The Art of a Good Portfolio

Yesterday, I mentioned that we planned a particular project for each day this week. When we start school on Monday, I want to be ready and relaxed. Today’s project… our portfolios!

When most people think of a portfolio, they think of an artist or professional showing their well crafted work in order to gain recognition or obtain employment. However, did you know that homeschoolers can have a portfolio as well?

When I first began to homeschool, I read everything I could on the laws of our state and ideas on how to keep ourselves protected. One great suggestion that was made were portfolios; simple, three-ring binders that hold all pertinent work and tests the student has done for the year. In the event it should become necessary, examples of the students’ work are on hand and available.

Yesterday, we cleaned out our homeschool cupboard and filed all of last year’s portfolios in a safe place. Today, we wanted to get our new portfolios ready to go and organized. We grabbed our three-ring binders, some dividers, pens, crayons, and markers; then, we got busy!

For the new portfolios, the first thing the kids worked on is the cover for their binders. I created a simple cover with some clip art that was available via Google. We all (I have a binder for this year too) sat down at the table and enjoyed some coloring. We had a great time, visiting and being creative.

Next, we grabbed our dividers and started getting things in place. I made sure the kids have one divider for each section:

  • Reading (I keep track of all the books they read)
  • Writing
  • Language Arts
  • Arithmetic
  • Geography
  • Spanish

Lastly, I made sure to print out the children’s names and cut them into narrow strips. These were placed down the outside spine of the binder. This way the children easily recognize which binder is theirs and are able to grab them at will. Our portfolios are now ready to be filled with all sorts of learning projects and assignments. They are tucked into the homeschool cupboard, ready to be used come Monday.

Our children’s portfolios have really come in handy. When we have family over, it gives our children an opportunity to share all of the things they have been working on and how much they have learned. The portfolios have even been a great way for me to show new homeschooling moms examples of different curriculum we have tried or examples of different learning styles (as each of my children slightly vary). While I hope this never becomes necessary, in the event it should, our portfolios may also be used in court in order to show examples of our children’s progress.

Hooray! Our project for the day is complete and we are almost ready to start school on Monday. Let’s see what tomorrow brings….

Do you have “portfolios” of your children’s work? We would love to see examples!

8 thoughts on “The Art of a Good Portfolio

  1. This is a fabulous idea. Do you know, even though my sons went to public school, and even though they are in their twenties now, and even though I’ve moved half a dozen times since? I still have my sons’ portfolios from elementary and middle school. I initially made them for court, also, as we went through eleven years of endless custody litigation instigated by their dad. And the portfolios, ultimately, were my key exhibits in winning full custody. But more importantly, my sons couldn’t believe I still had all their stuff! I made them scrapbooks for graduation from the best of the best, including their art ribbons, athletic awards, team photos, and even the first note and phone number my oldest ever received from a girl (in the third grade…lol…); all the cards they’d made and treasures they’d found…fishing and camping pics… Christmases… learning to ride their bikes. I’m sure I’ll have all their school stuff another twenty years from now… how can you just throw things like that away, after all?


    • Oh, that’s neat! I’m so glad that you were able to make it over here and check out the blog.

      I definitely plan to hold onto my portfolios for a long time. I am sure the kids will love looking back on them, just as your boys did.


  2. Pingback: The Craft Table: Homeschool Portfolios | A Homeschool Mom

  3. Pingback: Planning the Homeschool Year: Portfolios | A Homeschool Mom

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