Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular as families decide to take personal responsibility for their child’s education. Each state differs on what they require parents to do to document the child’s school day. Florida requires that parents keep a portfolio that shows curriculum and grade level, samples of work and records needed to indicate the school is functioning as required by law.
How to make the portfolio
Use a three ring-binder to organize the paperwork. Use dividers to divide the work by subject. On each divider, list the subject, the grade level of each subject and names of curriculum being used to teach each subject. Use a separate divider and place either before or after the subject dividers.
In this section, keep track of the school calendar and any days the student missed. This could be used to store daily, weekly or monthly lesson plans, activities, essays or book reports, reading lists, experiments or field trips. Keeping track of extra-curricular activities such as sports they play or social groups they participate in will help show the child is getting a well-rounded education. If the student receives awards, this is a great place to store them for safe keeping.
Keep school work throughout the school year
Designate a box or file cabinet for storing completed school work. When a workbook is completed, add it to the box, as well. This keeps all the work in one location to be used to track progress, select work for the portfolio or to help with finding material to use for quizzes or tests. Each month, select a few pages from the stored school work to put into the portfolio, including any tests the student took.
Place into the appropriate subject in the portfolio. When completing a project, take pictures and store those in the portfolio, as well. This will show progress throughout the school year. It also provides a quick tool for parents to use for making review questions for the student to ensure they are retaining what they learn.
Florida is not strict about what is kept in the portfolio, only that one be kept. Deciding what to put into the portfolio will help an official see that the child is being taught and how well they are learning the material. Portfolios are a great way to prepare for college because the work samples, test scores and activities are all on one place. Many universities require homeschooled students to submit a portfolio, so they serve a dual purpose.