I recently started keeping a home-ed journal (again!). I've been doing this, sporadically, since we started HEing - I keep up with it for a while, then either forget for a while, leaving a long gap which puts me off starting again (it will look like we did nothing for two weeks); or I get so frustrated with the incompatibility of our way of learning and keeping written records that I give up.
This time around I have noticed something: some days there seems to be loads of 'recordable' instances of education taking place, while other days the only thing I can think of to actually write down is 'went swimming'. It seems to be all or nothing.
Now, I know that on the 'swimming' days there will have been lots of little learning experiences along the way, just not ones I can think of to write down. But it still bugs me that it looks bad - it looks like we've done nothing with the whole day except swim. And I suppose the reason that I'm getting all caught up in how it looks is because at the back of my mind this record-keeping process is a part of preparing for the day some official Education Authority person asks to see what, exactly, I have been doing as my child's educator.
This inevitable(?) day seems to be looming closer, as I read more and more about government plans to increase state powers at the expense of parental rights. It is also the reason I keep suggesting to A that she produce a 'project book' on whatever she's been doing.
I think one of the biggest problems I have with this record-keeping is the way it can kill spontaneity and interfere with creativity. A lot of what we do is very spur of the moment, and that's what I love about being a home educating parent - I can respond immediately to something that takes A's interest. And A is an extremely creative person, she learns much more by following some flash of inspiration to 'make' something, than by working through stages/levels of workbooks. That's just A. But I can see already how the knowledge of future contact with the EA (and not knowing how sympathetic to HE they might be) is affecting my approach to HE.
Maybe I should let go of these concerns, and just deal with it when it happens, but I'm the sort of person who needs to be prepared - especially if I'm going to have to fight my corner. I hate conflict, and I hate confrontations, and don't cope with them very well. Of course, I might end up dealing with someone who is very positive and understanding about HE, but I'm also the kind of person who needs to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
So, I suppose I've just got to work on keeping a balance - collecting 'evidence' that my daughter is actually receiving an education, and enjoying the opportunities this lifestyle offers.