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How do I track homeschool attendance?

Updated: Apr 15

How do I track homeschool attendance?

This is a very common question in homeschool forums. Honestly, the answer is so simple we tend to overcomplicate it. The short answer is: mark it on a calendar or a printed attendance tracker.

What you really need to know

Really, what you need to be asking is, “Do I need to track attendance in my state or for my umbrella school?” If the answer to that is yes, then you need to know if you’re tracking days, hours, or both. Don’t know off the top of your head? That’s ok! You can check out your state’s laws here. We are constantly adding states to our Local Laws section so if you don't see your state listed yet, check back soon!

Check the resources you have access to already

If your umbrella school requires you to track attendance, they likely have a form for you to use. Statheros Academy provides an attendance log to our families to submit your attendance at the end of a year and a free attendance tracker that can be used on your computer or printed and filled out by hand. If you are already enrolled with Statheros Academy, snag yours from the Handbook. If you are not a member of Statheros Academy, pick up an inexpensive homeschool hours tracker here. Some states, such as Missouri, require homeschoolers to track hours by subject at the "regular homeschool location" and at other locations, whereas other states such as Texas, do not require any attendance tracking. Always know what your state law is and how to best comply.

So many options

Many pre-printed, printable, and online planners include ways to track attendance. Many online planners will mark attendance as you mark school work as being completed, and these have the ability to print if you need to turn it in or if you just want to keep in your records. Another option is to keep a learning journal where either you or your kids document the work that is completed each day. At the end of the month you can go back through the month and look at all of your accomplishments and then do a tick-tally for each day completed. You can also just put a mark, like a smiley face or an x, on a wall calendar when you have completed school for the day.

Nitty-gritty details

In Colorado we must complete 172 educational days averaging 4 hours per day. For a while, I actually wrote the number of hours for each kid on a separate sheet so I could see how much time I was spending a day on homeschooling our kids. I would then add up the days and hours at the end of each month. I wasn’t including all the other educational activities such as chores, pet care, helping mom with meals, attending church, helping with siblings, library or grocery trips. After a while I just started marking the days off – each kid did have their own attendance sheet because some days one kid would be sick but the others could do school.

When you pull your kids out of school after the start of the school year

One more note for those of you bringing your kids home to learn from a public or private school. The days they completed in that school count towards their required number of attendance. Make sure to give them credit for the work they have completed! You do not need to start at day 1 when making the switch from traditional school to homeschool. This is especially important if you are bringing your children home in the spring time, when the majority of school has been done for the year. Count up all of the days they attended the school and note how many more days you need to complete the year according to the rules in your state.

Top tips

We highly recommend maintaining current and accurate attendance records for your homeschool at all times. Take time to think about what system you want to implement so that you will be consistent. Make sure that it suits you and will work for you. Don’t try to fit into someone else’s box and do something just because it works well for someone else. Find the way that you will succeed in order to keep good records!

Enjoy the Journey!

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