If you have been homeschooling for long, you have probably heard bits here and there about how & why to create a homeschool portfolio. I want to share some ideas with you about this topic, as well as give you a free portfolio to help you get started.
What Is A Homeschool Portfolio?
A homeschool portfolio is a file that showcases your child’s homeschooling experience, progress and development. Although it is not really a requirement in many states, it is a vital thing if you want to document your child’s homeschooling years. Look at it is a snapshot of the journey your child has taken in homeschooling.
Tips about how & why to create a homeschool portfolio:
Why do you need a homeschool portfolio?
Other than wanting to document your child’s development, you can turn this portfolio in to a certified teacher for an official assessment if your state requires one. (Check HSLDA for homeschool laws and regulations in your state.)
The portfolio is also important in that it helps you keep records which evaluate what has been done, and shows what learning took place.
Your homeschool portfolio can be used to record:
- Daily schedule
- Weekly lesson plan
- Attendance record
- Curriculum log
- Extra curricular activities
- Reading log
- Field trips log
The completed portfolio will showcase your homeschool year and show your child’s progress and growth over the course of that year.
Why do you need a portfolio if your state doesn’t require it?
1. To keep all your records for the year organized and in one easy to find place.
2. To track attendance and subjects taught, to be sure you are meeting your state’s requirements.
3. To show the progress that your child is making from year to year.
How Do I Start Keeping A Homeschool Portfolio?
The most common way of keeping a portfolio is to use a three-ring binder.
Print the forms in the free portfolio (at end of post), punch the pages with a 3-hole punch, and put them in the notebook.
If your kids want to, let them color a picture or decorate a page for the cover of their notebook.
How to use the pages included in your free homeschool portfolio:
All About Me page
At the beginning of the school year, have your child fill this page out. They will enjoy looking back on that at the end of the year, or in years to come.
This is simply to make sure that you meet your state’s requirement for the number of days per school year.
When filling out the daily schedule you don’t have to use the time frames if you prefer block scheduling. However, be sure to include the subjects that need to be covered each week, making sure that those required by your state are included.
I also suggest including time blocks for chores, instrument practice, etc.
Weekly Lesson Plans
You can fill one of these out weekly, and keep it as a record of what was accomplished in each subject. (Keep in mind that they are a guide, and things won’t always go as planned – so fill them out in pencil.)
To show your children are working and progressing, once a month or so keep a worksheet from each of their subjects to put in the portfolio. You do not have to document every single thing. Choose what portrays their experience and strengths the best, as well as some of their tests.
Every week or month add their grades & test scores to this form.
At the beginning of the year fill this in with the curriculum your child will be using, and the date they started it. Be sure and fill in the date when they finish it as well.
EXTRA CURRICULAR LOG
This is to record and show progress in any extracurricular activities.
- Is your child good at some game?
- Is your child great at playing some form of music instrument?
- Did they receive some form of award?
Be sure and update these forms weekly or monthly:
- Reading Log
- Field Trips Log
To get started on your homeschool portfolio, download our free portfolio. It has 9 forms (described or listed above) and a monthly view calendar as well. Grab it now, and get started!