There are easy ways to document unschooling or record learning at home. While unschooling may look different than parent-directed homeschooling, unschooling parents may need to document learning just the same.
First though, if you want to better understand unschooling, be sure to bookmark the Q&A filled Unschooling Encyclopedia.
Why Do You Need to Keep Unschooling Records?
When it comes to home education, keeping good records is essential. Good documentation of home study is also important for unschooling families. After all, many families who unschool don’t use neatly bundled or packaged curriculum or “do school” in the same way as others.
While not everyone agrees with the idea of documenting homeschool learning via unschooling, many homeschooling families do find that they need some form of evidence of schooling at some point during their child’s school years.
Reasons to Document Learning at Home
- To satisfy state or local home education regulatory requirements
- For awareness of student progress
- To build a portfolio or library of work, colleges, universities, or entrance to programs may ask for one in lieu of evaluations or official grades
- Divorce or child custody issues or proceedings, if there are challenges to the unschooling approach
- For proof a child is “schooled”
Easy Ways to Document Unschooling at Home
Here are some of the ways you could document school at home if you unschool your children. Of course, just like unschooling, it seems ideal to find an approach to documentation that best fits your personality, approach, and schedule.
After all, if it’s easy to document learning at home, you’ll be more apt to do it with regularity and consistently.
- Take Photographs (I love photography, so this is my preferred way to document at home learning)
- Make Videos (videos of experiments, the kids cooking, learning new skills, reading, etc.)
- Keep a calendar (paper or electronic and keep track of the cool places you go and activities you do)
- Keep a daily log (you could use a fancy planner, a notebook, or a phone App)
- Journal Writing (your children could write in a journal every morning or night about their day or you could journal about their progress and daily life)
- Project samples (keep samples of projects, art work, etc.)
- Keep a Folder with all of your ticket stubs, brochures, train tickets related to unschooling life and activities
- Cut out newspaper clippings of events you attended or features mentioning your children or unschool activities
- Blog about your unschooling and your family activities
- Record your family activities on social media, like an Instagram feed of your unschooling life. Check out my example and follow me on Instagram 😉
- Create an end of year portfolio, scrapbook, or photo album (or photo journal) of your unschool ‘school year’
Further Record Keeping Tips
Even in places that have daunting reporting regulations that require extensive record keeping, it may still be possible to successfully unschool. Mom2Mom offers other helpful links to record keeping resources. The key is to keep track of what your child is doing throughout daily life. You can then translate this daily living and learning into a format that demonstrates learning goals and objectives.
If you get stuck or need additional help, reach out to homeschooling support teachers or your local home study office to help guide you in creating good documentation of home learning.
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