Philosophy for 4-H Record Keeping
The purpose of 4-H record keeping is to teach how to keep records, which is an important life skill. Record keeping is an ongoing process that does not end when the 4-H year ends. Youth are encouraged to select from a variety of alternatives to meet their individual record keeping needs and learning styles.
In 4-H, using a record keeping system is a recommended practice for youth in grades 4-12 to track participation, goals, achievements, and reflections throughout your 4-H journey. This record keeping system can be referred to when writing award applications, resumes, scholarship applications, or preparing for meetings or speeches. You can find more information in our publication Iowa 4-H Record Keeping Overview 4H 5000.
Objectives for 4-H Record Keeping
- To learn how to set goals, how to make plans for action, and how to decide how well you did (evaluation).
- To learn the skills of record keeping and organization to use now and in the future.
- To learn to communicate and summarize.
- To learn responsibility by completing a task.
- To evaluate information that will market personal skills through future resumes and application forms.
Guidelines for 4-H Record Keeping
All 4-H members are encouraged to develop a record keeping system that includes:
- Recordkeeping for one or more project areas.
- Project Area or Exhibit? 4H 5500 includes information on the difference between a project area and an exhibit.
- Setting goals for your project areas and exhibits.
- Goal Setting: Writing Project Area and Exhibit Goals 4H 5511 can guide you.
- You can use a Goal Calendar 4H 5001 if you wish.
- Summarize your learning annually
- You can write a 4-H story.
- You can use the Yearly Member Summary 4H 5011.
- Reflect and evaluate your journey.
- You can use Yearly Self-Evaluation 4H 5012 as a self-evaluation or as a guide for a member-mentor discussion.
- Project records document your goals and achievements in a project area. Choose one for each project area you wish to record information on.
- Project Worksheets are an optional tool that can help you plan or track aspects of your project.
Formatting Your Recordkeeping System
Iowa 4-H offers a selection of record keeping forms that members may use to guide their record keeping process. Record keeping forms are a suggested format and are not required. Members are encouraged to select a format that fits their personal needs and their learning style. However, record keeping forms may be encouraged by clubs and counties as a guide for learning record keeping skills, or for award application processes.
The record keeping format selected should reflect a 4-H member’s goals, accomplishments, and plans. You can try different methods of record keeping. Some people like to keep track of information on a computer or spreadsheet. Others may want to keep track in a notebook or on a record keeping form. Consider the following.
- Record Keeping Overview 4H 5000 has sections on alternate formats.
- 4-H Yearly Planner 4H 5010
- Using 4-H Forms and Documents explains ways to make accommodations when working with documents.
- National 4-H Member's Record Book Covers
4-H record keeping should reflect the 4-H member's goals, accomplishments, and future plans