One of my biggest reasons I chose to home school my children is to steer clear from standardized testing. I will leave that at that and save those thoughts for a whole other post. HA! I am so thankful to live in a state that is very home school friendly! We can chose to let our children test or we can put together a home school portfolio for assessment at the end of each school year.
I go through waves of emotion when it is time to put these things together each year. Excitement to be done with one chapter of our journey, fear that we didn’t do as much as we should have, saddness as it is a giant slap in the face to sit down and really see how much your child has grown in just a school year and most of all feeling super proud and accomplished to see what we got to do together and all of the goals the kids were able to accomplish!
The basic portfolio needs these things included:
- Curriculum List
- Field Trips and Extracurricular Activities List
- Educational Games List
- Educational Films and Programs List
- Reading Lists for each subject
- Cover Sheet for binder
- Short summaries of the year for each subject
Im a little crazy and make our portfolios a little more intense because I figure that at the end of the day, these are not just a portfolios to us..they are a scrapbook of sorts for each child individually. We love looking back on the years before and that makes taking the extra time on these things totally worth it.
It is a tradtion we started when I made Marleigh’s first portfolio 2 years ago for her to write an “All About Me” page. I love her insert “I still like cats” because as we were looking at her old portfolios she put that she liked cats in every one. Totally made me smile! This is also a wonderful way for you to see a clear improvement of their handwriting skills over time.
I break the portfolio up into subjects with dividers and I write a summary of what we did for that subject and our goals. This is done for language arts, math, science and social studies. And then I put a divider in the back for anything extra we did and for art projects.
We keep a list of what we read, places we visited, and experiments we completed.
In every subject I go through all of their lesson books and scan my favorite pages. I then print them out and add samples of their work for each subject. I also add any kind of worksheets they completed directly into the binder.
At the end of the book I like to add in art projects and photos…LOTS OF PHOTOS…of their year. Even if it had nothing to do with school I think its important to document their favorite moments in these binders for us to look back on over time.
I end each book by letting the kids pick through their most favorite art work. During the year the papers, projects and drawings can get out of hand and I feel guilty tossing them all so we started a folder system a few years ago where they keep their own folders and file away their favorite art works and drawings. At the end of the year they can recycle what the dont want to keep and they can hole punch their favorites and put them in their binder.
I especially like this one from Maddox. Mom with messy bun + coffee + chickens. He knows me well!