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One of the best ways you can document home schooling is through the creation of a home school portfolio. A home school portfolio is representative of the education your home schooled students receive every year. Your portfolio can include samples of completed school work, copies of exams, photographs of educational excursions or activities, essays and reports students have written, school records, etc. Anyone interested in the educational background and achievements of a home schooled student can find the information they need by perusing a student's portfolio.
Setting Up a Home School Portfolio
The initial setup of a home school portfolio requires some work, but once established, it can be easily updated to keep up with your child's school progress. Older primary and high school students can easily update their portfolios on a regular basis by adding the best samples of their school work to represent what they are learning. They can also use their artistic and creative skills to customize their portfolio to give it a unique, personal touch.
The creation of a Home School Portfolio begins with selecting a sturdy binder that can hold a substantial amount of transparent plastic sheets. Decorative binders work very well for younger children as they add life and color to the portfolio. Older children may want to create their own portfolio cover and personalize divider pages to reflect their taste and preference. High school students will need a more professional looking binder as their portfolio will eventually be the "official" representation of their high school education.
The inside of your portfolio should be well organized for easy reference and display. Your portfolio can be divided into three parts:
• Academic Achievements
• Extracurricular Activities
• School Records
Under the academic achievements section, students can put samples of their best school work for the year. This would include sample reports, essays, projects, quizzes, etc. from each of the four core subjects (Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science). You should also include unit tests, semester exams and year end exams from each of these subjects.
Under the extracurricular activities section, students can document excursions, outside classes, vacation holidays or community service through photographs of the same. School excursions could include trips to museums, national parks, science fairs, art fairs, musical attractions, etc. Outside classes may include taking art, music or dance lessons, karate classes, arts and crafts, participating on a sports team and more. All of these activities are learning experiences and as such can be documented as part of your portfolio.
Because of the flexibility of home schooling, students are able to participate in a number of extracurricular activities to round off their education. In addition to academics, many home schoolers incorporate such skills as culinary arts, carpentry, electrical repair, sewing, keyboarding, computer literacy, etc. into their curricula to enhance their learning experience. Such skills can be documented within your school records as representative of your overall education.
School records will include class attendance, monthly progress reports, quarterly or semester progress reports and year end reports. High school students, in particular, will need to ensure their progress reports are accurate and up to date. By perusing the Internet, you can find various samples of progress report forms that you can use to document the progress of your home school students. School records along with the rest of your home school portfolio will reflect the quality of your children's education each year. As such, your records should be kept on a professional level so anyone can clearly see the progress that is made.
Home school portfolios will provide you with excellent documentation of your children's home schooling. It will serve as a constant reminder of the quality of your children's education. By looking through their portfolios at the end of each year, your children will be encouraged and inspired by the progress they have made which will challenge them to greater works in the future.