myself in the habit of keeping a journal or something like that. Ideally it would be software that I can download to my laptop or better yet download to a server and maintain myself. I'd like to be able to add in pictures/videos to journal entries. But at this point I haven't figured out how much I want to track. We're mostly going to do unschooling/relaxed schooling (where I may suggest doing a lapbook and print stuff out for ds if he's interested), so I won't be able to rely on having lots of worksheets to show as "proof" of studies.
I do have to turn in attendance to my school district but I literally just give them a page with 180 squares with checks in them.
We've had to various types of tracking and reporting as unschoolers to maintain the benefits of our publicly-funded homeschool umbrella program. I've used a blog, set to private. I invite our over-seeing teacher to be a subscriber, and also the grandparents. I can include photos, audio file links, videos, organize things by date, subject etc. etc. As time has gone on my kids have been co-authors of their learning blogs. It has worked brilliantly for us. I started out with Blogger and still keep the public, family blog there. For school records I now use a WordPress installation on my own website. Both worked fine.
For attendance, our umbrella program provided us with an on-line calendar. We just filled that in -- a virtual checkmark for each day we considered to include our "educational program" -- which was, duh, pretty much every day. I would do the same with a bargain-bin wall calendar if I had to keep my own records. Or use iCal or Google Calendar, embedding it as a blog widget.
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
Thanks! WordPress sounds like a good option at this point, especially since I can install it on a server, and I'm going to guess that I can export everything to a PDF at some point, if I need to. I can see that it would be great for the kids to take over at the right age.
4evermom, the reason I didn't post in the general hs forum was that I am not interested in setting up lesson plans or giving grades. I've looked at a few hs trackers online and it seemed they were geared more for the "school at home" type of hs. What we're doing is just set up "some" opportunities (meaning have lots of supplies/books for the kids and then see what they do ... I still would like to keep track of what they've done - at least the major things; I don't have time to follow them around and note every little scribble or doodle. I think it would be nice to note the growth from year to year, but that's a little different from assigning them an "A" in the tracker. I was thinking to use one tool for attendance requirements & my own tracking, but I think what you're doing for attendance is a good idea...just using something simple for the attendance requirement.