One of the most popular questions I receive when mentoring new homeschoolers is, “What do I put in my child’s portfolio?” I homeschool in Ohio and in our state you have two assessment options, one is standardized testing, and the other is a homeschool portfolio review.
When I first began homeschooling, I had no clue what to keep in regards to my child’s homeschool portfolio or homeschool records. So, I kept everything, and I do mean everything….somewhere in my building is a large plastic tote containing every workbook and art project my child completed, in preschool!
Since then, I have found a much easier process. None of which include a large plastic tote
I begin by letting each of the kids pick out their own binders at the store. I typically get 1 ½” binders. This is a good size to include most of what we need to keep. I then print off these cute signs to show the grade the child is in.
I organize the kid’s portfolios by subject. I don’t include Science since we use Apologia’s note booking journals or History since we have separate binders for Mystery of History. Take subjects like this into consideration when you make your child’s portfolio. Even though I don’t put these subjects in my binder, I will share what I would keep if I did.
What to Keep
- Spelling Tests
- Grammar Tests
- Samples of Handwriting throughout the year
- Book Reports (if you do them) or another sample of reading comprehension
- Math tests
- Samples of speed drills (if your curriculum uses them)
- Pictures of experiments completed
- Notes showing what the child learned
- Experiment sheets like this one
- List of nonfiction books that the child may have read throughout the year.
- Various projects from throughout the year. Examples could be drawing, coloring sheets, cut and paste work, painting, or pictures of larger art projects.
- List of books the child read throughout the year
- Any samples of worksheets completed, games played, or lessons learned.
Records and other items
- Notification paperwork
- List of curriculum
- Attendance records
- List of field trips
- Books read
- Pictures from throughout the year
These are just a few suggestions of things you may want to keep in your child’s homeschool portfolio. We like to have the kids fill out an All about Me sheet on the first and last day of school. I also put in fun things that they have done like bible school certificates, swimming lesson certification, certificates for learning books of the bible and other achievements.
How strict you need to be about your child’s homeschool portfolio will depend on the state you live in, and whether or not you have to show your child’s homeschool portfolio for an assessment. As you continue homeschooling, you will learn more about what you feel is important, and what you really want or need to keep.
For more information about homeschool portfolios check out these websites:
Homeschool Portfolios by Real Life at Home
Creating a Homeschool Portfolio by Homeschooling Next Door
How to Create a Homeschool Portfolio by Not Consumed
Creating a Simple End of Year Portfolio by Sunny Patch
5 Tips for Making a Homeschool Portfolio by Kristen Torrado