The other day I promised to tell you more about our recent homeschool registration visit. An Authorised Person (AP), from the education department (NSW), came to our home to see our children, and look at our records and education plans for the future. And we were hoping everything would be in order and she'd grant us another two years of registration.
We've had many homeschool registration visits over the years, but this one was a little bit different. For the first time, I presented our AP with Evernote records instead of paper ones. And although I was confident these records would be acceptable, I couldn't actually be sure until I saw the AP's reaction.
I placed my computer on the table in front of the AP, opened up my Evernote notebooks and stepped back, leaving her to explore. She scrolled through all my notes and was absolutely blown away. Yes, she liked my records very much. Before the AP left our home, she wrote down a few details about Evernote and it seems she wants to find out more about this paperless system for keeping notes.
Later I was thinking about the AP's reaction to my records. I don't think she would have been so impressed with Evernote if my notes hadn't been full of so many unschool learning experiences. Although we didn't mention the word 'unschooling', it was unschooling which impressed her. Evernote was only the tool I used to showcase my girls' unschooling.
It can be very difficult to convince most people that unschooling is a legitimate alternative to more traditional ways of schooling and even homeschooling. Maybe that's why it's important we think about the best way to present our children's learning, especially when we are dealing with people who don't understand the philosophy of unschooling. Most times, these are the people we have to deal with when we are registering our children as homeschoolers.
Our AP was expecting to see three things when she visited us:
- evidence of what the girls have been doing over the past two years
- evidence they are learning, progressing and covering the school syllabus
- an educational plan for the next period of registration.
The first point was easy. Evernote is such a wonderful tool for recording unschooling. Points 2 and 3 were more tricky. How can unschoolers cover the school syllabus and how can I make a plan for learning? These just do not fit in with the concept of unschooling. Despite sounding difficult to do, I satisfied the AP on all three points. How did I do it? I decided it was easier to show you, rather than write about it, so I made a video called Registering as Homeschoolers Using Evernote Unschool Records.
So our AP was happy. We're happy too. We were given another two year registration period. We can continue living an amazing unschooling life.
I'm also happy for another reason. I had an idea, tried it out and it worked. Don't you just love it when that happens? I do!
Thank you for reading my post!