Record-Keeping Insights: Welcome

Welcome to Record Keeping Insights!

This resource caters to families engaged in homeschooling under the auspices of Palmetto Independent Educators (PIE), a third option accountability association operating within the framework of South Carolina's Code of Law, section 59-65-47.

Education records can often feel like the most daunting aspect of an educational program for those considering homeschooling. Unlike parents whose children attend public or private schools, homeschooling parents bear the responsibility of managing this crucial aspect of their child's education.

The objective of Record Keeping Insights is to empower PIE members with a comprehensive understanding of the record-keeping process – to equip them, so to speak. Record-keeping plays a vital role in the homeschool program for numerous reasons beyond mere legal compliance, reasons that parents will find advantageous to leverage fully.

For instance, effective record-keeping serves purposes such as:

  • Documenting your child's progress and experiences, encompassing both knowledge and skills.
  • Facilitating planning and preparation, whether for potential re-entry into public school, pursuing scholarships, college admissions, and more.
  • Establishing accurate records that lay the foundation for a high-quality educational program.
  • Assisting in locating essential information promptly when needed.

Maintaining accurate records is crucial for ensuring both legal adherence and future aspirations. Overlooking this duty can result in adverse outcomes, including legal complications or challenges in accessing desired educational opportunities. Our resource is designed to alleviate these risks by imparting essential insights into effective record-keeping procedures. Through these resources, we strive to empower homeschooling families to navigate their educational path with assurance. Below are the topics covered in this section:

  • Section 59-65-47 Law D: The State Department of Education annually reviews association standards to ensure compliance. Requirements mandate parents to maintain educational records, comprising a plan book detailing subjects taught and activities, a portfolio showcasing academic work samples, and semiannual progress reports. These reports must include attendance records and personalized documentation of the student's academic advancement in specified instructional areas.
  • SC Uniform Grading Policy: Primarily aimed at high school courses, the SC Uniform Grading Policy serves as a guideline for aligning grading scales across the state. This standardization not only ensures consistency but also facilitates the management of financial assistance provided through the state.
  • Grading Scale: When it comes to your child's grades, using letter grades for elementary and middle school classes that aren't considered high school courses is acceptable. But for all high school classes, including those taken in middle school, it's best to switch to number grades.
  • Course Key: Parents of college-bound students interested in the state’s financial assistance need to recognize important details in the course criteria, weighting, and administrative procedures for college prep, honors, advanced placement, and dual credit courses.
  • Graduation Requirements: The bottom line is when planning, you need to consider requirements from all possible sources and plan accordingly. For example, if Clemson and Aiken universities are both options in your educational plan, you must be prepared to match both sets of requirements. And if there is always a chance your child will return to public school, you will also need to consider the SC public school requirements. 
  • Maintaining Records: The importance of maintaining accurate records cannot be overstated. Crafting personalized record-keeping tools for homeschooling offers numerous benefits. Custom tools allow parents to tailor their systems to meet specific needs, preferences, and learning styles. Moreover, they provide a unique and special way to showcase a child's progress and achievements. By creating their own systems, homeschooling families retain autonomy and flexibility in documenting educational milestones.
  • Homeschool Planners: Crafting your own record-keeping tools for homeschooling brings lots of perks, like being able to do things your way and coming up with fresh ideas. When you make your own tools, you can shape them to match exactly what you need and like, making sure they really help you along your homeschooling journey. These custom tools can also be fantastic for showing off how your child is doing and what they've achieved in a way that feels unique and special. The great thing about having custom record-keeping tools is that you're not tied down by rules from someone else. When you create your own system, you're the boss.
  • Student Portfolio: A homeschool student portfolio is more than just a collection of papers; it's a dynamic representation of a child's educational journey. It provides an avenue for students to showcase their accomplishments, reflect on their learning experiences, and set goals for future endeavors. Furthermore, it offers parents and educators a comprehensive insight into the student's strengths, weaknesses, and areas of growth.
  • Document Library: Additionally, the document library stores essential PDF documents, such as planners, providing convenient access to resources needed for homeschooling.

Presently, the primary record-keeping software utilized in our homeschool program has become obsolete. Homeschool Easy Records by DataPlus-Solutions served as a fundamental record-keeping solution accessible to consumers nationwide. However, its functionality lacked the capacity to generate essential documentation conforming to South Carolina's Uniform Grading Policy. Consequently, the program served merely as a lesson planner, calendar, and attendance tracker for us. As a workaround, we resorted to formatting crucial documents ourselves using Microsoft Office.

Subsequently, the office of PIE has maintained the use of Microsoft Word and Excel for crafting and organizing documentation and record-keeping instruments, facilitating optimal customization. Presently, we leverage these tools to construct and manage an independent record-keeping system tailored explicitly for independent educators. By employing Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for document conversion into a portable document format (PDF), we can also generate protected PDF forms for members' utilization.

Record-Keeping Insights equips you with indispensable details to aid in creating your record-keeping tools, or alternatively, you can directly utilize the tools already accessible through the Document Library.

PIE’s Record-Keeping Insights and Knowledge Center serve as our frontline support tools. These are online resources used to convey information to members. We encourage members to use these resources to find information relevant to their specific needs first. If you do not find answers to your questions through these resources, please contact the office using the information posted in the following list.

  • Record-Keeping Insights: Frontline support begins with insights. Gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of the record-keeping process – power-up, so to speak.
  • Knowledge Base (Help Center): Frontline support continues with our knowledge base. Visit the FAQ page for information relevant to your needs. Center
  • Email Support: If frontline support does not provide the necessary information, consider using email. We also have a contact form configured to avoid the junk email bin. Don’t forget to include your membership number, and please allow ample time for a response. (contact form)
  • Phone Support: Call and speak to the director if your situation is urgent. If the director is not available, leave a message, don’t forget to include your membership number, and the director will return your call ASAP. Again, please allow ample time for a response.
    Phone: (803) 649-2415 – Fax: (803) 643-1843

Frontline support begins here.

Homeschooling is a rather large and seemingly complex project with many moving parts. To help avoid being overwhelmed by or lost in all that complexity, INSIGHTS, a framework of sorts breaks it down into some must-follow requirements, goal-dependent requisites, recommended best practices, and much more so that SMART decisions are the program’s focus. INSIGHTS offers various checklists, template forms, and relatable examples for your consideration. The following icons are provided to draw your attention to items of particular importance.

A recommendation or suggestion that’s suitable for the program but not a requirement.

Something that may or may not be essential to the program, depending on your needs; requirement for some, but not others.

Something that is essential to the program and must be followed by all.

Information that may or may not be essential to the program, depending on your needs.

To analyze and define a term's meaning to determine the parts' nature and relationship.

Record-Keeping Insights: Welcome

Section 59-65-47 Law D
SC Uniform Grading Policy
Grading Scale
Course Key
Graduation Requirements
Maintaining Records
Homeschool Planners
Student Portfolio
Document Library
Return to PIE Pieces
Elem. School w/PIE
Middle School w/PIE
High School w/PIE

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