Record keeping is an important part of home schooling. Even if you live in a state that does not require record keeping, it’s nice to have a something that keeps track of what you and your students have accomplished. For high school, record keeping is necessary for compiling credits for a transcript.
Turtlegirl is very independent with her school work but needs accountability. My Student Logbook, a company owned by a homeschooling family, provides students and parents with a tracking method designed for independent learners. We chose the undated version with the Vintage Map cover for our daily student logbook. It is also available in dated versions and more cover choices such as Dinosaurs, Butterflies or Rainforest themes.
What Is a My Student Logbook?
First let me say what it is not. It is not a lesson planner. This is not a tool for mom to use to plan out daily lessons. This is a tool for the student. I love that they named it My Student Logbook and not something like My Student Planner or My Lesson Planner.
In the FAQ section, Corina addresses whether or not this is a homeschool planner. She points out that a My Student Logbook does not take the place of a planner where you write out goals and plans but rather that the logbook is a tool to implement those plans and goals. I like to think of it as a record of what Turtlegirl actually did but my planner is what is what I want to accomplish. The two go hand in hand.
But what is it exactly? The physical logbook is standard 8 1/2 x 11 pages and spiral bound. There is a heavy clear plastic cover protecting the paper theme cover and a sturdy, heavy vinyl back. The logbook includes set up instructions in the front including an article about using the My Student Logbook to create high school transcripts, followed by the checklist sheets. Permission is granted to photocopy these list sheets if you run out of them. (The rest of the pages are copyright protected. Please purchase a new book for each student or the PDF family license). The logbook includes 53 weekly pages with 7 daily columns.
There is a cream colored paper separating the weekly check off pages from the back section. This rear section includes places to log things like books read, projects completed and even Bible verses memorized. There is even a spot to record test scores.
How We Use My Student Logbook:
First you have to set it up. It’s very simple but hard to explain. There are checklists that fold over the weekly pages. Thankfully there is a set up guide video that shows you how to do it step by step. The Set It Up page also includes photos and written instructions. It is important that you cut the checklist where indicated because if you don’t, it might not fit correctly.
I still make my lesson plans using favorite planner, but instead of printing out (or failing to print out) an assignment sheet each day for Turtlegirl, I just list out subjects, courses, or resources on the checklist and add chores. Each checklist can be used again and again. You only have to change the checklist if you want to make changes or add or subtract a subject or course. She is LOVING it!
I also came up with some codes to use in the 7 Day Column section. Sometimes life happens and if we have one of those days where I know she won’t be able to get everything done on the list, I’ll put a tiny P in the lower corner of the day check off box. This let’s Turtlegirl now that this a PRIORTY item.
If I am planning that she will not do a subject on a specific day I use squiggly lines. This is my reminder that I told her not to do it. If she comes to me and asks not to do something because “mom, math took me longer than I expected and I can’t do English because the teacher hasn’t emailed me back yet,” then I initial the box. If I don’t do that, and I don’t see a squiggly line, she’ll get in trouble for not doing her English, but if I see my initials, it will jog my memory when I look over her logbook at the end of the week.
Items that are not done, get an x. When Turtlegirl completes the assignment she puts in a check mark or a time amount or score depending on what I need to track or record for her transcript. This gives me a fairly complete record of the work completed an I can input scores and/or time into my homeschool planning software to keep for the transcript.
On the Weekly pages, there is a notes section. This section will be under the checklist, but since the checklist can be lifted up, you can still easily access the notes. I love this notes section! I can put a few details here such as Literature Discussion with Mom on Friday.
Most of Turtlegirl’s courses have their own schedules built into the curriculum but a few subjects such as Latin have specific details that vary from day to day. I print out an assignment sheet from my homeschool planner with only those courses, cut it to fit and taped it inside the appropriate week. This way she had easy access to which specific worksheets for Latin or the details of English paper requirements and would not have to come and ask me.
I LOVE THIS and I wish I had known about this 5 or 6 years ago!! It is great for Turtlegirl. It is what she needs: structure but with freedom. It would have been so wonderful to have had this with Boobear.
I didn't really think I would *NEED* this tool but um yes I think I do. This would get my vote for best product I didn't know I needed in the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards.
The Logbook is great for keeping me on track. There's a feeling of accomplishment when you look at a previous week, and can see that you DID get stuff done. I can look at the logbook and see EXACTLY what I have left to get done in the day. I can highlight the school stuff, if I need to. I can see what chores I have to do. And I can even use it as a schedule: Morning chores, then clean-up, and then school. I love how customizable the logbook is. I’ve been using the ‘Project’ pages in the back to keep track of my cooking projects, like when I experimented with ‘Teriyaki Tilapia’. I also love how there are pages for ‘Books I’ve Read’ where I can keep track of books that I’m reading outside of school. Basically, I can keep track of just about anything I want to keep track of, and I love it. I love how easy it is to use.
On another note, this has helped me be more accountable to my mom. I would say, “Oh yeah, I’ll do that!” and then I’d forget and it wouldn’t get done. The logbook helps me remember, keep track of it, ensure that I get it done, and Mom can look at the logbook and make sure that I’ve done it. We got the undated version of the logbook, so we were able to completely customize how the week was set up. For example, I really like having the week start on Monday, since that’s the first school day. Because I use the undated version, I can do that. I’m thinking, since I’m really absentminded, that I should put stuff like ‘put on glasses’ on my to-do list so I actually remember to put on my glasses. This logbook has really helped me organize things and also helped me be accountable. So, yay for the logbook!
- The Vender: My Student Logbook
- The Product: My Student Logbook
- Format: I reviewed a physical undated version, but physical and e-book dated versions are also available.
- Age Range: For students who can read the checklist. Suggested from grades 2 to high school
- Price: $15.00
You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.