The Homeschool Journal is a record of one year’s homeschooling for your child. But it’s a lot more than that. It’s also a professional portfolio that you can use to present to a school principal or admissions officer when you’re ready for the next phase of your child’s education.

Why am I talking about school principals on a website devoted to homeschooling? Well, I go through this in The Dog Ate My Experiment!, but the keyword here is: facilities.

In the book, I recommend that parents of children who wish to pursue STEM studies (especially Physics, Chemistry and Biology) put their children back into a good secondary school for their pre-U year/s. Depending on where you are, this is either A-levels, Form Six, Grades 11 and 12, or a Foundation year. I say this because, no matter how knowledgeable and committed you are as a parent, a fully-equipped scientific lab is probably going to be beyond you. My advice is to choose a good school and enrol your child there for the final year or two before university.

If your child isn’t going to pursue STEM studies, then you have more leeway, but I just want to say that putting your child back into the school system doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you’re thinking of your child’s future more than your own ego.

That is a very long introduction to the Homeschool Journal!

Let’s say you’ve decided to enrol your child at an educational institution. They will want paperwork, and the better-looking it is, the more credence they will give it. It’s not fair, but that’s the way things are.

It was with that in mind that I sat down to plan out the Homeschool Journal. J and I had put together documentation for our children’s admission to a particular secondary school (and we were successful by the way, although the enrollment didn’t pan out for various other reasons), but It. Was. A. Hassle. There was paper flying everywhere for days, folders littering the dinner table, iteration upon iteration of word processing documents. It would have been so much better if there was one book, one journal, I could hand over and say, “Here it is; this is what we’ve done and where we’re going.” Who needs the additional stress?

The Homeschool Journal builds on the foundations set in The Dog Ate My Experiment!. It guides you through the year, from basic information to analyses of possible colleges/universities for your child. There’s space for entering timetables, homework, costs, resources, and even a scrapbook section at the end.

The Homeschool Journal is in hardcover and is available now for US$21.99

If you’re interested in keeping up-to-date with the journal’s progress, please sign up for the Challis Tower newsletter. Not only will you be the first to know when the journal (and online course) is released, but you’ll also get a free chapter from The Dog Ate My Experiment!.

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