Homeschool Portfolios: Helpful Resources For Easy And Legitimate Record Keeping

Although there is certainly a ton of freedom in homeschooling, there are some parameters we need to adhere to that vary from state to state, or country to country for that matter. No matter what state or country in which you live, an amazing tool to capture your child’s education is a homeschool portfolio.

Easy Homeschool Portfolios with Homeschool Planet

You can easily create an all-encompassing homeschool portfolio for each of your children with Homeschool Planet’s digital homeschool planner online.

What is a homeschool portfolio?

A homeschool portfolio is a collection of a student’s work, achievements, and educational progress throughout the homeschooling year kept by the homeschool parent.

Your child’s homeschool portfolio usually includes samples of coursework from their major subjects and a log of educational activities.  Many parents like to include pictures of projects such as: science projects and science experiments, physical education activities and fine arts projects. A great idea is to keep a list of field trips, a book log with a list of books read and samples of any writings from a language arts curriculum.

Portfolios serve as a comprehensive record of the student’s educational journey from the beginning of the school year to the end of the year. They can be used for assessment, evaluation, and documentation of academic growth.

Are you required to keep a homeschool portfolio and homeschool records?

A common legal requirement in many states is that you are required to keep a homeschool portfolio and homeschool records. Make sure to check your state requirements and their homeschool laws, because it is not always the case.

Though, it is always a good idea to keep a log of educational activities, and educational progress of your child’s progress in your home instruction program. A portfolio can be used to demonstrate academic proficiency when transitioning to traditional schooling or to help with college admission.

State Homeschool Requirements

If you are in the U.S., each state has developed its own legal structure for home education. One state’s requirements and laws may look completely different from another. It would be beneficial for you to take a glance over at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website for insight and laws for each state. Some states don’t even have reporting requirements which is amazing! Yet it leaves you with a decision of whether to keep a homeschool portfolio or not.

If you ask most veteran homeschoolers, they would tell you that keeping stacks of documents or an accordion file folder containing your child’s work over the years is just not efficient. It is, however, wise to keep a digital portfolio of your child’s work in the event you ever need proof of progress — for whatever reason. Even some youth sports teams require a record of progress to be allowed to play or participate.

What do you do, as a homeschool family, if you have nothing to show in regards to your child’s academic progress? It isn’t hard to do, but Homeschool Planet makes it even easier. 

Your local school district may give you a form to fill out and submit after you file your letter of intent to homeschool. However, in many areas, portfolios are recommended and often even requested for college admission. Homeschool Planet’s online homeschool planner delivers all you need to easily make a homeschool portfolio for one or all of your children in no time at all.

What should you include in your child’s portfolio?

  • Transcripts of grades
  • Photos and videos taken during that academic year
  • Reading Logs with a list of books read
  • Field Trip Logs
  • Lesson Plans
  • Attendance records
  • Artwork
  • Community Service hours and photos of projects
  • List of extracurricular activities and sports
  • Certificates or awards received throughout the school year
  • Complete list of curriculum used
  • Samples of work and test scores
  • Test results from standardized or end of the year testing

Using Homeschool Planet for Homeschool Portfolio Organization

Having to keep a record of everything you do in your homeschool can be truly overwhelming. Yet, Homeschool Planet has a means to gather all this information, all in one place, all throughout the year. Homeschool Planet has the power of the computer with the convenience of paper. It is intrinsically designed to make homeschool organization and accountability easy, mobile, and flexible for the whole family.

Homeschool Planet is a household organization and homeschool management tool that truly can fit any homeschool approach your family follows such as:

Even if you take a more naturalistic or organic approach to homeschooling, keeping a homeschool portfolio through Homeschool Planet is a perfect way to log in all that your children have learned to fulfill your state requirements no matter what your teaching style.

Homeschool Planet has the ability to produce everything that you may need for a portfolio to use either for your own use of homeschool record keeping management or to satisfy any state requirement record.

