Ready to start creating your homeschool portfolio? This guide will walk you through everything you need to know. You can even download some free portfolio pages.
I’m a certified teacher who performs year-end portfolio reviews for homeschool families in PA. (Please note: not all of these items are required in PA, but they give examples of what you could include in your portfolio.) Unless it’s specifically required by law, it’s up to your preference exactly what to include.
Scroll down to grab the Student Grade Sheet from our Homeschool Portfolio Pack for FREE.
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Why Keep a Homeschool Portfolio
Some of you live in a state which requires you to keep a homeschool portfolio. That is my situation. I’m an evaluator in Pennsylvania, and some of these pages are required legally in our portfolios.
However, many of you will want to keep a portfolio for your own records. After all, a portfolio is like a scrapbook of your child’s school year, and it’s a great way to show progress.
Even if you’re in a state that requires a portfolio to show academic progress, it’s usually not seen as a pass or fail for your homeschool. So, with that in mind, don’t overly stress about every little paper you decide to include!
It does help to keep a homeschool portfolio that is contained in a small 3-ring binder. That way, you can guiltlessly declutter all the extra papers that your child produces in the year. Only keep the best. Only keep the ones they love the most. Keep a few from each subject and toss the rest.
In short, portfolios are a great way to keep your homeschool paperwork organized.
What Records Do I Need to Keep for Homeschooling
Many parents ask what records they need to keep for homeschooling, and specifically for their portfolio paperwork. The answer depends on why you are keeping the paperwork to begin with.
Are you fulfilling certain requirements in your state’s homeschool law? Then that will dictate which records you actually need to keep.
Or, are you just keeping a portfolio for your own records? If that’s the case, then what you keep will totally be up to your own preference.
In general, always consult your state, provincial, or regional homeschool laws to see what the legal requirements are. I always recommend HSLDA.org or HSLDA.ca for U.S. and Canadian requirements.
Other than that, just decide what you would like to save as a record of your child’s academic progress, and feel free to toss the rest! When they are adults, they certainly won’t care if you kept their 3rd grade spelling book!
What Should be Included in a Homeschool Portfolio
I conduct end-of-the-year evaluations for homeschool families in Pennsylvania. And PA is a state with some of the most restrictive homeschool laws. But even in PA, our portfolios do not require everything I’m going to mention below.
So, with that being said, here are some ideas about what you could include in your child’s portfolio. Once again, make sure you’re following the law, and then everything else is up to your own preference.
First, including legal documents and any letters from your school district makes sense in a homeschool portfolio. That way, you have a paper trail if you ever have to prove compliance.
General forms that are common in homeschool portfolios include an attendance record, objectives, curriculum lists, and book logs.
Some families like to include detailed summaries of what their kids learned in each of the content areas. If this floats your boat, then do it. If it’s overwhelming and not required by law, then leave it out.
Here are some other examples of what you could include in your child’s homeschool portfolio:
- Legal documents
- Letters from the district
- Attendance record
- Work samples
- Book logs
- P.E. log
- Extracurricular Activities
- Volunteer Activities
- Standardized testing
- Awards & certificates
- Co-op information
- Videos & photos
- Transcripts (high school)
How to Create a Homeschool Portfolio
Once you have an idea of what you will include in your student’s’ homeschool portfolio, the next big decision is to decide if you want to use a paper or digital version.
Digital versions are great if you’re trying to curb the clutter that comes with physical portfolios. However, paper versions are easy to just throw together without much effort.
With a paper version, you can easily create a portfolio in a 3-ring binder, accordion file, or file box. Personally, I think the 3-ring binder option provides the most orderly final product.
If you decide to use a 3-ring binder, just hole punch your paperwork and include it in an organized fashion. Section dividers by subject will keep everything organized.
With a physical portfolio, you can divide it into sections based on:
- Curriculum list
- Attendance record
- Book log
- Subject/content areas
A Digital Portfolio can be kept on an app like Seesaw or a private Facebook group. You can even download your Facebook data and send it to a printer.
The main thing to remember when creating a homeschool portfolio is to keep up with it little by little so that you’re not overwhelmed at the end of the year.
In other words, come up with your system, and work your system.
Episode #105 of the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast was all about creating homeschool portfolios! Listen in for more ideas and subscribe to the Podcast.
Homeschool Portfolio Pack + FREE Portfolio Pages
You can easily create your own homeschool portfolio using the suggestions in this post. But if you want a made-for-you Homeschool Portfolio Pack, then use the coupon code PORTFOLIO to save 40%.
Or, grab the Student Grade Sheet from the portfolio pack for FREE below.
3 Tips for Creating Homeschool Portfolios
Listen to episode #105 of the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast to hear my 3 tips to take the overwhelm out of the process.
Pennsylvania Homeschool Evaluations
FREE Student Grade Sheet – fabulous for your high schoolers to use throughout the year to keep a running total percentage in each subject
This episode is sponsored by Cultured Kid.
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