So you wrote your letter of intent, you wrote your IHIP and you’ve been teaching blissfully for about 9 weeks now. Then, you look at the calendar and realize that your 1st quarterly report is due!
Your quarterly report is a record of what you’ve taught during one quarter. It also should include an evaluation in each required subject area. Your quarterly report is also used to report attendance including the total number of hours of instruction. You can also use your quarterlies to notify the district of minor changes in your IHIP or to explain if you have not covered something that you said you would.
An example of a quarterly report
Name of Student: Joe Schmoe
Date: September 30
1st Quarterly Report
Total Hours of Instruction: 225 + Attendance: Joe was in school every day M-F unless otherwise noted here: 7/6, 7/7, 7/8, 9/4
Joey loves science. This quarter we studied plants and the water cycle. We created a terrarium at home to show how plants grow and to demonstrate the water cycle. He has also practiced writing reports using the scientific method.
Textbooks: Magic School Bus at the Waterworks & Magic School Bus at the Gardens
We also took 5 field trips to the Botanical Gardens
If you are writing much more than the few sentences above, you are writing too much! You can follow the same format for each of the required subjects but remember, don’t include anything for subjects like Bible, which aren’t required.
Total Hours of Instruction
You are not required to list the total number of hours of instruction per subject (until high school). Just the total number of hours over all. This means that you can count field trips, co-ops, or anything else you deem educational and is included in your IHIP, in your total hours of instruction.
How do I keep track of attendance and the number of hours I’ve taught? Do I really need to count each hour?
I have a calendar on my refrigerator and I assume that my child is in school every day of the year (except Sundays) unless I note it otherwise or unless it‘s a major holiday. I do note for my personal records why we didn’t do school but I don’t necessarily note it on the quarterly reports unless it was a lengthy absence. To keep track of hours and report honestly without pulling my hair out trying to keep track of how many hours 5 different children do, I use this system: in our house, school hours are from 9am to 2pm. I count the number of days my children were in school and multiply it by 5 hours.
Noting discrepancies between your IHIP and your quarterly report. . .
You may get half way through the quarter to discover that your child doesn’t understand how to add. So you decide to ditch your current plan in Math and teach the basics all over again. Your quarterly report is the exact place to explain why you didn’t cover as much as you thought you would.
Any reasonable explanation for changing course is acceptable. You are allowed to change your mind after writing your IHIP. What you’re not allowed to do is change your mind and not tell anyone!
I don’t want to grade my child. Do I have to include a grade?
Yes–but there is no where that says it has to be a number or letter grade. You can also use things like E for excellent or I for improving. You also do not have to use the same types of grades for every subject. For my daughter, I use traditional letter grades for Language Arts & Math but I use E, G, F or I for other subject areas (excellent, good, fair, or improving.) You should use the same type of grade for the same subject all year. So if you give letter grades for math, give letter grades all four quarters.
Note: You most likely want to use letter or number grades for high school transcripts.
Now that you have it down, you only have to write 3 more quarterly reports, a “choice of annual assessment” letter and then the annual assessment! For more information on annual assessment choice and the written evaluation see my next blog.