OneNote as an Unschool Record Keeper

It was four years ago when I wrote about OneNote being a great homeschool planner for those on a budget. Using OneNote eliminates the need to pay for printed planer, online software and the cost of printing your own. Best of all, you can customize it exactly how you need it to suit your families needs.

I'm still using OneNote, but these days it is to plan, but rather to record or unschool-ish records. You see, while we use a some items that are considered "curriculum" like A+ Tutor Soft, The Story of Science and even Time4Learning, I don't do lesson plans. I don't require X lesson on X day or even that certain subjects are covered every day. 

Education in our home is mostly child-led, meaning that most homeschool planning or record keeping methods just don't serve our needs. While I still use My Homeschool Grades to track an end of the year grade and a few things, the bulk of our record keeping is in a OneNote notebook.

In my OneNote homeschool notebook I have sections for attendance, journal style notes and section for each kid divided by subject and learning activity. As they complete something, I add it to the proper section. Eventually, I will add in all of the photos from the year that go along with certain activities too. Here is a screen shot from Ema's section, in science on the nature study page. 

Onenote-unschool-nature study.png

I've divided them by subject under each kid because it allows to print all of the records, for that subject and kid, together, should I ever need to print them for any reason. I further divide what they did by customizing the tags and keeping a key. You can even use the "find tags" feature and create a page that list every tagged item for that section/section group/page etc.. and make a quick index of all your kids learning activities.

You can see in the screen shot below that I even use it to track projects the kids are working on, storing them under "electives" even though they could fit under multiple subject headings.


As much as I love a paper planner (I'm a SERIOUS list maker) it just doesn't work for the season of homeschooling that we are in. Thankfully, this method of using OneNote is perfect. If you've found yourself frustrated with your paper or online planner, I hope I've helped you out too! If you feel like you need some tangible goods, check these out.