One of the things I think every homeschool mom wonders about it is how to keep up with grades, attendance, and other necessary records. It can be a little overwhelming when you first start, especially since record keeping is so personal and there is no set method for everyone to follow. Whether you are a paper/pencil person or a computer whiz with spreadsheets and formulas, finding a homeschool record keeping system that is easy to use consistently and works for your personality is important.
As I've talked with friends considering the choice to homeschool, I've received the same question, "How do you keep up with grades and attendance?" Thankfully, I had an answer!
My Homeschool Record Keeping System
To be honest, we're still in fairly easy record keeping territory--after all, we're only doing first grade! Yay for checkmarks and smiley faces! Currently, I keep a notebook portfolio of Jonah's work. Since some of our activities are project-based, I take pictures and add them as a simple scrapbook page. Attendance and grade reporting is done through Applecore which is part of our account with Homelife Academy, our umbrella school.
What is Applecore?
- Courses & Grades--Keep track of semester grades and courses easily
- Transcripts--Create professional looking transcripts
- Attendance--Keep track of attendance with the click of a button
- Schedule--Make schedules and keep up with your school calendar
- Portfolio--Keep a running list of all those important clubs, volunteer work, etc.
Here's a behind-the-scenes look at my Applecore dashboard. I did a "straight out of the box" video giving you a chance to see how easy it is to set up and use. (Note: If you can't see the video below, here is the direct link to my Behind-the-scenes look at Applecore video)
Benefits to Applecore
For me, I think the biggest benefit to Applecore is that everything is stored in one place online, can be accessed, and printed. If I lose a paper, I can just print it again. If I were using a paper only system, a lost paper would be, well...lost. The online system is great for peace of mind for a slightly frazzled and forgetful mom like me. I don't have to worry about accidentally deleting something on my computer that I needed, or worry about losing important paperwork should we have a tragedy where we lost everything.
Applecore is very easy to use. While pretty self-explanatory, there are tutorials and videos in the "Help" section, should you need them. Even if you don't consider yourself super computer savvy, I think it would be easy enough to navigate.
While we don't need to worry about transcripts yet, they will be here before I know it! I think the transcript portion is fabulous for keeping up with high school credits and college applications.
What I Wish Applecore Would Add
One thing that I wish Applecore would add to the Portfolio section is the ability to scan and upload work samples or upload pictures of projects. So much of what we do now is project-based, and with younger students the easiest way to show progress is by comparing work samples. I think this capability would make the portfolio portion more well-rounded. Obviously, this isn't a deal-breaker for me, just a wish.
Also, the grade reporting section is currently only for end of semester grades. I think having the ability to enter individual assignment grades and have the system calculate them would be a nice addition.
Applecore Price Plans
The Basic plan is FREE! There are two paid options, with a difference of $10 between the two plans. I think the fees are fairly reasonable, especially when you factor in that you can use this for all of your children at the same time. Applecore also has group rates available for co-ops and homeschool groups.
Applecore Coupon Code
Use code "happy" to receive 20% off your plan!
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