How to Write a Homeschool Progress Report

Learn How to Create a Snapshot of Your Homeschooled Student's Progress Each Year

Report card
Lisay/Getty Images

For many homeschool families, tasks for wrapping up the school year include writing a progress report or putting together a homeschool portfolio. The task doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. In fact, it’s often a delightful opportunity to reflect on the past nine months.

Why Write a Homeschool Progress Report?

You may be questioning why a homeschool parent would want to compile a progress report.

After all, aren't homeschool teachers with their kids all day? Surely they know how their students are progressing.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to write a progress report.

Meeting state laws. The homeschooling laws for many states require that parents write a progress report or compile a portfolio for each student.  

Assessment. Writing a progress report also provides a means for objectively assessing how much your kids have learned, experienced, and accomplished over the course of the school year. Comparing these reports year after year can reveal your child’s strengths and weaknesses and help you chart their overall academic development.

Feedback for the non-teaching parent. Progress reports can provide a interesting snapshot of your homeschool year for the non-teaching parent, too. Sometimes the teaching parent, who is with the kids every day, doesn’t realize all the moments that the non-teaching parent misses.

Feedback for your students. Your students can benefit from seeing their homeschool progress report. It can help them identify areas that need improvement and see patterns of strength.

It can also be helpful to have your students complete a self-evaluation to include with the report you write. (Start with this self-evaluation for students and adapt it for your homeschool.)

Providing a keepsake. Finally, a detailed progress report can become a cherished keepsake. It may seem like an unnecessary chore writing a report for your first grader, but it will likely be something you’ll read with fondness when he’s about to graduate high school.

What to Include in a Homeschool Progress Report

If you've never written a progress report, you may be wondering what to include. Your state's homeschool laws may dictate some degree of what you'll need to include. Beyond that, a progress report can be as concise or as detailed as you'd like to make it.

Basic details. A homeschool progress report should include basic, factual details about your student, regardless of whether or not you are required to submit it to anyone. (In some states, such as Georgia, parents retain the progress reports.)

Because you will likely enjoy looking back over these reports as your student gets older, include details such as your his or her age and grade level, along with a photo.

Resource list. Next, include titles of the resources that you used, books your children read, and family read-alouds. Include outside classes such as co-op, driver’s education, or music.  List any nationally standardized tests your students completed.

Activities. List your student’s extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs, or scouting. Note any awards or recognition received. Log volunteer hours, community service, and part-time jobs held. List any field trips taken.

Work samples.  You may wish to include work samples such as essays, projects, and artwork. Include photos of hands-on projects that your students completed. 

Grades and attendance. If your state requires a certain number of school days or hours, you will want to include that in your report. If you give formal grades, even satisfactory or needs improvement, include those.

Using a Scope and Sequence to Write a Progress Report

One method of writing a progress report is using the scope and sequence in your homeschool materials to help you outline the skills and concepts your child has learned this year.

Most homeschool curriculum includes a scope and sequence list. If not, check the table of contents’ main subheadings for ideas on concepts to include.

This simple, somewhat clinical method is a quick and easy option for meeting state laws. It was the method I chose in our early homeschool years. First, list each subject you covered in your homeschool during the year. Some examples include:

  • Math
  • History/social studies
  • Science
  • Language arts
  • Reading
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Physical education

Then, under each heading, note the benchmarks your student achieved, along with those which are in progress and those to which he was introduced. For example, under math you might list accomplishments such as:

  • Skip counting by 2's, 5’s, and 10’s
  • Counting and writing to 100
  • Ordinal numbers
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Estimation
  • Graphing

You may want to include a code after each, such as A (achieved), IP (in progress), and I (introduced).

In addition to your homeschool curriculum’s scope and sequence, a typical course of study reference may help you to consider all the concepts your student has covered over the year or help you identify those he may need to work on next year.

Writing a Narrative Homeschool Progress Report

A narrative progress report is another option. It is a bit more personal and written in a more conversational style. I write narrative homeschool progress reports as more of a journal entry snapshot for me, indicating what my children have learned each year.

With a narrative progress report you, as the homeschool teacher, can highlight a student’s progress, include observations about areas of strength and weakness, and record details about your child’s developmental progress. You can also include notes about any academic struggles you’ve observed and areas on which you’d like to focus in the upcoming year.

Whichever method you choose, writing a progress report doesn’t have to be tedious. It’s an opportunity to reflect on all that you and your homeschooled students have accomplished this year and begin to focus on the promise of the upcoming year.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Bales, Kris. "How to Write a Homeschool Progress Report." ThoughtCo, Apr. 13, 2017, thoughtco.com/how-to-write-a-homeschool-progress-report-1833212. Bales, Kris. (2017, April 13). How to Write a Homeschool Progress Report. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-write-a-homeschool-progress-report-1833212 Bales, Kris. "How to Write a Homeschool Progress Report." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-write-a-homeschool-progress-report-1833212 (accessed October 18, 2017).