Organizing their homeschool records is one of my favorite things to do. When it boils down to it, its basically memory keeping and memory keeping is kinda my thing. I am in the process of moving over into a new year/level in our homeschool. Making changes and adjustments to fit our ever changing, ever evolving days full of wonder also equals rounding out my last few months of records to account for our days.

First of all, I found THE PERFECT way to keep our records using a few binders and boxes that I was sent and haul’d for our homeschool channel last year (watch that video here all the links to the binders+boxes are included in that videos description box) and I am loving every bit of how they are making the best system for us right now. I originally thought I would be keeping one binder per child for the year and it turns out that I am able to pack all three of the kids records into just one binder leaving me with one binder to account for their studies for each year.

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To keep it simple I store flat and three dimensional projects in the collapsible boxes, any printed worksheets and curriculum for unit studies etc. in the one inch binders and our final records for the year in the duo binders. The binders are fantastic in that one end has a three hole punched ring for storing the printable records I keep while the other end an accordion filing system for tucking away any writings, ‘book notes’ book reports and drawings.

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At the very front of my homeschool records is a two page recap of our year. I am not finished with this years recap as I still have a few months left to account for buttttt…. I figured I would show you what my very first “newsletter” looked like. At that time I was attempting a newsletter recap every month which quickly turned into every quarter and then eventually morphed into one recap newsletter for the year 🤣. (things always start out a bit ‘extra’ and then we simplify as we go along friends, lol.


If you are a Patron🌱Fam member then you already have access to every printable that I am attempting to walk through on this post and on our exclusive PatronFam Records archive on Instagram Close Friendddddsssss. And, just for even more reference this is the order in which my records are set up.


  • year-review

  • unit planners/design boards

  • weekly planner

  • weekly checklists

  • assessment graphs

  • trip/event planners

  • goals + reading log (included among printable downloads but I didn’t use in our portfolio this year)

Starting off with the year-review, this page is pretty empty when we start the year. the only thing that was written out was our “book year”, “graduation”, arthropod unit study and the writers workshop. I simply fill in the main things we focused on in math & language arts for the month. I will also go back through and fill in our history, science and any other elective studies that became prominent in our months as I round out the records for the year.

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The unit design board/unit planner is next up and basically covers the things I planned out at the start of our unit study. These have been great in that we don’t always hit everything I have planned for the unit but when we circle back around to another year and want to pick an old unit back up again, we simply add to the plans from a previous year and dive in even deeper. It’s also a really great way to engage the kids memories of our previous studies and get them chatting about how they remembered when we did this or that. I always think it would be even more special to paper clip a few photos of them completing projects/ activities from the unit to the pages and even write in any urls from videos that we have shared from the unit. Maybe I will get around to doing so next year. Ever evolving, friendsssss 😉 fyi, by the end of this ‘year’ we will have covered three full units and one mini unit lasting ~3 mos/unit.


Next, I keep a record of every month by using two pages (printed double-sided) accounting for four weeks of ‘lesson’ plans. They really aren’t true lessons but give direction for our studies and list a bit of the resources that we will be using to explore and discover more. Grouping our studies into subjects really helps me get a good handle on the big picture for the weeks ahead but we aren’t bound by a schedule but rather use it as a guide.


Some of these planning pages are FULL of resource references, page numbers and activities while others just account for our ‘time off’ from pre-planned days. this week below being a much needed “SPRING BREAK”!


This next page is our weekly checklist. This one needs quite a bit of tweaking but Ive been making it work until I figure out the perfect configuration for it. I basically just wanted something simple with tally marks that could provide as a quick glance representation of how often we are giving our attention/highlighting certain subjects/topics of study as well as tracking habits and overall character/behavior. I think I probably need to make these two separate printables but… ah well! One ‘weekly’ checklist actually account for one full month as each tally represents one week (i.e one Monday, one Tuesday etc.) I also don’t track these things separately as my vision was to account for our behaviors and character together as a family unit. I can explain a little more of my reasoning in a future Close Friendddssss post as it isn’t the easiest to explain.


