This post is from contributor, Kirsten Joy Torrado.
Putting together a year’s worth of learning can seem like a really big project.
Only a portion of states actually require that a portfolio be submitted to the local school district, but most homeschool advocates will tell you that it’s a good idea to keep good records of your child’s learning. Although compiling a year’s worth of learning can feel like a monumental task, it doesn’t have to be.
Here are a few pointers for assembling an end-of-the-year homeschool portfolio the easy way:
1) Start with a good homeschool planner.
My lesson plans also serve as a running log of work accomplished.
There are many free weekly lesson plan templates to download on the internet, and because I keep mine in a three-ring binder, it is easy to photo copy at the end of the year for my portfolio. I tend to stay away from spiral bound books because they are more difficult to photocopy. I use the space at the end of my daily plans to jot down any real-life learning that happened that day so my weekly plan serves both as a lesson plan and as a running log for real-life learning.
2) Keep track of your materials on one running log.
I created my own form (that you can also download for free!) to keep track of the books we’ve read. It has a space for the title, author, and also what types of materials were used.
We are at our library weekly and check out all kinds of media like audiobooks, cds, books, and dvds. I find it’s easier to keep track of all these materials on one running log. If I miss anything, I love that my library also has a website that keeps track of my history of materials.
If you don’t like to document, most libraries keep track of this information for you. Even though our library is small, it has a functional website where I can sign in using my library card and print out a history of all the materials we’ve used in the past year.
3) Keep track of field trips and activities.
If you homeschool year-round, you can count summer trips and activities as learning days. We did just that when we took a trip to Lancaster and had a summer full of stay-cation fun. Just log it on a field trip form and include it in your portfolio at the end of the year.
4) Use your camera.
My camera is the best way to keep track of activities like field trips and art projects. So many of our art projects, science experiments, and outings would never fit into a three-ring binder. But images are easy to get printed and include in a tabbed section of your notebook. They can also serve as a fun way to journal experiences for young learners.
5) Put it all together.
The best way to put it all together, for us, is a three-ring binder. I also like to include color tabs to divide each section and plastic sleeves to hold brochures and extras.
How do you compile a year’s worth of learning? Leave a comment below!
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