Organization. Some of us love the process; others dread it. Virtually all of us struggle to keep it done. We’re sharing some tips on the hows and whys of homeschool portfolios as well as our new Printable Homeschool Portfolio Pack.
Why Should I Create a Homeschool Portfolio?
Maybe the first question to answer is why you need a homeschool portfolio in the first place. There are many reasons, such as:
- state homeschool requirements – while some states require actual portfolios, others don’t but require that you keep a record containing some of what you do during the school year; a homeschool portfolio is a simple way to do that
- space – unless you live in a 30-room mansion, chances are that you don’t have space to store every piece of paper every child has ever worked on for the rest of your life; a homeschool portfolio lets you choose what is most important and organize it by child and by year
- memories and special moments – homeschool portfolios are great ways you can all sit down together as a family and see what you’ve accomplished in the last year; maybe dad wasn’t able to see every experiment or grandma and grandpa don’t live close by – sitting and paging through the portfolio together is a great way to remember all the stories you wanted to share
- goals – homeschool portfolios can also be great tools to help you and your children define your goals for next year and record them so you can work to reach them together
What Should I Include in My Homeschool Portfolio?
If you don’t clearly define what you want to store in your portfolio and how to organize it, you may end up with several unorganized binders instead of a stack of organized boxes. That won’t really accomplish the main goal! Let’s look at what we need to include:
- First, you must understand what your state requires for homeschool records. Meeting these goals is one major role of your homeschool portfolio.
- Get the supplies you need to create and organize the binder. A three-ring binder usually works great, and there are lots of ways you can break it down to meet your needs.
- Take pictures of large projects, such as science experiments, hands-on activities, and field trips, to store in the binder. Include the images so you don’t need to keep the entire project on hand.
- Print lessons from computer-based materials to include.
- Choose 5-10 pages of your student’s best work from a workbook and keep only those pages.
- If kids are older, save important essays, tests, and research papers as well as anything that represents a milestone, community activity, etc.
Once your portfolio is completed you will may want to use it for an end of the year portfolio review. We have created a Portfolio Review Checklist to help you put together your portfolio. You can check off each item as you add it to your binder to make sure you haven’t forgotten any important information. Click HERE to grab this as an instant download!
If your students would like to further customize their portfolios, we also have tons of FREE cheat sheets they can use to keep key information at their fingertips. They can find great information on art, Bible, civics, foreign language, history, geography, and more.
Bonnie Rose Hudson’s heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She would love for you to stop by her website WriteBonnieRose.com for homeschool and history curriculum, resources to help teach your children about missions and the persecuted Church, free history and writing printables, and to check out her newest release from JourneyForth, The Hidden Village, an early reader set in India.
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