Keeping Your Child's Records

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Keeping Your Child's Records
Keeping your child's medical and academic records organized and easily referenced is an important task parents must undertake. Here's why.
You and I have to keep certain records safe yet available for easy reference. Important papers such as tax returns, wills, deeds, titles, diplomas and certificates prove ownership and achievement. You probably do not have to refer to them frequently. But you know where to find them when you need them.
 
The same thing applies to your child's records. Here's how to organize your child's important papers so that you won't be missing the documentation you will need to support her application to nursery school, primary school, high school and college.
 
Medical and Health Records
Keep records of all immunizations, test results and prescriptions. Why? Because you will be required to provide proof of immunizations as part of your child's medical record when you apply to private school at any level. Schools need to know about allergies your child has so that they know what action to take if and when she has an allergic reaction to something. Ditto with any medications which your child takes. If medications must be administered at school, the school will have protocols in place to take care of that.
 
What's the best way to keep records?  You can keep them online. This method allows you access to important medical information from anywhere. Scan documents and upload them. You can maintain paper files. 
 
Tip: keep valuable original documents in a fireproof safe at home or in your safety deposit box at your bank.
 
Record-keeping is time-consuming. So be sure to allocate a regular time each month to review and file important papers. Then you will not be caught short when an application deadline looms or an emergency requires your most recent documentation.

Academic Records
From the earliest report cards and teachers' assessments of your child's progress to college diplomas and everything in between academic records chronicle her progress from infancy to maturity. Report cards are not the same thing as academic transcripts. When you apply to schools, they will ask your permission to obtain transcripts from the schools which she has attended. Report cards give you a rather more granular record of your child's academic achievements. Well worth having in her academic archives. Save standardized test reports from SSAT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT and ACT as well as any state administered tests as part of the record too.
 
Keep your child's academic records organized so that you can prove her eligibility for enrichment and other programs as those opportunities present themselves. 
 
Tip: Use large binders for safe-keeping of your child's classwork, art and projects. One binder per year for the primary grades will shrink to one binder or perhaps two for all of middle and high school.
 
Just as medical record keeping supports your child's health, academic record keeping illustrates your child's progress. Most children will be delighted to discover that you have kept
 

Portfolio of Achievements
I define a portfolio of achievements as a collection of all the important honors and milestones in your child's life. Ribbons, certificates, photos of a championship team, a scrapbook of her junior year abroad - a portfolio of achievements is all these things and much more. How does it fit into the record keeping routine? Why is it important? Let me give you an example. 
 
If your child showed early promise as a pianist and begin winning prizes at local and regional competitions, you would want to record every exiting moment in a special album or binder dedicated expressly to her musical achievements. That way, when it comes time for her to apply to a world class conservatory of music such as Julliard or The Curtis Institute, her portfolio of achievements demonstrates your support of your child's pursuit of her dream. The portfolio allows teachers and admissions staffers to review her achievements as they consider how best to tailor programs for her.
 
Same thing with sports, drama or whatever interests your child has. Use a portfolio of achievements to document them.
 
Keeping your child's records in order and up to date is not something that you do when you get a round to it. Order that round tuit and make time to take care of this important part of parenting.

Additional Resources [+]
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