And no, you don’t have to keep everything!
What is a Homeschool Portfolio?
A portfolio is a window into your child’s homeschool experience. It tells a story, from day 1 of the homeschool year to the last day of the year. It includes information regarding what you taught, the resources you utilized, and it details your child’s academic progress.
Think of it as somewhat of an informational scrapbook.
Just a ScrapBook – That’s Easy!
Actually, it’s somewhat of an informational scrapbook. It’s a lot more too.
There are two main types of portfolios – the documentation portfolio and the personal portfolio.
The Documentation Portfolio
This is the kind of portfolio you will provide your local school district if required. The school district is mainly interested in your attendance information, what type of a homeschool routine you had, and what curriculum and resources you utilized. Only include info that’s mandated by law. The only exception to this is that you might want to include a few samples of your child’s work, as well as some photographs, as these items provide visual proof of your homeschooling activities.
Information should be organized and placed in a large three ring binder with tabs.
Always remember, the documentation portfolio is yours. Take it to any mandatory meetings you might have with school officials but do not let them make copies of it and do not leave it with them.
The Personal Portfolio
This type of portfolio is intended for home and personal use only. It’s for you and your child, and can be shared with family (grandmothers love them!) and friends. It includes samples of work, photos of completed projects, a list of achieved milestones, letters from mentors, etc. It might take the form of a digital or a physical album. We actually have both, and my kids LOVE going through their physical books – they enjoy this more than looking at their digital versions (I think it’s because they can touch them).
What to include?
Choose representative pieces of work to include in the portfolio. Include achievements, as well as a few items just because you/your child really enjoyed the subject and/or the experience.
Not sure what to include? Let your child participate in the portfolio process – he’ll know what he wants to keep (plus, this can be turned into an educational experience)!
Share when Possible
Don’t keep all the good work to yourself. Share your educational scrapbooks with fellow homeschoolers and with relatives. After all, they’re interested – they want to know what you’ve been doing!
By the end of your homeschool year, you have accomplished a lot….as have your kids ….so it’s OK to toot your own horn!