Do you track attendance in your homeschool? Some states require homeschoolers to track attendance by the day. Some require homeschoolers to track hours of instruction. Some don’t have any requirements at all. It is every homeschooler’s responsibility to be aware of what their state requires. If you need to know the laws in your state, the best place to start is on the HSLDA website. Once you’ve figured that out, you must then decide which method of recording attendance works best for your needs and style of organization.
I have always tracked attendance in our homeschool even when it wasn’t required by the state. It may be the teacher in me. I don’t know, but I have always tracked it ‘just in case’ there was ever a question. Attendance is the easiest homeschool record to keep if you have a system in place.
Online Attendance Trackers
All of the online homeschool lesson planners I’ve used in the past offer a way to track attendance. Years ago, I used Homeschool Tracker. In their system, there is a page for tracking attendance. It’s a school-year calendar. On it, you just mark a P for present or 1/2 for a half day. It automatically calculates your total days in school.
Right now, I use Homeschool Planet. It allows me to set my calendar at the beginning of the year. If we have a sick day, I just remove that date from my calendar, and Homeschool Planet recalculates the number of days in our academic year. This has been a huge help this year, because Emma has had so many sick days this year.
Printable Attendance Records
Most years, I just printed off an attendance sheet and placed it in the front of my planning binder. I am very good about recording the date or number of the day in each little square – for the first several months. Then, I forget. That throws me off. I’m left scrambling to check my calendar to see if we ‘should’ have had school that day. Typically, I abandon ship by Christmas.
However, having one sheet in the front of your planning binder works for a lot of homeschool mommas. There are so many lovely people who have created attendance trackers. You can download an individual page just for tracking attendance. Add this to your planning binder or portfolio, and you’re all set.
- About Education has an attendance tracker, as well.
- The attendance tracker at Paradise Praises is available in both Spanish and English.
Here’s how I do it…
I don’t want to just track attendance as Homeschool Planet does above. I also want to know how many days we’ve completed and/or how many days we have left in our school year.
Even though I use an online planner, I am a paper person at heart. I plan online, but I print out each day’s lesson plan. I like checking off boxes when we complete an activity. I have, however, quit using a separate form like the ones listed above. For me, it was just one more piece of paper I had to keep up with. It was one more to-do on my task list each day.
A few years ago, I found what works for me, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before! I print out my lesson plans each day. At the top of each page, I just list what day we’re on. Like I said, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. I was a paper planner for years, but I took me forever to start tracking attendance this way. Crazy, huh? It’s so easy! It’s not ‘one more step.’ It’s easy-peasy for a pseudo-paper planner like me.
Do you track attendance? If so, what method do you find works best for you?
This post was the first in my ABC’s of Homeschooling series! To read the entire series, visit my ABCs of Homeschooling page. I’ll add to this page each day as the posts go live.