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How to Maintain a Homeschool Portfolio

Aug 17, 2007
If you are one of those parents who wish to home school your child, then it is very important for you to maintain a home school portfolio of the child. In some states it is mandatory under the educational laws, to maintain a home school portfolio. However, not every state requires the parents to maintain one, but maintaining one definitely helps in maintaining a treasured keepsake of your childs education and it also plays a vital role in the evaluation process.

School districts require home-schooled students to present complete portfolios, highlighting the students progress in an organized manner, for evaluation. Designing and maintaining a home school portfolio is not difficult, after understanding what the portfolio comprises of. It is basically a collection of material that showcases how much your child has learned within the duration of the academic year.

Nowadays in many states, educational authorities have made the evaluation of home schooling students mandatory, either by testing them or by demanding a ready home school portfolio. Maintaining a portfolio not only helps to comply with educational law, but it also helps the parents to record their childs achievements and progress. This becomes very important once the child reaches high school level and needs a diploma.

The information within a portfolio depends entirely upon the parent and child. However, documenting a variety of information will help to reflect the childs learning ability and accomplishments more accurately. Some of the suggested matter that could be included in your portfolio is listed below:

. A journal containing notes about the progress made via various activities.

. A list of the resources used, including games, curriculum, books, computer software and outdoor activities.

. Various samples of the childs work, like writing and drawings, some workbook exercise pages, audio or videotapes or even photographs of the child participating in activities like drama, singing, playing musical instrument or just reading aloud, in the case of small children.

. Some brochures or booklets from educational trips to nature parks or museums.

. The list of goals that the parents had set, at the start of the academic year and the accomplishment of each.

While the list of materials to be included looks quite overwhelming, the task of collecting the same is not so daunting. Just make sure that you start designing and collecting for the portfolio right from the beginning of the year. A three ring binder does well for storing all the material, without damaging any. Parents can use quality paper for documenting. You could first state a few goals for the academic year and add some more, later. You could state the resources you would be using to achieve those goals and then start organizing the sample work, by subject matter. Always keep a camera handy to collect snapshots of the childs projects or craft.

Your job of creating a portfolio will not end by simply putting together the material. Regular maintenance is very necessary to maintain a good portfolio. Consistent and regular maintenance saves you the bother of rushing to put together a portfolio at the end of the year and in the process leaving out some vital samples that should have been included. Before you submit the portfolio, go through the whole collection again and remove the unnecessary matter.

A portfolio review can be fun provided it has been designed properly. It provides both, parents and children with a time to discuss accomplishments of an academic year.
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