Every year, the kids and I create portfolios for ourselves. This is not required by the state, mind you; just something I’ve instituted for our learning purposes.
When “T” was in preschool we began creating portfolios and we’ve made one yearly ever since. I keep a file box in our garage with previous years’ portfolios neatly organized by child’s name. Any time we care to look through them or find a need to reference back, they are at our disposal.
Why create a portfolio?
- Protection – Heaven forbid we ever get pulled into court and have to prove how much our children are learning, I am more than ready to show the vast extent of our children’s education.
- Memories – Some of our documentation is filled with memories of our kids. Their hand prints, their writing samples, their artistic abilities, and a CD of pictures commemorating that year of learning.
- Reference – At times it comes in handy to pull out samples of previous years’ work. Sometimes we use these to show other families how an activity was tackled and sometimes for our own use.
While I am sure there are a myriad of items we could include in our portfolios, we have only so much space and so much time to document everything. There are a few items I definitely want to include though:
- Required Reading Lists
- Writing Assignments/Penmanship Samples
- Language Arts Tests
- Spelling Tests
- Arithmetic Tests
- Geography Tests
- Spanish Worksheets
- Unit Study Samples
- Special Projects
I mentioned a moment ago that we also include a CD of pictures in our portfolios. I take tons of pictures of our homeschooling year; field trips, special events, special projects, and other such fun things. These pictures are collected throughout the year and stored in the iPhoto application on my computer. I keep a special file for every school year dating back to 2003 (eg. HS 2003-2004). At the end of every school year, I burn a CD of that year’s homeschooling adventures and include it in their files.
As a new school year has begun, new portfolios are at the ready. We have updated our covers and they look awesome! We are now ready to start filling them with all the paperwork which is already begun to pile up. This weekend it’s time to put those portfolios to work and document this current year.
Ah; organization just makes my heart sing….
Do you have portfolios to document your homeschool year?