As the political and school climates, in general, have changed recently and more parents are choosing to homeschool their children, FHE recently reviewed our 7-year-old record keeping recommendations and believe it is prudent to make a change to our recommendations.
There is a difference between a school year (set by law for July 1 – June 30) and school term (the time you set for doing school). FHE has always recommended keeping them the same so that you have the full calendar year to log your 1000 hours. The school term is not defined in the homeschool law, but is defined in the public-school statutes. The only sure thing is that offering 1000 hours between July 1 and June 30 does comply with the statute, provided the family designates that as their "school term." See page 29, School Term vs School Year, in our First Things First book for a complete explanation of the difference between school year and school term.
Remember-when you begin keeping records for your child, whether they are 7 or younger, you need to be sure and keep all records (daily plan book or diary, record of evaluations, portfolio of a sample of their work) and the required number of hours. The law does not allow for “practicing” your record keeping.
Don’t stress, you are probably already teaching your child, just not necessarily as formally as you will when you begin your record keeping.
FHE does not give legal advice. If you need legal advice for your specific situation, we recommend you contact an attorney.