Monday, May 21, 2012

My Homeschool Portfolio

Many home schoolers keep portfolios of a child’s work. It is a good way to see how a child progresses. It can be a wonderful keepsake when the children get older. Some states and umbrella programs require keeping a portfolio.
My state requires a portfolio. Portfolios are not difficult to create and they are not as intimidating as I first thought they would be. Some can be very detailed and others are very basic. Here are the four basic parts of my portfolios:

Resources used and book lists
For my resources used section, I just start a word document at the beginning of the year and write the curriculum I am planning to use. Don’t forget to add sports, outside classes, lessons and co-ops. They all count towards education.

My book list is harder to complete at the beginning of the year because I don’t always know in advance which books each child will read. For my book list section I start another document and add all the readers my child reads as they complete them. You can also create a book list with Homeschool Tracker.

There are many ways to keep track of attendance. You could print off a calendar and mark which days you did school work, Donna Young has some really great Attendance Forms. There a tons of other Attendance Forms online. I use Homeschool Tracker. It is super simple. Any day that you mark an assignment as complete, they count that day as present. I just click on the reports tab and then attendance. I select the date we started school and the current date. Then I click to load the report and print at the end of the end or right before a portfolio review.

Lesson Plans
I rely heavily on Homeschool Tracker plus for this. I create lesson plans during the summer and submit them to a specific date every two weeks. I mark the assignments we complete daily. Right before a review I print them out. Donna Young has many great forms for lesson plans or wouldn’t be too difficult to create an excel sheet or to use a printed home school planner.

Samples of Work
In this section I try to select one or two examples of a child’s work for the year from each subject. This could be art work, worksheets, narrations, lab forms, test, and photographs of things that don’t easily fit in a binder. This is my favorite part of a portfolio. My kids love to look back a see what they have completed that year. They also love to see their portfolios from past years and see how far they have come.

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