Record Keeping / Planners - Ideas to use with MFW

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:24 pm

Record Keeping / Planners - Ideas to use with MFW

Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

Digital record-keeping with MFW K?
LoveBaby wrote:Can the person re-post about how to set up Homeschool Tracker with MFW K?! We have to keep records for our state and she had a great plan for setting it up in HST.
The basic is a free download and has plenty of options for most. After using the basic for 2 years this past year I did purchase the deluxe or whatever they call it and it does have some additional features - but I could just have easily con't with the basic and been fine. I have to submit three reports a year, final grades, plus attendance so the hst really makes things easier for me.
Wife to dh for 13 years
Mom to ds (19) Sophmore at USC; dd(11) Level 7 USAG gymnast; ds(9) Green belt in Karate; ds (4)Still waiting for a pet buffalo or lion
Using RTR
Texas Gal
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:31 pm

Unread post by Texas Gal »


I was the one who wrote that earlier post you referred to. I hope I can remember everything I wrote that you found helpful before!

The first thing I did was go through the "Subjects" and "Activities" lists and delete things that weren't applicable to what we do. Then I added things that were applicable to us. For example, for the Activity portion of the curriculum, I created a Subject called "Bible/Science/Art/Lit" and the Activity I list is "Activity Guide." I also created a Subject called "Reading/Phonics" and call the Activity "Reading Plan."

For the Assignments, I'm pretty generic. I basically just point back to the TM and say something like "Follow daily lesson plan as outlined on pages 15-32" for a Reading/Phonics activity. For all subjects and activities, I just point back to the TM. That way I don't have to spend too much time typing in assignments, when they're already outlined in the TM.

Also add books, movies, computer games, etc. to your Resource List. Be sure to include "My Father's World Teacher's Manual" as a resource!

As you do school each day, keep track of how much time you spend on each subject, and at the end of the day, go enter it in the Assignments section. If you need to make more detailed notes about what you actually did that day, you can do it at this time (like, add "for Day 3" in your actual assignment, to follow the above example).

In addition to MFW things, I also include things like computer games and gymnastics and AWANA and piano.

HTH! Holler if you have more questions!
Michele, mom to 14yo dd and 12yo ds
MFW-K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CtG, RtR, Ex1850, 1850MOD, AHL
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Record Keeping - Ideas to use with MFW

Unread post by kellybell »

RB wrote:We will be doing Adv and 1st this year and most likely will repeat 1st with my youngest 2 years later. As I have been looking at my materials I figured I would just mark what we do for 1st in pencil and then erase before we use it again. (In our state we don't have to submit anything until age 7, and this dd won't turn 7 until the following summer.)

BUT...what about ECC, which we do twice before my oldest enters High School. Same with all the other 2-8 programs. Do you photocopy the manual (yikes!) Color code? Use dates and initials?

And while I'm pondering this, when you have 2 or more doing the 5 year cycle, where do you keep track of their individual LA and math. Still on the schedule sheet or somewhere else? How do you fit it? Just curious!
I guess I'm just more laid back and not sweating it.

As I do ECC or beyond, I check off each day with a little pencil check mark and when the week is done, I write "done" after "Week 32" at the top of the page.

I also simply record at the beginning of the school year "starting pre-algebra" or "PLL beginning at lesson 98." Whatever. Then, at the end of the year, I can write "finished pre-algebra" or "got through PLL lesson 150." Does that make sense? I'll keep a few samples of their work in a box.

I use Edutrack to keep track of days and hours for these individual subjects, but don't think it's necessary.

You could simply figure that your child (different children will need different amounts) spends 2 hours a week on math, 1 hour a week on book basket, 1 hour a week on spelling ... whatever. Then, make a note somewhere (in the TM, in your own calendar), "Sally was sick and only did 30 mins. of math this week." Any week with no special notes, well, then you can assume that your child did that "default" amount of work.

If you take tons of notes, it might be worth your while to buy a second TM the next time thru. I'm simply going to use a different pencil (perhaps red) for the next go-through of ECC and beyond. I will probably tie that pencil to the book with a piece of string. That will work for me.

Hope this helps...
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:28 pm

Unread post by kugoi »

I recall reading a post from David about copyrights. He recommended using different color pens for different students/different years.

I'm still in deciding mode on how we'll keep records. It's on of those things I need to actually start doing before I can figure out will work, I think. We'll need 180 days, so I'm thinking of just using a little monthly calendar or something that I can mark with the day of school. Good thing I have another year or two to figure it out, lol.
Mom of 7, ages 14, 10, 8, 6, 4, 1 and new baby.
Have used K, 1st, Adv, ECC, and CtoG

Unread post by cbollin »

RB, the other ladies are correct that you want to read the copyright permissions in the manual. That's true no matter what resource you are using. It can vary. Some things say "you can copy this if you retain ownership of both original and copy". Other things say "no copying".

