What #unschooling looks like when you try to document it

Documenting homeschooling, for some parents, is more stressful and difficult than the actual act. Documenting unschooling… well, how do you, exactly, document constant learning?

The short answer: any way you want.

My answer: in a creative, free-flowing-but-semi-structured-way that fulfills the legal requirements of the province in which I homeschool, but which is also actually useful for both me and my children. Filling out paperwork, jumping through hoops, ticking off boxes? I don’t do that. And odds are pretty good you don’t have to either. Read on:

The homeschooling regulation in the province of Alberta requires parents to register with a school board and file an annual learning plan and progress report with that school board. There are many different ways of doing this. Many school boards provide a template they want their parent-educators to work from. Mine does as well–I disregard it, filling out only the kids’ names, and writing “see attached document” as soon as the tables and ticks start–and provide a pretty thorough, thoughtful document of how learning actually happens in our family.

I enjoy the exercise–both the preparation of the learning plan and the reflection involved in the progress report. Perhaps the most instructive part of the exercise is the annual reminder of how the year doesn’t follow the plan… but follows the needs of the children. Or how the plans get skimpier and skimpier with each year… and the progress reports less and less aligned to school subjects and more fully reflective of what’s actually happening in Cinder and Flora’s (and Ender’s) learning adventure.

I welcome you to take a stroll through my documentation of Cinder and Flora’s (and here comes Ender!) learning adventure.

Grade One (Cinder)  •  2008/2009

Learning Plan • Progress Report

Grade Two (Cinder) and Kindergarten (Flora) •  2009/2010

Learning Plan  • Progress Report 

Grade Three (Cinder) and Grade One (Flora) •  2010/11

Learning Plan  • Progress Report 

Grade Four (Cinder) and Grade Two (Flora) • 2011/12

Learning Plan  • Mid-Term Progress Report  •  Year-End Progress Report

Grade Five (Cinder) and Grade Three (Flora) • 2012/13

Learning Plan • Year-End Progress Report

Grade Six (Cinder) and Grade Four (Flora) • 2013/2014

Learning Plan

“I love these! Can I use them as a template for my kids’ plans and reports?”

Absolutely. Take what you want, shed what doesn’t work, and run with it.

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