Record Keeping For Interest-Led Homeschooling: Subject By Subject

As I have shared our weekly homeschool lesson plans and recaps this year, one of the questions many of you have asked is, “How Do I Keep Track Of Our Interest-Led Homeschooling Lessons?” I understand why! It can appear like things are all over the place in an interest-led, strength-based homeschool.

I think there are actually two questions here. The first is literally, “What are the resources you use to capture the information so you have a record of your homeschool?” The second is a bit more involved and that is, “How do you account for various subject requirements when it looks like you watched 5 YouTube videos and rock climbed last week?”

Both are fair questions.

How Do You Keep A Record Of Interest-Led Homeschooling?

I have modeled my record keeping after what our state required several years ago when we participated in a public homeschool charter. Essentially, each month, I submitted an attendance log and a monthly recap by subject, of the topics we reviewed.

Back then, I quickly learned that in order to have anything concrete to submit, I needed a learning log for our days and weeks. With some variations, I have been using essentially this same process ever since.

Here is what this looks in our homeschool.

Daily Learning Logs

Because so much of our learning is “on the fly” and determined in the moment as we follow my son’s interests, I have found it easiest to keep a running list of the things we do in my phone’s notes app. A few years ago, I kept the same sort of log on a blank sheet of paper.

For example, on Monday, although I have a loose plan for the day, my notes app is blank. Then, throughout the day, I list the things we learn and explore. I do the same for each day of the week.

Monday Learning Log

The next day, I add Tuesday and so on.

Weekly Learning Summaries

At the end of each week, my goal is to take some time and review what we accomplished and what areas I think we need to focus on in the upcoming week.

For example, last week, we did exactly zero math. In my weekly learning summary, I noted this so that I can be a bit more intentional with math this week.

These weekly learning summaries can be captured in a notebook, a google doc, or if you are me this year, a blog post.

All of this creates a record that I can then use for our more formal monthly record keeping by subject.

This will look familiar to those of you following along with our lessons each week.

Weekly Learning Summary



  • Outdoor hike and rock climbing – 6 hours
  • Audiobook and Discussion



  • Social Time with friends – 1 hour
  • Art class – 1 hour
  • Rock Climbing with friends – 3 hours
  • Reptile Facts “Teach Back”


Note to self: We did not do math and we did not do driver’s ed this week.

Record Keeping For Interest-Led Homeschooling: Subject By Subject

How do you ensure your child is learning what they need to in each academic subject?

This is perhaps the most meaningful part of this discussion. Interest-led, strength-based learning is so flexible, it can be hard to create a formal record.

As mentioned, I capture the information through monthly record keeping by subject.

Monthly Interest-led Learning Record Keeping By Subject

Everything up to this point serves as a reminder of what we’ve done. The reality is that I do not need this much detail long term, nor do my daily and weekly notes really show an academic record of learning.

On a monthly basis, I go through the weekly summaries and create a subject by subject overview of his learning. It has been helpful for me in the past to pull up examples of curriculum scope and sequences to best capture his academic progress. There are also scope and sequences listed for my state, that help with high school transcripts. (See example of CA State Scope and Sequence for 9th grade Science.)

I use this to compile a brief summary of the month’s subject by subject learning.

For example, I might note the following for Science.

January 2022 – Grade 9: Life and Physical Science

  • Marine life and oceanography
  • Reptiles vs. Amphibians vs. Mammals
  • Human Body Intro

I repeat this for each additional subject including language arts, integrative mathematics, history/social studies, and electives.

Because my son is in high school, these monthly summaries form the basis of his semester’s transcript.

Tips and Tricks For Subject By Subject Record Keeping

  • Don’t panic if one month has almost nothing to report for one subject. Simply make a note to be more intentional with that subject in the upcoming month. Or, even better, ask your child if they would like to try a class online or in the community about the subject and take it off your plate!
  • If your child has significant learning differences, you may want to investigate how classes are designated in your local public school system. For example, if my son were in public school, he would most certainly be in a general special education class. The school uses the term Integrative Math to describe special education math lessons, so I do as well. (Incidentally, this is also what they now call math for all students here, rather than Algebra, Geometry, etc.)
  • I never do this on time! Please do not assume that I am some crazy organized record keeper who has it all together. The only thing I have to be consistent with is the daily logs on my phone. The weekly and monthly flow from this and can be done when I have the time and brain power to do complete them.
Record Keeping For Interest-Led Homeschooling: Subject By Subject

Additional Resources To Help You Plan And Keep Records In Your Homeschool

While every state has different requirements, I do believe this type of approach is a good starting point for anyone pursuing an interest-led approach in their homeschool.

With this in mind, I have included many different templates in my free homeschool lesson planner to help you capture the information you need.

Record Keeping For Interest-Led Homeschooling: Subject By Subject

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  1. Susan Gibb says:

    This series has been super helpful to me! I have multiple medically and developmentally impacted learners and I ALWAYS feel like I’m not getting enough “school” into them. I write beautiful, detailed lesson plans but the minute an actual child is involved everything falls apart! For the last 2 weeks I’ve done more of a list, then summarized (in list form) what actually happened. It has been awesome. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Heather Chapin says:

    Ohhhhh lawd, can’t thank you enough for this!!!!

  3. I record similarly. I keep a weekly table in an Evernote note (which syncs between my phone and computer). One side of the table is my loose plan for each day of the week and the other side of the table is blank and I fill it in daily with what we actually did that day. I had a friend suggest (and I wish I had tried this from the beginning of the year) using an Excel spreadsheet with each subject along the horizontal grid and all the days of the school year as the first column (as one would have if keeping attendance). She then suggested making a brief note of the learning that happened each day in the appropriate grid, so if on day 4 of the school year math and science happened, note what that was, specifically, but the English grid box might be empty that day. I love the sharing. Seeing how others get creative with their kids’ education and record keeping is so helpful.

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