Reasons to Keep a Homechool Diary

I have to admit, I’ve really been getting a kick out of writing down our daily activities. We have done some rather interesting things recently. And sometimes, like on Friday, I just sat and watched my child as she played with her guitar. I’m utterly fascinated by her and how she learns and what she wants to learn about.

The diary has served to memorialize our days in a limited degree. It is enough to make me smile and laugh, and want to do so much more with her. It has become an important record for me to have and I encourage you to do the same.

Here are several reasons to keep a homeschool diary:

  • Acknowledgment – You do a lot with your kid(s), every day, and it is a constant surprise to me just how much of it qualifies in the different core subjects.
  • Encouragement – You might do a lot, but there is always something more you can do. I actually feel encouraged by the lighter post days and try and think about how I can hold Emily’s interest, or encourage her interest in other things. I feel challenged to do more – and delighted in what we have done.
  • Accountability – Perhaps this should go with encouragement above, but I’m also holding myself accountable. Each day, every day, should be a learning experience, for her and for me. I find myself encouraged to try harder, do more, because we both deserve that.
  • Proof – In Missouri, very little is required in the way of tracking/reporting to authorities, but it is always best to cover your bases. In all likelihood, you may never need to prove you are homeschooling your child, but a daily diary can provide a great deal of CYA that you may need if the proverbial SHTF.
  • Curiosity – Are family members or friends wondering how you do it or what homeschooling looks like? This is a perfect way to reassure or interest them in how you tackle learning with your kid(s).
  • Nostalgia – I’ve blogged for years, and before that wrote in paper journals for even more years. Life kind of blends together and we forget all that we do. It is nice to go back and remember that time – it is also a record to pass on to your children so that they can see what you did and how you did it – just in case they have forgotten!

Here is our most recent week of homeschooling to date:

9/8/2012 Saturday – so not a lot of learning, but did play a brisk game of digraph consonant bingo (say that 3 times fast) between the three of us. This time Emily won fair and square.
9/9/2012 Sunday – Read “Inside Outside” by Dr. Seuss it talks about the different systems in the body. Also, Emily read aloud a short reader to us all under her own impetus.
9/10/2012 Read “What to Do In An Emergency” and part of “Animals in the Forest”, read a little bit of “One Fish, Two Fish”, played with a math book doing simple addition, read “How to be a Leader” and discussed what the word responsibility meant (she asked). Swimming lesson today.
9/11/2012 Talked about the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Story Time @ library covered cleanliness as today’s topic, put together jigsaw puzzles, played with magnets and identified north and south and talked about how opposites attract.
9/12/2012 Walked 1/2 mile to Homeschool P.E. today, and later Emily had swimming lessons then had free swim for 1/2 hour afterwards. Played Guess Who game which helps with elimination and categorization. Reviewed book on 7 continents and discussed how Africa is larger than it is portrayed, much, much larger. Talked about the flag at the community center being at half mast due to the attacks in Libya and four American deaths. She always notices the flag’s position before I do. discussed weather patterns and the possibility of rain tomorrow. The wind had been blowing and we discussed how this is often at the leading edge of a weather front and often brings cooler temps as well. Read two children’s books by Neil Gaiman for bedtime.
9/13/2012 Attended Rumpelstiltskin Recycled, a homeschool event that discussed recycling. Played with her math book, simple addition. Practiced a little reading. Talked about jobs that make you money, jobs you do to help the family, and jobs that help the community. Discussed whether “Eloise” was based on a real person (possibly Liza Minnelli) or not, and what Eloise’s life must have been like. Practiced the original Pledge of Allegiance (pre-1947). Emily worked with a Sharpie and some cards to make several of her own dot-to-dot craft projects. Emily has been captivated by a Japanese client of mine – she has a tea service and also shrines in her home. I arranged with my client to give Emily a Japanese culture day the next time we come by for a cleaning.
9/14/2012 Attended the Ringling Bros circus with her dad and Girl Scouts in the evening. Prior to that we: organized/purged her dress up clothes (we are making room for a dollhouse in her room), used tape measure for measuring spaces and a screwdriver for removing some screws from the walls. Emily collected two cabbage moth caterpillars, put them in her Ladybug Island and filled it with different leaves (hint: they like kale leaves a lot).

This past Friday unfolded so beautifully and naturally that I just marveled at it. Unschooling is working out for us beautifully!

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