Sometimes unschoolers get mixed messages about recordkeeping. States vary on their requirements for homeschoolers – including unschoolers – to maintain various records. In many states no recordkeeping is required whatsoever. And in those that do, many do not require that these records be turned in to anyone nor do the specify how the recording should be done. Of course, check your own state/local group for your laws. But be wary of anyone who thinks doing more than the state requires, is a good idea. It’s not. And for new homeschoolers/unschoolers, recordkeeping often gives the parent a sense of progress or a feeling of protection should anyone ask. Please don’t let your fears of governmental oversight crowd out your good judgement. It’s a rare case that anyone ever even asks to see these records. (Usually it’s custody battles or legal issues that don’t even pertain to the child.) That said, some of us do enjoy looking back and seeing progress. Some of our kids (most of them?) like to look back at their own lives and see what they were doing or remember what life was like. Acquiring life skills, personal AND physical growth, social settings, friends and relatives – all make for interesting trips down memory lane later on. Get creative and you can find a fun way to record what’s been going on. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or keep some dry teacher’s record book. Life has so much more to offer than that! Try some of these:
- Journaling about their lives and their activities – It’s nice to have a place to privately record everything that you HOPE you will remember – Some kids might love to write it themselves, either by hand or on the computer (tips on writing at Pinterest) – Decorating the cover and/or the pages – look at others on Pinterest (especially under “Art Journals”)
- Photo Collection – hard copy or digital – Get memory sticks to take photos off the phone – Start folders to make it easier to find what you’re looking for – Stay safe and upload to Flickr, PhotoBucket, SmugMug, plus more options! – At the end of the year, compile the favorites for an annual book or video montage set to favorite songs. – Groovebook, Shutterfly, Snapfish are companies that can help you compile your photos quickly (before you’re overrun with boxes from years and years!)
- Scrapbooking – A creative hands-on project to do together – More fun for the artistic types
- Blogging about the family’s adventures – Lots of free blog websites are available – Be sure to join the Facebook group for Homeschool/Unschool Bloggers. You can see a variety of ways people use blogging to share glimpses into their world. You don’t have to be a blogger to join the group.
- Writing activities down after the fact in a planner or on a calendar – Perfect for the busy mom who is trying to remember it all
- Pinterest boards can record cool things you’ve done, read, seen, explored – Create boards for interesting places you visited or want to visit – Create boards for movies & documentaries you saw or want to see – Create a board with photos of new creations (foods, crafts, etc) – Encourage your kids to get their own Pinterest account so it’s easy to share ideas – Unschooling Pinterest Board