Evernote for Homeschool Record-Keeping – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra 8

I feel pretty silly writing a post about homeschool record-keeping, because it’s an area that I am horribly inconsistent in and one I do not prioritize. I always think I’ll do better, and every year I do a little better, but not by much. Still, I have a plan for record-keeping. Does that count for anything? (FYI: records other than yearly standardized test results are not required by our state, so I’m not shirking my legal responsibilities).

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Still, as I baby-step my way into better homeschool records, Evernote has made it so much simpler and more likely to happen. The following suggestions for records to keep in Evernote are taken partly from my own practices, partly from my own yet-to-be-implemented plans, and partly from tips I’ve learned from others.

Keep one note per term or per week

I started off last school year by making a template for term record-keeping, where I’d jot a note about what we did at the end of each week, and start a new note each term.

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If your lesson plans are already in Evernote, then you can copy them into a record note or adjust them on the fly to be accurate to what actually happened, and have a simple process.

In 2013 I made my teacher-checklist in Evernote and did not print it. I used the checkboxes, which was fun, but it was too cumbersome to check on the fly in the middle of multiple children’s lessons, and I never got into the habit of coming to it at the end of the day to write down what we’d done.

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Still, for someone with more discipline, it could work. :)

Scan paper checklists each week

This is what I ended up doing by the end of last school year, and what I plan to do next school year. I already have a paper teacher checklist for the week, where I note what actually happened in the boxes, so why do additional record keeping when I can simply save that digitally?

At the end of the week (I do it during my weekly review on Saturday morning), I snap a picture of the completed weekly checklist (cough after finishing filling it out quickly) in Evernote and title the note with the picture Spring Term week 2 (or whatever term and week it is).

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Scan sample work and snap a photo of projects as you go

If you have more creative projects in your homeschool or want to also keep samples of completed work, you can also take a picture of those in the same way! This allows you to keep a reminder or record of what you did without having projects and papers overrun your house.

The benefit of doing this sort of recording is that you do it here and there as you go, and it’s never a big project at the end.

Write narrative assessments each week, term, semester, or year

Even if you keep records in one of the previous ways, it can still be a good exercise to write out an assessment for each student or for your school year. You might use a template or form or just free-form journal. Whether you do so every week or every term or every semester or simply every year, simply typing into Evernote makes it simpler to get the words out and safely saved.

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Create end-of-year portfolios, save as pdfs, send to Evernote

If you do end-of-year portfolios like Sarah Mackenzie’s, you have a few options for saving those in Evernote as well.

First, you could make the paper-based folders, then scan or photograph when you’re done with them.

Second, you could make them entirely in Evernote. Create a notebook for each child, and a note for each “page” of your binder. Insert the photographs and words you want – if you are taking photos as you go, then you might even send the best ones to this notebook throughout the year rather than waiting for the end of the year.

Merge records at the end of a term or a year

If you end the school year with numerous separate notes and want to condense the proliferation into one note or only a handful, you can use the Evernote feature that allows you to merge notes. Rather than explain it, I thought I’d just show you:

Handy, isn’t it?!

P.S. The cute planning pages in the video are from Plan Your Year Kit, which can be filled out on your computer and saved directly to Evernote if you prefer not to print!

More on Evernote for homeschooling:

Get immediate access to the Ultimate Homeschool Checklist Resource Page

Get our homeschool checklist templates so you don’t have to start from scratch.

8 Responses

  1. Janice
    | Reply

    Hi, you’ve got a great site for homeschool ideas!

    My question is, do you pay for the upgrade in Evernote or are you able to do all this with the free version? I just signed up today and trying to organize things has me at 80% of the upload limit for the month on the free version!

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      Hi Janice! Evernote just changed their plans and what is free and what isn’t. I’m still looking into how much has changed to see if my recommendations will still work for people!

      Sigh. That’s the problem with technology – it’s always changing!

  2. Tami Nickel
    | Reply

    Thanks Mystie! Great information!! Love hearing backround voices! :)
    Many blessings!

  3. […] I demonstrated in this post on record-keeping with Evernote, I merge my notes at the end of the school year and move them from my “educator” stack […]

  4. Isabel Stella
    | Reply

    Hi Mystie! Thanks for all the details you shared about Evernote. I download it and then I searched if someone used as a Portfolio and I found your posts. I’m still reading some of them. I have a BIG question. If I made a portfolio and I want to print it, can I turned all my Notebook in a PDF?

    • Mystie
      | Reply

      Hm, good question. I’ve never tried to do that, so I don’t know, but I bet someone has and Google can help you find the answer. :)

      • Isabel
        | Reply

        Thanks Mystie!

  5. […] I demonstrated in this post on record-keeping with Evernote, I merge my notes at the end of the school year and move them from my “educator” stack […]

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