Creating a simple homeschool portfolio
It's officially the first day of summer and many homeschoolers are taking their summer vacation (those that don't school year round, of course!). There's a giant pile of workbooks and binders and one question I hear quite often - "What do you do with that pile of homeschool workbooks at the end of the year?"
Here's my process:
- Gather all the completed workbooks and binders
- Get my teacher planning pages (record of days off, goals for the year, etc.)
- Find an empty 1-2 inch binder
- Any other completed work or papers I need to file
- Box for storing complete portfolios
Once I have everything I need, I dig in.
I start with the important papers I need to file - a record of attendance/days off (I just record our days off throughout the year with this form), the goals I had set for the year (this form), the course of study I created at the beginning of the year, any course record sheets, and a list of the books TJ read during the year.
Then I move, subject-by-subject, through the workbooks and binders. I don't want to keep everything, just a highlight of the year. So I keep a selection of completed tests for the subjects that had them (math, spelling, Latin, and French). Then I go through the subjects that didn't have any tests (grammar and writing) and pull pages from the beginning, mid-year, and end of the year, showing steady progress through the subjects.
History and science are the only complete subjects I keep (I'm sentimental and don't want to toss any of it). So the whole binder gets filed at the end of the year. It's very neat to sit down with that huge history binder filled with pages from each volume of The Story of the World.
Once I have everything I want to keep, I 3-hole punch all the pages and put them in the binder, important pages in the front, followed by papers from each subject. In the front pocket I put a selection of any art projects or drawings and any progress charts that we kept through the year. That's it! I have a complete homeschool portfolio that highlights our year.
Then the binders get filed into a file box and put in the closet. We just completed our final elementary portfolio so that box is complete and will be labeled and put in the closet. Next year I will start a new box for the middle school years.
Of course, all of this will also depend on your provincial/state homeschool requirements. Some places require a more extensive portfolio, special reports, and lists, etc. In Quebec, the law is ambiguous at best, so I decided that an end of the year portfolio would showcase our year in the most reliable way. So be sure and check the requirements for your area and include them in your portfolio.
What does your end-of-year homeschool wrap-up look like?