States differ in what they require. I look at what my state actually requires and keep that information. In my case, that just means attendance. So I go to a store and get one of those little student assignment books. We put a check mark on the days we do school and write down Day Number AAA out of 180. Now that’s not enough for my personal benefit. So I add in a little more.

I don’t bother to write down every single thing because I really don’t think it will matter in 1 year from now what exactly my daughter did on any specific day. I just see no reason to know that on March 21, 2007, we read pages AA-ZZ of Story of the World, etc. etc.

But, I do write in a little code in each book. I simply write: Week 28, day 3 of TM; Spelling lesson 28, part B; PLL lesson #xx; Singapore Math pages (whatever). Dance class in afternoon. That way I know that we did school lessons.

On a day to day basis:
On each teaching day, my children have the teacher’s manual on the kitchen table and we check it off in pencil and move on. So we make notes all over our manual. I may be in the total minority on this --- but I plan to buy a new manual when the time comes to re do the program. Plans change. Who knows what I'll really do.

My oldest child likes to write her daily assignments on a dry erase board. She uses codes and erases it at the end of the day. It gives her power to erase it. She can’t erase the teacher’s manual. The dry erase board is only really needed as a to-do list. Maybe I’m the odd ball --- I have not yet run into the need to have a daily detailed record for long-term purposes. Or maybe I just haven't dealt with it.

However, I do have the need for an end of year evaluation of what we did.

At the end of the year, I make a year-end summary of progress for each child (this is going on your permanent record).

It simply says things like:
Covered PLL from lesson #1-82
Singapore Math from pages AA-ZZ
Completed EX1850
Participated in the following extra curricular activities.

I then give a narrative summary of overall progress and an assessment of strengths and weaknesses (child needs to do more writing, more handwriting, excels in math… etc).

I used to keep a long running list of each library book the kids read, but stopped doing that this year.

I give “grades” in main subjects of
Reading/Language Arts
Social Studies (history)

Then I list Extra-curricular activities and any special projects. File their year-long notebooks for history and English. File away some math workbooks. File it all in the basement. (Well, in theory I was going to put the teacher's manuals in with the files, but they sit up here next to my computer. Wow. I have alot of these mfw manuals, don't I?)

Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Unread post by RB »

Thanks so much for all the replies! I never thought about the copyright. I just checked my Adventures TM (brand spanking new from MFW) and it says (after the part about the appendix),
  • "In addition, if you agree not to sell, give or loan the original TM or any copies at any time, then we grant limited permission to photocopy the weekly lesson plan charts (but not the weekly Notes pages) for your personal record keeping and/or state recording requirements."
I don't think I'll need to do that this coming year, but it's good to know for the future.

Or, I might write in pencil in the TM, photocopy the schedule pages at the end of the year to keep for records/State requirements, and then in the future erase if we wanted to use the same TM again.

Thanks again! It's always helpful to know what works for others as we figure out what works for us :)
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:23 am

Record Keeping

Unread post by mamaofredheads »

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:40 pm

I just use the TM. I check each item off as we do it.

For LA, Math, etc., using the blocks provided in the TM I use my DSs initials to write out their assignments, for example A-27B means Aaron does Lesson 27B in Math-U-See. Then the other childs is written underneath in the same block. This works great for us!

I write the date(s) at the top of each column to show when that day's work was completed. At the bottom of the page I list any books I already have that go in book basket and/or that I want to be sure to read aloud to them.

I fill in my lessons for the next week on Thurs. afternoon - I don't plan the whole year out in the TM - that has never worked for me.
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Unread post by Poohbee »

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:01 pm

We're just finishing MFWK. I use a lesson plan book to organize everything for myself. I am a list person, and sometimes I supplement my own activities, such as extra books or poetry we read that goes with the unit we're studying or music we listen to or art projects we do. So I use a lesson plan book to make a list of the activities from the MFW TM, and then I can insert my own things into that list, too.

As my dd gets older, I may try using a record keeping program on the computer to help me organize everything, because the subjects I am supposed to teach in ND are listed in the law, and I am supposed to keep records of everything. I'll have to see how that goes, but so far the lesson plan book works well for me. And, I am a former public school teacher, so sometimes that habit of sitting down to plan my lessons each week dies hard. :-)
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Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth »

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:24 pm

We have to count hours in our state (which happens to be the same as the Hazell's), and we have to differentiate between Core and non-Core subjects. So I just record the time that we start each day, go down the list and check it off as we do it, and then record our stopping time. In the upper right corner I'll jot down something like "3 hrs Core, 1 hour Non-Core". And then I add to that if we do anything extra like going on a field trip.

