Last week, I purged my computer of nonessential files. If you're anything like me, a lot of junk files you don't need pile up in your documents folder. I have been meaning to do it for a long time and finally got it done. Of course, I discovered a casualty of this purge this morning...
I have been using Homeschool Tracker to track our attendance and field trips for the past five years. I have used the free version and it's worked out great for what I've needed. When I opened the program this morning, all of my data was gone. I've printed off past years attendance and field trips, but I hadn't printed off any of this year's information yet. Unfortunately. I must have purged the file that held my data in my computer cleanout last week. It's gone. Completely gone. My memory doesn't have it and neither does the computer.
I'm pretty convinced that computers solve a lot of problems, but they also create new ones. I think I'm going to go back to keeping a calendar in the front of my teacher notebook. I don't need to spend $20 on a planner each year for attendance. My plan is to simply circle the days we do school and write a number next to each month for how many days we do school each month. Every state has different requirements for homeschooling and attendance. Pennsylvania requires 4 1/2 hours each day. I would keep a different kind of paper calendar if I worked there. But, Maryland doesn't require specific attendance records. Attendance records that I keep are for my own benefit and records.
I'm disappointed that I accidentally deleted the file with my records for Homeschool Tracker, but it just reminded me that sometimes computers can break and sometimes human error can lead to problems with a computer's memory too! I loved Homeschool Tracker because it was free and I like the reports that it creates, but it's not foolproof as I discovered today.
If you're looking for a paper calendar to record attendance on, Donna Young's website has a variety of different calendars. Or if you want to find forms in one spot and pay a one time membership fee, I use the forms on Mom's ToolBox Here. I don't like to purchase memberships to sites (I much prefer finding free resources!), but I did join this site several years ago and have been glad to not have to waste time searching all over the web for household and calendar planning forms that I want. I did make my own student planner this year, though, because I wanted a form that would work specifically for the subjects we study. It took me a few minutes to make on Excel and I've modified it through the year as our needs have changed.