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Hello all,


I'm finally at that point in the year when I start to panic about record keeping and getting my course descriptions, transcripts, etc. up to date and in place.  As a result I've been reading about homeschool record keeping and have a question for the hive...how do you handle book lists?


Several places I've read that high school students should keep a list of all books read, both for class and for fun.  So how does one go about this in terms of ultimately including it with a college application.  Would they be listed in their own document?  Are they part of a course description?  How do you handle books where you are reading a selection from the book and not the whole book?  How do you handle avid readers of a periodical-not the hollywood gossip magazines but a more scholarly journal?


I'm feeling a bit lost on how I would use this information but I know we need to stay on top of it (if it is necessary) because creating it at the end of 3 or 4 years would be insane and painful.



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Throughout high school, DD kept a reading list of all recreational reading. I also kept a list of all books read for courses. For books not read in their entirety I marked "excerpts".

We did not submit the full reading list with her application. I listed important books read for classes in the course descriptions, but not every single book, only main works studied. This was a call I did not make until the end, when it was time to write up descriptions. I still would keep a detailed list, because you never know what information you might want. We had plenty, so could leave out anything not read completely.

Some colleges also asked in the application what books the applicant read during the past year. DD provided them with a list of all books for the last year. (Caution: you might want to leave out anything the student can not remember. The interviewer may ask about just that very book...)


If my student regularly read a scholarly journal, I might list the journal among the resources used for the classes in that particular field.

If my student read a journal that had no relation to any of his courses: not everything that is educational must be listed somewhere. Some education is "just because". I found it very important not to stress about making all things "fit" somewhere - some don't end up on the transcript or in the course descriptions. And that's fine.




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We did what R said -- I kept a list of books they read for specific classes and included it in the course descriptions, and my kids kept a list of their recreational reading.


Whether or not my kids submitted a book list depended on the kid. For one of my kids, his recreational reading was a significant part of his education and provided a real window into who he is. We submitted a book list for him. For my other three kids, the booklist was just that -- a booklist. We didn't submit the list because we didn't feel like it added anything to their application and the college didn't request it.


If you do decide to submit a book list, I would not include every book read, but I would definitely include cool magazines on the list. Before submitting it, we went through and culled the list, deleting books in a series and "junk" books and books that meant absolutely nothing to my kid.


One thing to remember -- including a book on a booklist means that it is fair game as a topic of discussion in an interview. If your kid doesn't remember the book or doesn't want to discuss the book, it shouldn't be on the booklist!

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I kept one list for all of my daughter's high school years.


I sent a reading list with my daughter's paperwork (i.e., transcript, counselor letter, profile and course descriptions). We sorted her list into categories such as:




Fantasy (a favorite genre of hers)

Latin works (This included authors such as Ovid and Catullus as well as books such as Virent Ova! Viret Perna! by Dr. Seuss, Ferdinandus Taurus by Munro Leaf, and Asterix Olympius by Rene de Goscinny. Since she was planning to major in Latin and/or the Classics, we thought this showed her interest.)

We included titles and author names but also shortened the list by having items such as: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy plus six sequels.

We did not include everything she had read for pleasure in high school -- for example, we did not include any manga (though she had read an abundance) nor did we include Calvin & Hobbes or Zits. We did include titles that had been assigned reading.

I also included a list of textbooks used since I did not include book titles in her course descriptions.

When my daughter looked over her reading list, there were a number of books whose contents she no longer remembered clearly. Many of these she had read in ninth grade. She elected to eliminate them so that she would not be put in an awkward position. We imagined an interviewer looking over the list and saying, "Oh, Vaguest, Dimmest Memories is a favorite title of mine. What did you like best about it?" And, yes, she was asked about some of her reading choices when she interviewed.



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