Benefits of Keeping a Homeschool Portfolio

Even if your state laws don’t require you to keep a portfolio or to be evaluated by a certified teacher at the end of the school year, you still may want to keep a portfolio. A homeschool portfolio is a great way to showcase what your child has accomplished through the year.

Here are some great benefits of keeping a homeschool portfolio:

Records Memories – A homeschooling portfolio can work just like a scrapbook. It is a beautiful way to record the memories that you have made with your children throughout the school year. Did you build a castle out of cardboard boxes when studying Medieval history? Maybe your children wrapped up their stuffed animals in toilet paper when learning about mummies while studying Ancient Egypt. These are all great things to take pictures of to keep in your portfolio to document learning.

Helpful Assessment Tool – If you are required to do a portfolio review, your portfolio reviewer will look over your child’s work and see how they have progressed throughout the school year. If you do not keep grades for your younger children, a portfolio is a wonderful way to assess what they have learned and the work they have done.

Aids in Paper Organization – We all know that homeschooling can cause a lot of papers to pile up. Especially if you have multiple children. Keeping a portfolio is a wonderful way to get rid of all of those old school workbooks. Just pull out the samples that you want to save in your portfolio and toss the rest. You can do this as you go along each month, or wait until the end of the year to sort it all.

Encouragement in Homeschool – When you feel like you are overwhelmed in your homeschooling journey you can pull out your portfolios for some encouragement. Looking through them with your children is just like looking at a baby book of photos. You will see their progress and growth from year to year and be encouraged by just how far they have come. 

How to Assemble a Homeschool Portfolio

It is very easy to assemble a homeschool portfolio. Many families build it as they go along, while others may keep everything from the past school year in an accordion file folder or box to put together at the end of the year.

Supplies needed for a simple homeschool portfolio:

  •  A three-ring binder – for younger children you may only need one or two inch binders for a simple homeschool portfolio. Older children many need a larger binder.
  • Cover Page for your binder – make sure to include your child’s name and their grade level. This is also as a great way to get your kids involved by having them decorate or customize their cover page with art work.
  •  3 ring hole puncher – This will come in quite handy for all of those papers.
  • Tabbed dividers to break each subject up into different sections and keep things organized and easy to find.
  •  A page protector is a great thing to have to keep art work protected.
  • File folders for papers, art or pictures that you don’t want to be hole punched 

Homeschool Planet Features that you can use for your portfolio:

Whether your state has strict reporting laws or doesn’t have any at all, Homeschool Planet provides an easy portfolio with everything you need in one place. 

  • Printable daily or weekly assignment and activity checklist of your school days
  • Customizable, professional Report Cards and high school Transcripts to print or save to a PDF
    Note: Transcripts are fully customizable with spots for activities, honors, and standardized test scores. Enter previous information for a complete picture and choose the scales and weights for your GPA.
  • Printable completed or uncompleted assignment and activity lists
  • Printable professional reports of Class hours for both Core and non-Core subjects
  • Color and black & white economy printing
  • Extensive reports to help you manage grades, attendance, activities, and more
  • A filter system to create reports that include exactly what you need, and only what you need with Homeschool Planet’s comprehensive and customizable reporting capabilities
  • Grade Reports (summary or detail)
  • Capability to compile all Class Notes
  • Tracking your books and resources
  • Attendance Records – Track and report class hours (includes a convenient clock icon that lets you see exactly which items you are tracking)
  • Automatically computes percentages of grade entries
  • Group individual classes together for a single grade. For example group Spelling, Literature, and Grammar classes together for a single Language Arts grade. 

In Conclusion

If your state requires you to have a portfolio evaluation, Homeschool Planet takes the fear completely out of that process. You can print all the documents you need right out of Homeschool Planet, should you need hard copies for your homeschool evaluator.

All of the print-outs all fit nicely into a 3-ring binder, file box, or accordion folder. You truly do not have to worry about putting together a portfolio last minute, since Homeschool Planet keeps all you need in one place which saves you a lot of time.

Even if you need a portfolio right where you are in the middle of the homeschool year, it is no problem to have one readily available right in Homeschool Planet with just a few clicks.