Friday, January 4, 2008

"Portfolio's" Do we need them?

Many of us do not think that it is necessary to have or make portfolios for our children. And really I can not stress to you how it really is important to start one as soon as you can.

Here are the main reason why it is so very important.

One I have started looking at a Portfolio as a means to help my children in the future. I cannot make there decisions in life but may be just maybe they want to go to college Or may need the information just to prove that they did in fact receive education.. Being homeschooled is not in the public eye so they can be denied lots of things with out proof of it. Having a portfolio proves to their employers or college professors that they did receive proper education. Below are a few steps you can take to start your portfolio for your homeschool..

Preparing a Homeschool Portfolio taken from:

A portfolio is a viable method to assess, both continually and annually, a student's academic progress.

This approach helps both parent and student compare work objectively during the school year. The following suggestions will help parents prepare the portfolio.
Start by using a journal to keep track of what your child does each school day. I find it works best to have one journal per student, so that you can easily separate each child's work at the end of the year.

There are many good journals on the market, but you can use a simple notebook. Put the child's name and school year on the cover, and on the inside of the cover, write the names of the main textbooks and their respective publishers.

Use the first page to record the name of the homeschool support group and the contact person's name and phone number, as well as any other important numbers you will need throughout the year. It is also a good place to write down those two or three goals you have for the school year.

For each school day, date the page and record specifics, such as "Math: pp 12-13, ex 1-15" and "Read and discussed Chapter 2 of To Kill a Mockingbird." Be diligent in filling in this journal regularly, if you are required to keep accurate records. It is also easier to write down while it is still fresh in your mind versus having to reconstruct at the end of the year. Be sure to add field trips as they occur, along with the reason for the trip.

The site, address, phone number, contact person, and fee should be included for future reference.

I also recommend that one photo album be kept each year. This should include photos and brochures from the field trips the family takes, as well as to show projects in the process of construction and the final presentations.

A picture showing the proud student beside her science project is a great reminder during the portfolio review time.

Keeping a good representative sample of papers from throughout the year can be an overwhelming task if a storage plan is not implemented early in the year. Two possibilities are a file box and a notebook. The first involves having one file box per child, hanging folders, and tabs for each subject. The student dates each paper as it is completed, thus relieving the parent of one task. Simply file each paper in the correct folder, always placing the most recent paper in the front. At the end of the year, either take the whole file box to the reviewer or choose samples from each folder to present.

The second option is to use a large three-ring binder and store samples of the student's work from the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. Be sure to use dividers that are labeled by academic area so that storage can be accomplished quickly.

At the end of the year, a summary for each child should be written that includes the student's full name, address, phone number, birth date and grade. Parents' names are also necessary. A list of academic courses, including what was covered and the main textbooks and their respective grade levels, and special projects should also be added. Write down areas of growth seen in your child as well.

Remember, an organized and complete portfolio presentation helps when you discuss the school year with the reviewer. As we say to our clients, "Relax and enjoy this time of reflection and joy. You have all worked hard this year. We want to enjoy discussing the year with you."

Shirley Minster, Director

Home Education & Family Services and Royal Academy, Inc.

(c) Shirley M. R. Minster 1999

More on portfolios here
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more on this topic later until next time and happy new year (kullu sana wa taibeen)


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