Paperwork for the Home School Family

Help your children set up this system by giving them letter-sized manila folders. Spend some time helping them make nice, clean labels. This is a training ground for adulthood, when they may be responsible for their own family’s paperwork. Occasionally on your paperwork day, have your children also go through their filing boxes to update and straighten them.

If your state requires a homeschool portfolio, I suggest you keep their portfolio items separate from this box, in a three-ring binder. Those items should remain in your care.

For High School Children: Once you enter the phase of keeping records for a transcript, set up in your own system a folder marked “Transcript for (child’s name).” In this folder, keep a copy of everything you think you might need for a transcript for college or military entrance or even for a vocation. Keep copies of any academic testing, the student’s reading list, and a photocopy of the title page of any textbooks he uses. Keep course descriptions for any classes you create yourself. Put all this in one folder together.

Keep the portfolio in your filing cabinet. The responsibility to keep these records is simply too important (if required by the state) to delegate to your student. You can teach your children to keep their portfolio files updated, but it is still ultimately your responsibility to make sure you are in compliance with all state laws.

For all the other papers they want to keep, create a filing system similar to the one you use for middle school-aged children. Working students should set up a folder to keep track of their budget, their pay stubs, and anything they will need for taxes. Also encourage them to keep track of their high school reading lists on their own. Asking them to maintain a reading list helps keep it updated more regularly than you might, especially if your list is filed away.

By encouraging your child to set up his own filing system and training him to maintain it, you will be setting him up for success in this important area of life and homemaking. Scripture tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). As you build these good organizational habits, you will give your children the best possible chance of success in the area of office management and paperwork in adulthood.

Malia Russell is the blessed wife to Duncan, thankful mother to five children (newborn to 21), and an author, conference speaker and director of and

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free  or read it on the go and download the free apps to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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