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Portfolios Tell Your Child’s School History

I read this article on portfolios by Homeschool inc. and I thought I would post what they said and add a few of my ideas to it.

Need a creative way to describe your student's year? Try creating a portfolio! Some of you will need to create a portfolio because you're required to; others will just want something concrete to pull out when you want to show others what your child has done and how far they've come during the year. Best of all, your family can pull out the portfolio later and relive the year's accomplishments – a real boost when you hit a rough patch in schooling!
     Portfolios usually include work samples, pictures or other descriptions of school activities (yes, even field trips and science and art projects), test scores, lists of books or textbooks used and a timeline of the year. Some portfolios are very detailed; others meet the minimum required by law. You can keep your portfolio information in a three-ring binder, a scrapbook, or a pocket folder. Save samples of work during the year in a box, then pull out the box at evaluation time and put it together. Or, try organizing weekly or monthly. Organizing as you move through the school year will help you stay on top of weak areas and plan ways to work on them. You want the portfolio to reflect your student's strengths, weaknesses and academic growth throughout the year.

I thought what I would do is share how I do my portfolio. I keep a file folder in a file drawer for each subject and as my child finishes their work I file it away. Or in some subjects it is kept in a spiral notebook like English or 3 ring binder like Science, History and Geography. At the end of the year I bundle up each subject and keep it in a file box for reference if ever needed. Most of the worksheet, I feel, no one wants to look at anyway. Not even my kids! 🙂

But the notebooks that we do for History, Geography and Science I take out of the binder (use the binder for the following year) and have the kids make a front and back cover for it (from heavy cardstock) decorating it however they see fit. This book we leave out with our lapbooks etc. so our family, friends and my kids can look back over the work we have done and as remind us. Of course I make sure the year is on it so we remember.

One of the other things I have done is purchase my childs own name for their domaine name. Like KristinNitz.com as an example. I started a free blog on blogger and for every craft project or art project or anything that I can take a picture of,  I make a quick post. Nothing long and elaborate. I just tell what they were learning, what the project is and how much fun it was. Not only is this a way of keeping a record of what my child is doing, but it sure can not hurt to pass the web address over to anyone who is wanting to know what we do all year at home with my kids. And their grandparents get a kick out of checking up on the kids to see what they are up to in school. As my children get older my goal is to teach them to blog about their homeschooling days. Not only will this serve as a record of events, but also as a writing, English, typing and Grammer exercise too. But, I have a couple years to go before they can actually do that.

Check out both of their blogs to see how simple this really is… VincentNitz.com and RaquelNitz.com. As you can see I do not write long post for them. I have enough writing to do for my own blog. The idea is to just have a quick word with the pictures as a reference. And if you take good pictures, they should speak for themselves. Also, shh, don't tell my kids…but this allows me to get rid of most of the crafts we do pretty quickly so they are not cluttering up our home, bedrooms and grandparent apartments. You know what I mean? I am sure you do!

I also keep really good records of our academics using Homeschool Tracker. I have done a review on them in the past. They have a free version,  which is great and a purchase version  for only $49.00 which is even better. It allows me not to have a house full of record keeping papers and at any moment I can print our a transcript, report card, book list etc. I highly recommend it If you decide to check it out use the referral                           code# FM2ZJ please.                       

Anyway, I hope this gets your juices flowing and gives you some ideas on how to preserve some of the school work and all the time we put in as homeschool teachers. Please share some of the ways you do portfolios in your home.

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