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How do you organize, store or file coursework


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I have my first 9th grader and 2 more kids heading to high school the next 2 years. I'm trying to come up with a way to organize my student's coursework to save for recordkeeping of their high school work? I need to get my head wrapped around something that will be easy and do the trick. What do you do? How much do we need to save for records? Pics are welcome 🙂

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After each school year I type up complete course descriptions of what we actually did while it's all still fresh in my mind and keep it on my computer. Texts used and books read, topics covered (from table of contents), how we assessed (exercises, quizzes, tests, discussions, papers written), level of the course (standard, honors, or college level), amount of credit awarded, and grade

Then I throw all their written work all together in a haphazard pile and stick it on the uppermost shelf of their closet and hope no one ever asks to see it lol

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3 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

After each school year I type up complete course descriptions of what we actually did while it's all still fresh in my mind and keep it on my computer. Texts used and books read, topics covered (from table of contents), how we assessed (exercises, quizzes, tests, discussions, papers written), level of the course (standard, honors, or college level), amount of credit awarded, and grade

Then I throw all their written work all together in a haphazard pile and stick it on the uppermost shelf of their closet and hope no one ever asks to see it lol

This would be great! I like this style. Detailed recordkeeping is overwhelming me. I'm secretly hoping I don't need as much as alot of people say. 

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7 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

After each school year I type up complete course descriptions of what we actually did while it's all still fresh in my mind and keep it on my computer. Texts used and books read, topics covered (from table of contents), how we assessed (exercises, quizzes, tests, discussions, papers written), level of the course (standard, honors, or college level), amount of credit awarded, and grade

Then I throw all their written work all together in a haphazard pile and stick it on the uppermost shelf of their closet and hope no one ever asks to see it lol

I pretty much do this do, but update the course descriptions at the end of each semester + summer if dd does anything then. I lost the name of an art teacher last summer and it took an hour to track it back down. I do have her turn papers into me digitally so I have all of that if I need it in Google Drive. ETA- I went to a heavy- duty lined notebook for grade keeping this year. I use a page for each course we do at home, then use a line for each assignment with the far right column to create a place to track points. This way I have a lot of room to write a description of an assignment, keep book lists and volunteer hours, etc, and enough pages to last her all four years. It was a mead notebook that has a heavier page at the front for an index.

I ended up keeping the transcript and course descriptions in a free One Drive account because the formatting on Google Drive was making me crazy.

Edited by MamaSprout
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6 hours ago, Mom28kds said:

This would be great! I like this style. Detailed recordkeeping is overwhelming me. I'm secretly hoping I don't need as much as alot of people say. 

2 kids done out of 6 and so far no one has asked. I figure I'm not going to spend a whole lot of mental energy on organizing old workbooks and lab reports on the off chance somebody might want to see them someday. If that day ever comes, I know it's all there and can worry about finding it then.

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During the school year, kids have binders/notebooks for their subjects. At the end of the year, I saved for record keeping: math final (I only give one comprehensive final as base for the grade), major science tests, essays and research reports for humanities. Those go into a 1 inch binder for each school year, together with other materials that document special events, extracurriculars, outside work.

The most helpful thing I did was to write course descriptions and semester summaries at the end of each semester or year, and not wait until it was college application time. Those went into the year's binder, too.

Nobody ever required me to show ANY such records. 

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Far more important than keeping their written work was keeping a running list of activities, awards, involvement, volunteering, etc. I manage to forget a LOT and they usually need help putting together an activities resume or lists for scholarship application.

Yes to keeping course descriptions updated as you go. Scribble something out before you start the school year. Finalize after the school year is over. Summer after junior year, standardize them, organize them, and draft senior year descriptions as best you can.

I ended up with a 1" binder of final tests, syllabi, research papers, and science write-ups for dd#1. I'm not sure dd#2 will even get that. (Kinda reminds me of their baby books...)

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16 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

After each school year I type up complete course descriptions of what we actually did while it's all still fresh in my mind and keep it on my computer. Texts used and books read, topics covered (from table of contents), how we assessed (exercises, quizzes, tests, discussions, papers written), level of the course (standard, honors, or college level), amount of credit awarded, and grade

Then I throw all their written work all together in a haphazard pile and stick it on the uppermost shelf of their closet and hope no one ever asks to see it lol

 This is about what I did too. Definitely keep the course descriptions and transcripts up-to-date each year, it makes it so much easier! I only saved one or two writing samples and lab reports each year. I didn’t keep things like math workbooks or tests etc. I saved the samples in a hanging folder system until I was sure I didn’t need them. I never had to show them to anyone.

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OP, I'm glad you asked this because I pictured my current storage area overflowing with binders. 😃

So far I have been trying to keep course descriptions with book lists updated, keeping a grade record for tests, etc. (including how grade was calculated), copying the syllabi where applicable, etc. I need to copy TOCs--I don't think I have done that for all our texts (not that we've used many so far).  I did make sure to write down ISBNs. Does anyone know if those need to go on the descriptions or not?  Right now I have a 3 ring binder with a bunch of the pocket folders in it and each folder contains a subject. In it, I put the grades, TOCs, and syllabi.  I might end up needing a really big binder if I continue by this method.  😃

One thing I have been thinking about is scanning everything to save it on one drive or google drive in the event my paper gets destroyed (fire, tornado, etc.).  I have not done this yet--but I really should. I also should backup my course descriptions and grades to an online storage location.

As far as paper, I wasn't sure what to keep either--thus the picture of overflowing bookshelves with binders.

ETA: in our state you need your letters from the school district (which grant excusal from mandatory attendance) in your files.  I don't currently keep those with my high school stuff, but I will need to starting in 9th grade (next year).

Edited by cintinative
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This might be a spin-off question, but should we keep a book list separate from the books listed within the course descriptions?

Also, in the course descriptions, should we indicate which works were read only in part versus full? 

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52 minutes ago, cintinative said:

This might be a spin-off question, but should we keep a book list separate from the books listed within the course descriptions?

Also, in the course descriptions, should we indicate which works were read only in part versus full? 

If it was assigned by me, I listed it wirh the appropriate course description. I didn't see any point to listing books read in their spare time or having a duplicate list. I did distinguish excerpts read from works of literature, but not if we just used parts of a text. I assumed that was a common enough teaching strategy not to need to be specified.

I have Carbonite, so no need for other backups for me.

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