How to Keep Records in a Relaxed Homeschool or Unschool

Relaxed Homeschool Recordkeeping

Sometimes homeschooling in a strict state can be a real bummer. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve finally reached a point in our homeschool where I’m comfortable enough with what the laws really say that dealing with the bureaucracy no longer bothers me.

But it used to bother me. 

Being a new homeschooler in a highly regulated state can be extremely stressful- especially if you’ve embraced a relaxed homeschooling or unschooling philosophy. Because of this, I think a lot of people turn to textbooks simply because it’s easier to understand how to check off all the boxes that need to be checked in order to comply with the state requirements.

There isn’t much thinking involved to decide that science was completed if your child did an assignment in his science book, and the same goes for social studies, math, language arts, and everything in between.

Checking off homeschool subjects

For those of us who have embraced the learning experiences that life has to offer, things aren’t always that cut and dry, but no need to fret!  Keeping homeschooling records is not only doable, but after awhile it becomes second nature. Here’s how.

How to Break Life into Homeschool Subjects

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Keeping records in an informal homeschool setting can be as easy as 1-2-3. The key is to start with a general knowledge of what sorts of activities are covered by each subject, and go from there.

For example, if you know that math includes fractions and measuring, science includes mixtures, and social studies includes learning about cultural traditions, it can be easy to see how baking a longstanding family recipe with your children adequately covers math, science, and social studies.

If you know that language arts includes writing and grammar and that geography covers learning about other states or countries, having your child write, proofread, and edit a letter to a pen pal can clearly meet the requirements of language arts and geography.

It really is as simple as that!

Some other examples are:

  • Explaining to a child while cooking that baking soda must be used to put out grease fires can be classified as fire safety, and life skills or home economics.
  • Taking a walk to a creek to go looking for tadpoles can be marked off as science and physical education.
  • Playing a game of Monopoly easily covers math, economics, critical thinking, and even geography.

If you really think about it, those homeschool subjects that must be covered really look less like a checklist, and more like this:

Learning and living can't be separated

Once you become used to the idea, it becomes so evident that learning and living truly can’t be separated. They just can’t.

A few months back, I made a video on my YouTube channel in which I extensively explained how to keep records in a relaxed homeschool or unschool setting. If you’re looking for more advice or ideas, I’m including it here for you to enjoy.

Are you a relaxed homeschooler? How do you keep records?

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

21 thoughts on “How to Keep Records in a Relaxed Homeschool or Unschool”

  1. I like your idea of using whatever your child is learning daily and then putting it into language arts, math, etc. categories. It is exactly what I am doing with my son. For instance, he doesn’t like spelling on a paper and pen format, but loves to type on computer while making short stories or since he is a very visual learner he loves making his own videos and art on Paint 3D where he writes his own headings and sentences and that is his way of learning spelling in a fun way. So a project like this earns a check for both language arts and art.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for writing this! I’ve been looking for something that breaks everything down and you have certainly done that. I’m discovering this late (of course), lol, and everyone is asleep, so I’m bookmarking this video to watch first thing tomorrow…with my daughter! We’ve both talked about unschooling after Christmas break, but we’ve been so nervous about it!! Especially me, because I’m an avid record keeper! Anyways, again, thank you for sharing and showing examples. I’ll be sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In our state we don’t have worry much about record keeping; until high school. Now that my son is entering 9th grade next year I am finding myself wondering how to record and account for it all. Thank you for this! Pinned.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for writing this. My state in Australia has recently upped their regulations and I’m looking for the balance between being a stickler and doing what we enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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