Also, for any subjects we might do that are not included in the TM lesson plans, I'll add that to one of the empty squares on the grid for that day. And I'll write the date at the top of each column on the grid.

We also have to have a portfolio with samples of their work. We don't show this to anyone, but have to have it available "just in case". The notebooking we do in MFW makes an awesome portfolio without my having to do anything extra for the powers-that-be.
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:13 pm

Unread post by donnagio »

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:49 pm

I have set up a system of highlighting things once we have done them, and carrying things over ot the next day if we haven't.

The good thing about MFW is that it gives me a structure to keep orderly and accountable and on track. I am so thankful for this curriculum and all of you too.
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:00 am

Unread post by niki »

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:21 pm

I use my grid (ok to copy for record keeping per copyright on revised 2007 version). With that said, I have one per student.

They keep their own records in their binder for the year. Check what's been done and I (mostly but they can too) fill in the math page #, spelling lesson #, PLL #, what they are reading for their "reading time"... It's been very helpful too in my kids seeing what's been done and what needs to be finished.
Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

I use an Excel Spread Sheet

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:46 pm

Well, right now I only have one child that I'm officially "teaching" as required by state law (the other 2 are only 3 1/2 years old). I currently keep a spread sheet in Excel. Down the left is the day "number" (we're required 172 days, averaging 4 hours a day for a total of 688 hours). Across the top I have a Date column, and then topics (Bible, Math, Phonics/Language, Reading, Spelling, etc.). Then I fill in the date, what pages we covered for each topic (or what book, or lesson number from the TM), and the "number of hours" total we did that day. I figured when the other two started school, I would either make a spread sheet for each of them, or do "Multiple" columns (Math - TC, Math - CT, Math -TR with initials for each one). For my DD that I'm teaching now, I have a sheet in Excel for each topic that has a test to record her scores (Abeka has lots of tests, something I'm looking forward to doing differently next year). I can type in notes about things right in my spread sheets, so it is all in one place. (Just make sure you back up your computer...)

I have friends who just note on their calendar the days they do school. I'm more type A, so I like the spread sheet.
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Unread post by scmlg »

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:50 pm

So far, I've just been writing very small, their initials plus lesson number.

So mine would just look like this...

ccg 12
ktg 10
csg 8

just very small. Really, I only do it on Mondays even, to tell myself where we are. For our portfolio, I just insert samples of their work, and each page has the date and lesson number on it.
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:18 pm

Record keeping for several

Unread post by professormommy »

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:50 pm

I also am recording for several boys. It may seem wasteful, but if I am still with MFW, I will just buy a new TM for the next time through. I think it's a relatively small price to pay for a year of curriculum--I will still have all of the other items in the package. I will find a way to afford another TM--so I will consider it consumable.

I can barely fit my tiny notes in the page now for the four I am teaching currently. I could never read it if I tried to do it all on the same page again later, especially when the others are old enough to join in. And, I like recording in ink--that's just me. I guess I like being the one wielding the red ink--even if it's only in my TM! =D

Judy, ordinary mum to the extraordinary eight
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:59 pm

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

Gail wrote:Do you tweak the lesson plans to fit YOU? Do you back up, omit things, or add new things that are not in the plans?? How do you do it??
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:14 pm

When necessary I do. Since each country takes about 2 weeks I figure I can rearrange w/in that 2 weeks a little if I need to.
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:42 pm

Hi Gail,
Wow, you must be organized to run a family of 11!

I follow the teacher's manual grid because I like someone else to do my work for me :o) I write the date at the top of the column, and check off as each thing is done throughout the day, and then can "see" where we're at.

However, for various reasons I may decide not to do something. If we never do it, I will just X it out. If we do a lesson on a different date, I will write the date next to it instead of checking it off. If we add something in, I will just write it in the box for that subject or underneath that day's column. (things I add to the grid are in bold)

Beethoven (1/7)

piano practice


For example, we have a wonderful opportunity in Minneapolis to attend children's orchestras and homeschool workshops, as well as use their CD and curriculum to further study the music at home. So, when we are able, we use that for our music course. I will write "orchestra" in the music box.

Then when there are months when we are not able to attend those, we go back and study the classical composers in MFW. I may go back and write (4/15) in the box later.

Since we like to study music here, we end up doing all of both. But I would have no problem just skipping the one in our lesson plans. Fortunately, MFW often swings around to the topic again. For example, all the composers are reviewed a second time before the rotation is finished.

