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How to Keep a Portfolio

How to keep a Homeschooling Portfolio

A homeschool portfolio is a collection of materials that are used in order to showcase what your child has learned over the course of the "school year." Many states require an annual assessment of homeschooled students either via testing or the presentation of a portfolio. Portfolios help parents and their children to record their progress and achievements.

There is no right or wrong way in which to create a portfolio. Below are just some ideas, but feel free to develop your own system of organizing your children's work.

  • A list of goals for the year
  • Details on the curriculum and supplies you use for each subject
  • A list of outside classes/activities your child partakes in
  • Brochures and booklets from field trips and other activities
  • A journal which contains notes about activities and the progress that has been made
  • Samples of the child's work
    • Samples of creative writing and drawings
    • Text book or workbook pages for each subject
  • Photos of field trips, artwork, projects and family life
  • A Reading list with book title, author, and subject

A good way to organize your children's work is to use 3 ring binders. You could get a small 1-1/2 in. binder for each subject and insert tabs for each month or you can get one large binder and use tabs for each subject. Keeping all work is not necessary, but keeping examples of work with mistakes is just as important as keeping the ones with good grades. It is very important to be able to demonstrate the progression of their work throughout the year as they learn and master different areas. When you want to add something to the portfolio, simply date it and hole punch it and add it to the binder. Make sure you keep a good amount of work in each subject throughout the entire year. Some people prefer to just keep it all, and that is fine too. If you choose to do that then you will need more binders.

Lesson Plans
There are many ways to create lesson plans. You can purchase a homeschooling journal with areas in which to record your weekly lesson plans or you can simply use a noteboook.

Some states require lesson plans, so be sure to check with your state's laws. If you are laid back about lesson plans, that's fine. Do it daily based on what you have acheived. If you record the lessons you complete each day, you are still keeping an accurate records. If you do them ahead of time, be sure to write in pencil, because chances are you will need to make changes as you go.

Keeping a portfolio is a great keep sake, a good way to chart progress and keep records.
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