The other day, our Authorised Person (AP) from the education department came to see us. It was time for our biennial homeschool registration visit.
“We’re still using Evernote to record our homeschooling,” I said as the AP sat down in front of my computer. She scrolled through a few notes before catching sight of a link to one of Sophie’s videos. A click later, and she was watching and listening to my fifteen-year-old daughter talk about motivation and exercise.
“Sophie makes lots of videos,” I said as I navigated my way to Imogen’s Youtube channel. “She films all her sister’s music videos… and she’s sung in several of them too.” The AP was eager to see a video, and I could tell she thoroughly enjoyed watching the girls sing Wild Child.
Then the AP scrolled through a couple of notebooks chosen at random. It was evident there were lots of notes for each Key Learning Area.
I showed the AP how I’d clipped the school syllabus into a notebook for reference purposes.
I mentioned the girls’ interests. I pointed the AP in the direction of some notes about my daughters’ writing passion. She saw photos of them practising the piano and singing. (We’d already talked about photography and videography.)
I opened up my strewing notebook which I explained was our ‘plan’ for the coming year. (Many of the notes cover topics in the school syllabus in an interesting way.) I talked about how we use the notebook to browse for learning ideas.
All that took only a few minutes. The AP was satisfied. She didn’t need to look at the thousands of notes I’d made over the last couple of years. She knows my girls are getting a fantastic education.
I think about the thousands of notes in my Evernote notebooks. Was it worth taking the time to record them all? Hardly anything was looked at. Of course, my notebooks ensured our application for reregistration as homeschoolers was successful. But did I need to keep such comprehensive records? Well, that point is debatable but I’m glad I did. Why? Because our Evernote notebooks are more than a homeschool record. They are our family journal.
As I scroll back through the notebooks of the past two years, it’s easy to see that I’ve captured many, many memories that will be treasured forever.
There are photos of all our music video shoots:
And, as I mentioned earlier, links to all the finished videos.
Gemma-Rose scanned in all her drawings:
We clipped in images of our favourite paintings:
There are writings such as extracts from my girls’ novels, some of their emails, and all their blog posts:
We have a record of all the fascinating things that captured our interest like these gardens hanging from the ‘best tall building in the world’:
We have included all the books, movies, mini-series, Youtube videos, and music we’ve enjoyed together:
There are also records of
- All the skills my girls have gained
- Picnics and walks we went on
- Museums and other places we visited
- Photos of lots of people, places and things
- Conversations we enjoyed together
- The girls’ running and other athletic achievements
- Get-togethers with other families
- And many other moments of our lives from the past two years
So my Evernote notebooks fulfil two functions: I use them for our homeschool record keeping. But more importantly, they contain treasured memories of our family’s life. (I guess it’s not surprising our records are also our family journal. Unschooling is life!)
You might not have to keep homeschooling records. But how about keeping a few anyway? You could end up with a family journal bursting with wonderful memories.
PS: We live in the state of NSW, Australia.