Monday, August 4, 2014

Pennsylvania Homeschool Record Keeping

 Covers of portfolios
What record keeping do you need to do to comply with Pennsylvania Homeschool Law? Four things: attendance, a daily log, a portfolio, and a health record. If you homeschool from the beginning, you only need these things from age eight. Remember though from my last blog, if you already had your child registered in a school, you will need to do one for every year from that point on.

Attendance: 180 days is the required amount of time. The two simplest ways to keep attendance is by dating the log or marking a calendar. I always dated and numbered the log entries, but you can simply cross off the days you have school on a calendar. Students can do this. Just check to make sure that he is keeping up with it.

Log: Another chore we have in Pennsylvania is to keep a daily log. There are several ways to do this but my favorite was to plan my lessons and check off what I did. When the children got older, they could check off as they completed each subject. From reading legal counsel concerning the law, I found that all that is necessary is to list the resources that you used each day. You can do this with a code system on an attendance sheet. M equals Math, etc. List the entire titles of the books you use somewhere and give each a letter code. You can do this on several sheets of grid paper. You can still make lesson plans, but you are not required to turn them in. Include your child’s extra reading with either of these methods so you can compile a book list for the portfolio. 
Example of a log

The Homeschooler's Journal

Portfolio:  Homeschool supervisors, in most cases, the mother, have to be able to prove that their children made some progress through the school year. Samples of school work are to be included in a notebook officially called a portfolio.

Eight to ten samples of each subject for the whole year are sufficient. I set up my notebook with dividers before the school year started and added at least two times, midway and at the end. I kept all the finished, corrected papers in a plastic tub for each child. When I was ready to add to the portfolio, either the child or I sorted the papers into subjects and choose what we wanted to put in. At the end of the year, I added a list of textbooks, a list of their reading, pictures of field trips, and cover illustrations, either photos or a drawing by the child. I included my child’s name and the school year dates on the cover.

Health Record: Here are the health records you need to keep on file.

Every year you are to record height, weight, and Body Mass Index (BMI) You can find a calculator for doing the BMI online.

First year of school: medical exam, dental exam, color vison and stereo vision. (some districts require a TB test)

First and Second Grade: hearing test.

Third Grade: dental exam and hearing test.

Fifth Grade: color vision if you haven’t had it done before.

Sixth Grade: medical exam and a check for scoliosis

Seventh Grade: dental exam, hearing test, and a check for scoliosis

Ninth Grade: (some districts require a TB test)

Eleventh Grade: medical Exam, hearing test

(These exams can be expensive. You may want to contact the school district and see what services you can acquire from them.)

Resources I used to write this:
Pa Homeschool Law a website by Beth Phillips

Guide to the PA Homeschool Law by Howard and Susan Richman (I used the Twelfth Ed. May, 2003)

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