Create and keep records.
Create records in order to comply with legal requirements (see Step 1: Know the Law) and also to make transcripts and resumes easier to compile when they are needed.
Here are some hints, tips, and templates for scheduling your home-schooling time and keeping records:
IHIP - Individualized Home Instruction Plan
IHIP - information from the DoE.
The format below can be used for both IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan) and quarterly reports. I keep it on my computer, and simply write over the previous entry under each subject every time I need to make a new report, and that saves me loads of time. I save a copy of everything I submit, putting the new date in the saved file name, so if my paperwork is lost or misplaced it's easy for me to send it again.
My first IHIP took me more than a day to write and ended up being fourteen pages long! Now that I know what's really necessary, I spend about an hour writing an IHIP or quarterly report, and it takes up about two pages.
The following is an IHIP outline for grades K-8 (subject requirements and hours required change for grades 9-12). The same outline can be used for a quarterly report. The first subject, math, has been filled in with a sample of a first grade math curriculum. Although this is written like a list, I usually prefer to write a short paragraqph under each heading. Feel free to modify this format and create your own IHIP form, but don't forget those required minor additions at the end like "arson prevention."
See our page on Grade Levels, Standards and Benchmarks and do note that homeschoolers do not have to follow the bd. of ed. guidelines, and do not have to write IHIPs or assessments that are at "grade level."
Remember that the P in IHIP stands for Plan. Here is where you write down your plan for the year. During the course of the year, you can change the content, the texts, the manner in which the child learns, and still fulfill your IHIP if the required subjects and the number of hours are covered.
Here are templates in Word format that you can download to fill out and use for your IHIP or Quarterly Report.
The templates follow the format below.
(IHIP or Quarterly Report) for (child's name)
age:____________date of birth:____________ grade level: 1st Grade
(date of report)________________________
MATH (sample curriculum for 1st grade IHIP)
[Child's name] will learn to:
clocks, coins, math texts and workbooks (titles), rulers, scales, measuring spoons, cards, dice, math manipulatives, graph paper.
SPELLING (combined with language arts)
ENGLISH (combined with language arts)
GEOGRAPHY (combined with social studies and science)
U.S. HISTORY (includes PATRIOTISM / CITIZENSHIP)
HEALTH (combined with Science) (sample health curriculum for any age)
(Child's name) will review health precautions and disease control, including AIDS awareness and ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, AND DRUG ABUSE. (He/She) will also review preventative health care practices, including dental care and hygiene.
Materials will be obtained from libraries and medical offices as needed.
In addition to the subjects listed above, (child's name) will continue (his/her) training in: HIGHWAY SAFETY, TRAFFIC REGULATIONS, BICYCLE SAFETY, FIRE & ARSON PREVENTION AND SAFETY, PERSONAL SAFETY, WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.
[Child's name] will attend the substantial equivalent of [required days/hours for grade level].
Quarterly reports will be submitted by the following dates:
[Child's name] has received a total of 225 hours (or more) of instruction.
(225 hours for grade 1-6, or 247.5 hours for grades 7-12)
[for IHIP and quarterly report]
One parent files the following very simple quarterly report, the same report for each quarter, after filing a detailed IHIP at the beginning of the year.
[student] is progressing at a satisfactory level or above in all subject matter.
We have had instruction in all the following areas, as per Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the New York State Commissioner of Education and
Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP): Reading, Writing, Spelling, Language Arts, Arithmetic, U.S. History, Geography, Science, Health, Physical Education, Music, and Visual Arts.
We have covered at least 25% of the planned material for this quarter.
[student] had no absences from instruction this quarter, and has exceeded the required hours of instruction (225).
|9:00 - 10:00 a.m.||Math||Math||Math||Math||Math|
|10:00 a.m. - 12 noon||Writing||English||Spelling||Writing||English/Spelling|
|12 noon - 1:00 p.m.||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch|
|1:00 - 3:00 p.m.||Social Studies||Reading||Science||Social Studies||Science|
|Afternoon||Physical Education, Music, Art|
|9:00 - 12 noon||Math||Reading / Writing||Math||Reading / Writing||Field Trip Day|
|12 noon - 1:00 p.m.||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch|
|1:00 - 3:00 p.m.||Science Experiments||Social Studies||Science Experiments||Social Studies|
|3:00 - 5:00 p.m.||Music||Physical Education||Physical Education||Art|
The thematic method gives math and science their own day, and humanities (social studies, history, language arts) their day, so that the same theme can run throughout the day. A child can read an historical novel in the morning and examine the documents and study the facts that afternoon. A child can learn the math in the morning necessary to accurately record that afternoon's science experiment. Music is the logical art to add to a science/math day, while visual art might enhance a day of reading and writing and history. The field trip will likely encompass all subjects, including phys. ed., and should be related to the topics of study.
|9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.||All subjects taught, all pen and paper tasks done. (When tutoring, you need half of the time that you need when teaching a large group. You might find that you can still reserve Fridays for field trips and remain ahead of standardized goals.)|
|1:30 - 6:00 p.m.||Outside activities, field trips, internships, studies applied, extra classes, special interests (chess, theater, etc.).|
Half or more of the learning is applied and experienced, done outside the home and outside the classroom.
An unschooler's schedule might be created as the day happens, with no plans other than the child's project-in-progress. After the project is completed the parent can document the subjects covered. For example, going birdwatching and building a birdhouse would include: science, physical education, arts & crafts, math (measuring etc.), reading (about birds), . . . you get the idea.
This is Step 9 of the Ten Steps to Successful Homeschooling
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