The last thing I like to keep is our assessment graph. This is another one that might be better explained through video. But, the short of it is that this isn’t a record of actual test/quizzes (although it most certainly could be) but rather a log of assessments administered through observation by mommy. They aren’t receiving actual grades but I am tracking progress and looking for strengths and weaknesses to be addressed.

Also, (not pictured) a few other printouts like the reading log and goals sheet, I have used in the past but didn’t feel like I needed this time around.

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Now on to the accordion part of the binder. We used our usual composition notebooks organized by subject for the kids to complete lesson assignments and take notes throughout the year. As the year rounds out I begin to sort through and remove any of the pages that I think are worth keeping. I am basically looking for insight into (can you even say that, lol) how they process the information they have been exploring and studying.

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Then I drop any of those pages along with artwork, drawings, paintings, creative wiring and ‘book notes’ book reports into each of the sections. Each child has two sections where the first holds any writing and reports while the one right behind it holds art, drawing, painting and pages I’ve saved out of their notebooks.


I will have to spend a little time walking you through my thought process in keeping the pages from their notebooks and how I take notes and how this becomes a huge player in creating individual paths for their education. (more video clips for my Instagram Close Friendsssss)


I hope this little peek inside of our homeschool records answers some of your questions surrounding what record keeping looks like in our homeschool. I am looking forward to sharing more of the way we memory/record keep and chatting with you about things that work in your portfolio/homeschools.

With All the Love,



i'm on day 18 of vlogsgiving and just getting around to posting day NINE. trying to manage so much as a mommy, a wife, a business woman, a friend and falling "short" far too often than not can be SO frustrating. it can also be an incredible reminder of the GRACE we have been GIVEN and the importance of patience with ourselves and with others. it is crazy hard to practice patience with others when you have none with yourself. 

i've yelled at you (my babies) and attempted to dismiss you far too often lately. and, while it makes me feel incredibly guilty and like the world's worst homeschool mom the guilt fixes NOTHING. the reality is that i have been stretched, tested and under a lot of pressure but i ALWAYS have a choice. 

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{LIFE & LOVE THROUGH THE 4X5, 09.24.17...}


you know all those things that remind you that you are doing just fine?? i am certain that i need to think on those things more often. 

fall is here and everything has happened so fast. the summer FLEW by, the school year is in full effect, and we've kept all of the memories going no matter how tired or uncertain we've felt about the direction of our lives. 

this last month the kids made so much progress with their swimming lessons and are basically fish now! we've been to a few weddings and a TON of soccer games. the kids have been in "training" for TheFallCoKids, filling orders and sprinkling packages with love. and, my baby brother and his beautiful girlfriend made me an auntie for the first time with another niece/nephew on the way in just a couple more months.



so, no matter how i feel about how much further on the "path" i should be by now, Lord, help me to navigate my disappointments and setbacks so that i may stay the course and not give up!

just a little end of september life & love through the 4x5...

from syreena, with love


over the last several days, i have questioned my qualification to homeschool my babies, changed my mind about choosing the right curriculum about eighty-five times, and have been overwhelmed with thoughts of inadequacy as their mama. a.k.a, we've been sick. 

it started the thursday before last with kendall bear, two days later.... it hit cam and I've been pushing through for over a week now. i keep reminding myself that it hasn't been THAT long and that this too shall pass but, its just been one of those times. 

is it just me or do all the sweetest moments with your kids happen at times where you have to fight to savor them??? you know, when you try your hardest to listen to their laugh in slow motion? i can't be the only one that does that. this time around i, basically, felt like i was near death and this sweet little lady baby insisted on staying right next to me. she wanted to "do mommy's hair"( which is NOT as sweet as it sounds). she kept grabbing my face and climbing on top of my head to check my temperature. it was like heaven and hell all at the same time (i kid, i kid...but not really). #realmotherhood


at any rate, i did everything within my power to try and savor the precious moments amongst the mess. and, these photos of my lady trying to read a few doc mcstuffins books to me to help me feel better... GOLD!

p.s. this TOO shall pass.

from syreena, with love