Do I Need To Keep Homeschool Records?

Homeschool Records - Homeschool State laws

Did you know that records of your child’s homeschooling can be used to provide proof of your child’s education for employment or college applications? Not all states require record keeping but it is well worth the time and effort to do it.

What The Lawyers Say

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA.org) is an organization of lawyers who provide legal advice and defense for homeschool families in the United States. Their main purpose and goal is to protect the freedom of parents to educate their children in the home. They have been providing this service since 1983. HSLDA strongly advocates the practice of keeping homeschool records. This is what they say about record keeping in their own words…

“Regardless of what state you live in, HSLDA recommends that you keep detailed records of your homeschool program. These records may be helpful if you face an investigation regarding your homeschooling or your student needs to furnish proof of education.”

“These records should include attendance records, information on the textbooks and workbooks your student used, samples of your student’s schoolwork, correspondence with school officials, portfolios and test results, and any other documents showing that your child is receiving an appropriate education in compliance with the law. You should maintain these records for at least two years. You should keep your student’s high school records and proof of compliance with the home education laws during the high school years (including any type of home education notice that you file with state or local officials) on file forever.”

 

What To Include In Your Homeschool Records

As was mentioned above, there are some types of records that are important to keep. Here they are, stated again in a detailed list:

  • record of your child’s attendance throughout the year
  • a list of the textbooks/workbooks your child used
  • samples of your child’s school work
  • any documentation you have of communication with your local school
  • portfolios of your child’s work
  • test or assessment results
  • any other documentation that shows proof of your child’s education

Remember that keeping these types of records is a suggestion and not a legal requirement for everyone. However, the reason for keeping them is to have proof of your child’s education. You never know when you will need to show this proof to an potential employer, a college application office, or a school district. I was contacted once through this website by an agency that does background checks for employers. They wanted to know who they should contact for proof of education for one of the potential employees who had been homeschooled in Montana. Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping homeschool records!

 

What Does My State Require For Keeping Homeschool Records?

There are a few states that require parents to keep specific records of their homeschooling. For example, in Alabama the state requires homeschoolers to keep a record of their child’s attendance throughout the year. They do not have to report their child’s attendance to anyone, it is simply for their own personal records.

In New Hampshire it is a requirement for parents to keep a portfolio of their child’s work including:

  • a log of reading materials listed by title
  • samples of writings
  • worksheets
  • workbooks
  • creative materials used or developed by the child

Parents must keep this portfolio for at least 2 years after the end of the instruction time period.

Find out what your state requires for keeping homeschool records! Use the menu at the top of this page to find your state’s homeschool law and read all about it.