Do you create a homeschool portfolio? I have to confess… I used to hate making ours! Overwhelm quickly set in at the sight of Mt. Paperwork I’d avoided climbing for far too long. But over the years I’ve started to embrace portfolio time.
I get to see handwriting progressions and be reminded of those sweet lessons throughout the year where things “clicked.” I am able to see successes and failures at a glance. So without further ado, here is my process for wrapping-up our homeschool year.
How to Create Your Portfolio
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Let’s get started!
- Empty Binders (the larger the better)
- 3 Hole Punch
- Dividers (I love the ones with pockets)
- Boxes (if you don’t feel like hole-punching everything)
- Recycle Bin
- Trash Can
- ALL of the subjects of completed schoolwork
Have your kids go through their school binders and pick out their favorite pieces of school work. Hole punch and put them in your newly labeled binder: the homeschool portfolio! This allows you to recycle a ton of paper and more importantly, allows you to see what really stuck out to them.
Have Fun Reminiscing!
I’ve gained so much insight about the types of lessons and projects my kids really enjoyed by having them help with portfolio time. This helps me plan on incorporating more of those in the future.
For example, my son (9) really loves Story of the World. We listen to the audiobook in the car and he just loves the stories. However, I was really surprised to that he wanted to keep some of the coloring sheets and word searches that went along with the lessons. He’s not usually a paperwork kind of kid. Woo-hoo, we’ll do more of them next year!
My daughter (12) wanted to recycle everything. However, she wants to transition into a public school eventually. I kept everything in the nearest box in case we need to show the coursework she’s completed.
Portfolio Hack: Make Your Life Easier!
One helpful habit I’ve formed is to start at the beginning of the school year. In August, I set aside the pre-labeled binder and 3-hole punch on an easily accessible shelf. As we finished papers that didn’t fit into a specific school subject, I would stick them right into the homeschool portfolio. It’s a great catch-all for random art, photos, pamphlets from museums, etc. It’s kind of a running anthology which we add to once we’ve officially completed the year.
At first, all of the children’s miscellaneous paperwork was kept together. Later on I ended up dividing it by child. I was surprised by how much artwork and pre-writing my tot is creating! I plan on making a “writing progression portfolio” for her. That’s just a fancy way of saying I want to keep all of her sweet little shapes and pretend letters.
Homeschool Phone Hack
Keep a folder on your phone for photos of fun lessons and field trips. That way, you can print them all together at the end of the year and stick them right in to the portfolio. It’s like a homeschool scrapbook!
Ready, Set, Portfolio!
Are you ready to get started on your own homeschool portfolio? This can be as fun as you would like! I’ve found that doing it together as a family adds to the fun level. Bring out art supplies and let your kids decorate their own covers. Add the beginning and end of year interviews and photos. Jam out to “School’s Out for Summer!”
In conclusion, portfolios range from “fun and optional” to “required and thorough” so be sure to check your own state’s requirements before chucking out the excess.
I hope this helps some with your end-of-year wrap-ups. How do you handle all of the schoolwork? Be sure to share any great tips below!