What is a Homeschool
So, you've committed to creating a portfolio for your child but have no idea where to start...
If you live in a state that does evaluations, a portfolio is necessary! It shouldn't be stressful or time consuming. The requirement is simply to show progress.
It's never too late to create that homeschool portfolio, even if you have to dig papers out of bins from two years past!
What is the purpose of a
Many homeschoolers have a variety of choices to evaluate your child each year. Creating a portfolio is a popular choice throughout the US. Always make sure you check your state's requirements. In Arizona, homeschoolers don't need to create a portfolio, but it is a good way to keep some things for your child to look back on or in the case you move where one is required. However, in Georgia it's recommended to keep one. If you are homeschooling high school, you must keep transcripts, grades, and GPA. In the event you ever switch to public school, you'll need to show these.
The purpose of a Portfolio is to show progress of your child's learning throughout that year. It can also become a keepsake. The idea here is to create something that can best convey what your child learned.
You need to decide what to keep your work samples in! Some people choose a 3 ring binder, and some choose an accordion file folder like the Mead Five-Star Organizer.
Not everything has to fit. You can also take pictures of large works like lapbooks, posters, dioramas, etc. Then put them in the file with a small description.
If you're super organized, you may want to create a Table of Contents, Book Lists, Curriculum Descriptions, Report Cards, & details of Course Studies.
You will need to possibly print out a lot of these, and use Page Protectors to keep them clean.
You will also need your planner and dates of field trips, and the attendance dates your child did school.
Best Things to Include in a Portfolio
- Table of Contents
- State Homeschool Laws
- Examples of a Weekly Schedule
- Description of Curriculum and/or Study Area
- Work Samples for each Subject (Labeled or Divided)
- Book Lists
- Certificates of Completion (Dance, PE, Music, Sports)
- Extras like Art work, or other documentation, and Report Cards
*You can visit HSLDA for a list of requirements for each state.
Ways to Show Progress
If you struggle trying to think of ways to show your child's progress for different subject areas, here are a few ideas.
Writing Examples, Math Worksheets, Tests, Quizzes, & Book Reports.
You'll want to show a few samples from the beginning of the year through the end. No, they all won't be a shining example, but it WILL show progress!
For English/Language Arts:
quizzes & tests
quizzes and tests
nature journal pages
For Social Studies:
pictures of projects
For Fine Arts:
composer and artist studies
certificate of completion for music or art lessons
Certificate of completion
Competition Medals or Trophies
Pictures of Activities
Time to create!
You've now got a great starting point! You can share these ideas with other homeschool moms that are in the same boat!