So I don’t have any reporting requirements in my state. Awesome, right?! That doesn’t mean that I don’t keep records though. Nope, I want to be a super responsible homeschooler with detailed records in case I ever need proof of progress in our homeschool. But I’m not about to keep stacks of papers and piles of notebooks in my house. Messy, messy, messy! So, this year I decided to create a digital portfolio to keep our memories and our records for the year.
Here’s what I did……
I created a folder on my desktop called Records. Simple, huh!
Under that folder I have additional folders for Curriculum Lists and one for our Portfolios. There is also another folder called Testing that has all our standardized test results organized by year.
Under the Portfolio folder, I have one folder for each school year.
Within each school year I’ve created a separate folder for each child.
And that’s a lot of folders within folders! But it’s so nicely organized!
In the folder for each child I have them organized in the same way. I’ve numbered each item or folder and here is how they are organized:
List of Curricula
This is at the very top of each portfolio. It contains a Word doc of the list of all the curricula that we used for that school year. The items are listed by subject within the document.
Here’s a sample of part of Curly’s curricula list:
Memory Work Document
Under the list of curricula is a list of the poems and Bible verses that were memorized as part of the year.
Table of Contents
The Portfolio List – This is the next item in our portfolio. It is also a Word doc and it contains the list of everything that is included in our portfolio. I made this as I looked through our curricula list so I could determine what I would need to include in our portfolio for the year. I printed it and used it as a checklist to make sure I didn’t forget any subjects or items as I compiled the portfolio.
Then I saved it at the top as a Table of Contents for the portfolio so I could take a quick glance and know what was included in that year’s portfolio. It is arranged by subject just like the curricula list.
Under each subject I listed the curricula we used. Then I created bullet points for each item I would need to include, such as the order of study or the table of contents from each curricula. It also has bullet points for work samples or videos to show progress that I planned to include in the portfolio.
Here’s a sample of part of Curly’s table of contents:
The rest of the portfolio is a section of folders – there is one for each subject in the same order as the curricula list or the table of contents.
These are my folders:
Arts – This one has a folder for both music and for art.
Within each of the subject folders are our work samples. I took pictures of numerous pages from the beginning, middle, and end of our curriculum from the year. Some sections like the history or literature section also include books that were read throughout the year on those subjects.
I also took videos of the kids reciting poetry, playing their musical pieces, reading a story they wrote, or reciting Bible verses. Some progress was easier to show on video.
Art Power Point
To keep all of our art projects I took pictures of each one throughout the year. Then I copied them into a Power Point presentation with titles that contained info about each picture or the concept that we studied during that project. I also included the artist’s name and the month that the project was completed. So, now I have an entire slideshow of the art from our year. I saved the presentation to our portfolio folder on my computer.
Our Year in Pictures
I also created another Point Point of our year in pictures which has all the best pictures from the year of the kids working around the table or of our fun field trips. It was so encouraging to watch the presentation and see them working together or see our fun trips and museum visits. Homeschool is fun and we do actually leave the house!
So, my portfolio was not designed to meet any state standards or comply with any regulations. I designed it to have a very thorough record for myself. Plus, it is really fun to look back through at their work, especially the Power Point slides and see the progress that has been made. I know with my portfolio I have more than enough to meet any regulations and I’m prepared if I ever need to show proof of progress for any of my kids.