Planning the Homeschool Year: Portfolios

School-PlanningI don’t know about you, but in our neck of the woods it’s back to school season. This month, public school buses will go chugging down the street, ready to pick up those eager (at least for the first week) children. While we don’t have to be on the curb at the crack of dawn or make sure our children have their lunch money, we do need to plan out our coming year of homeschooling.


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 made was 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. (These are not required by our state, mind you, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Plus, it’s always fun looking back on our hard work, especially after several years have passed.)


Click on the image above to discover what’s inside!

Every fall, we create unique covers which inspire and encourage us to fill these will beautiful work. In previous years we have used a wide variety of art mediums to create our covers. We have drawn images, water colored, and used decoupage for our art projects. For the past two years, we have chosen to use a new medium: computers! Using digital images and art programs, we have made the most beautiful covers for our binders.

Well, here we are again! It’s time to put our imagination to use and get those fingers moving. Besides a few images which reflect our goals for this year, I have also included a few funny comments which I hope will encourage my kiddos and help keep us on track.

If you don’t already, consider putting together a portfolio for each one of your children. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and it doesn’t have to look professional. Dig out whatever materials you have on hand and get busy!

Having portfolios of your children’s work is always a good idea. Besides having proof of all your hard work, it’s a great way to store memories. One day, you’ll look back on these and shed tears of joy.

🔔Time to Chime In: We’d love to see what your portfolios look like. Take a picture and send us a link to your Instagram page so we can!

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25 thoughts on “Planning the Homeschool Year: Portfolios

  1. This is such a great idea. I also think it is important. We did this and I learned something. I took pictures of all the people that helped educate my kids, the librarian, the clerks at the video store, the public school officials we worked with, 4H parents. Anybody that my kids interacted with on a daily basis. I learned that the daily people were very valuable people. My appreciation for them grew and grew as the years went on. The village did raise the children.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You bring up a good point!

      In addition to printed portfolios, we also have an annual yearbook containing field trips and other activities throughout the year. Plus, I take pictures of our learning days, outings, and more. I want plenty of evidence of our adventures and keepsakes of our fun memories.


  2. This is one of those areas where I can serve as a warning instead of an example. Just spent a couple weeks sorting through bins and putting together my youngest son’s high school portfolio. It would have been easier (and better quality) if done as the work was completed and not a year after graduation! It’s so hard when you’re in the midst of teaching, but try not to get too far behind. I’m rooting for you all!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We don’t have much in the way of any HS laws in our state but I do keep a portfolio too just because it’s so fun to have an remember. We do a 3 ring binder too and my daughter decorates the cover on the “first day” of school!

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. I have never given this a thought. It sounds like a brilliant way to organize all the art work and first letters, as well as chronicalize their growth. I’m excited about this new idea. I am a first year homeschooler, just finishing up second grade. Thank you for this great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. The portfolio is one of the four methods we can choose from for our yearly assessments in our state. There is a homeschool ministry that has certified teachers that will go over the portfolios for you and write up the assessment for you to send to the required offices. The packet they sent us even encouraged us to not only just set up for the assessment but to also set it up as a memory book for our children in the years to come! I thought that was pretty great.

    Liked by 1 person

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