Sunday, March 8

Taking Attendance

Every morning I get out my roll sheet, hold it in front of my face, pencil at the ready, and call out the full names of each of my children. They wait expectantly to hear their name and respond with an exuberant, "HERE!" as I check them off and move down the list.

Yeah... no.

I have, however, always kept an attendance record for various reasons. The biggest reason is because I have this gnawing fear that someone will, at some point, check up on us. Secondarily, as the family memory keeper, I like knowing what we did as we look back at the year.

For most of my career as a home educator I have lived without a feeling of permanence. I knew we could move at any time to any place, so I took it upon myself to do some things that other states might require (such as keeping a portfolio and making detailed lesson plans) just in case I moved to one of them. Similarly, I have never lived in a state that required me to keep a record of attendance, but now I am moving to one so I am pretty pleased that I am already in this habit.

Here is a copy of our current record sheet for one of my sons. The first section is a monthly breakdown of our home activities. I add up all the weekdays and subtract any days we took off, listing them in the middle. Then I tally up all the days we were "on" and total it at the bottom of the chart.

The second section is a list of our field trips that count as a full day of school. They took place on days when we were "off" such as Saturdays or Spring Break (or during an interstate can see I've planned a couple for the end of the month as we make our way to Denver).

These two sections total up our school year attendance. Home learning + field trips = total attendance.

The rest of this document is just FYI to jog our memory that we did indeed do more than just sit and tear our hair out over math every day. The Special Events section and the Extra Curricular section are small proofs to my kids in the years to come that they were more well rounded than the world wants them to believe. These do NOT reflect the only times we left the house and interacted with the world around us. We have done and will continue to do plenty of that.

For those of you who keep track of attendance, what does your record look like?

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