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Unread post by mommysweird »

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:25 pm

Something I've found that works for me is Homeschool Tracker's free software. I've entered all my "lesson plans" in there and it makes it something I can just look at and check off daily.

It also helps me remember to incorporate AWANA verses for Bible time, which I need. If I don't include AWANA with school time, we forget it every day. I almost feel like if there isn't a place to check something off, I won't do it. Does anyone else have this issue?
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:43 pm

Idea for Keeping Up

Unread post by Jami »

Okay, I came up with this all by myself ;o)

I am one of those moms who wants to do every single thing in the manual and I beat myself up if I don't.
So if we don't get to something, usually music (we're not music people and somedays are just not 'music-kind-of-days' for my kids-it's the only part of school my son complains about) or science/activity (when I didn't get the supplies we needed), I keep a notebook sheet in my binder and keep a list of what we've missed. For example...

Week 8 Music Tuesday
Week 9 Science Thursday

Then, when we get to it, I just cross it out and feel great (I love crossing off lists). I just started doing this instead of trying to remember or loking up what we missed from prior weeks and the list is working much better and my mind feels clearer in that department.

Anyways, it's such a simple thing and I should have thought of it earlier, but wanted to share my "AHA!" moment.

Somehow in this sweet but crazy season of my life, this homeschooling thing is working out surprisingly well.
Jami - AF Wife

8th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, Pre-K

2014/15 ECC
2013/14 1850MT & 1st
2012/13 EX1850 & K
2011/12 RTR & 1st
2010/11 CTG & K
2009/10 ECC & 1st
2008/09 ADV & K
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:05 am

great idea

Unread post by pjssully »

That is a great idea!!! I know we didn't get to music today since i ordered some from our library but haven't picked it up yet. I can simply put that on our "list"!
thanks for the great idea?
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:22 pm

Unread post by TracyLee01026 »

Great idea, Jami. I'm going to go back and make a list of things we've missed right now. BTW, is it okay to do crafts/projects from a previous country if we are no longer studying that country? I sort of feel like, well...we missed it, I guess I'll just forget about it, but it's so hard to let it go...I guess I beat myself up too.
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell »

I always found doing a few out of order activities actually helps a lot with review. If we do the butterfly garden and I learn my child has forgotten the butterfly's lifecycle, we'll learn it again, etc.

We've done quite a few "out of order" things and that's fine.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:00 am

Unread post by niki »

Our house too. Missed science for a week and the projects looked so fun we didn't want to skip we just did all the science Friday afternoon and the kids had a BLAST! Don't skip the pH test in cool.

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Do you keep complete workbooks?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Lainie wrote:Here in Oregon we have basically no requirements in regards to home schooling. But I know that might not always be the case. We have our kids do the basic skills testing every year and keep all that stuff.

A lot of you have shared some wonderful ideas about storage of stuff. I really like taking pics of projects etc.. and putting on to disc for each year.

My question is, what do you do with completed Singapore workbooks, Spelling workbooks, etc... I'm not going to scan in or photograph each page so do I just keep it? Am I missing something obvious? (Which would not be a surprise lately) Or do you just recycle it and call it good? Our family room/ school room looks like a tornado hit it and I'm somewhat motivated to restore some sort of order in there so your suggestions are very welcomed. :)
I often keep a sample lesson or two per workbook. And I keep either the table of contents, or after started using MFW with lesson planning books all prepared for me, I just kept those instead.

I don't turn it in to anyone . I've just always kept some samples of typical things my kids did, even with my public schooled kids. However, I do save too much, I suppose...

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: Whoa and do you keep complete workbooks?

Unread post by cbollin »

where to put workbooks like Singapore? On a shelf near the computer and then you can others when they are stuck?
in a box like the ones for filing tax/bank records??? I'm not creative. just wanted to make sure you knew we were still here on the blue board.
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:33 am
Location: Tualatin, OR

Re: Whoa and do you keep complete workbooks?

Unread post by Lainie »

Hi Julie!!! Oh, I never thought to keep the index so I could know exactly what things are covered. See you are such a help to me :) That is easy and makes so much sense instead of the whole book. I think I'll photocopy the index of the Textbook and put them together. Thank you so much. Big Hug

Well hey crystal... The workbooks I was coming across belonged to our youngest so I can't imagine any use for them besides paper airplanes :) origami? next year's Christmas cards? wrapping paper? Uh-oh, I've slipped off the deep end. It must be fatigue. Shhhhh.... listen.... It's a nap calling me.
Lainie (Oregon)
"Sanctify them in truth; Thy word is truth" John 17:17

Have completed 1st, entire 5 year cycle, and all high school! Whoo hoo!
Have graduated one with MFW, 1 dd- junior, and 1ds- freshmen
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