Monday, May 26, 2014

End of the Year Homeschool Portfolio

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Congratulations!  The end of May brings Memorial Day weekend, beaches, barbeques, and quite possibly the end of your homeschool year.  The process of putting together everything your children have learned for a whole year may seem overwhelming.  Every state is different so be sure to check out your state's homeschool laws to see what is acceptable for your end of the year portfolio.  Some states also require that your child is tested by a standardized test or meets with a certified evaluator.  The homeschool portfolio makes it easy for the evaluator to see what you have taught your child for the year.  Today, I am going to share with you how a little bit of work each month helps that end of the year portfolio become a piece of cake!

1. The first step you want to do is make sure you are filling out a weekly planner or log of what your child has covered.  I separate mine out by days of the week on the left, and each column represents subjects such as:
~Bible and Reading
~Arts, Music and Physical Education
~Motor and Social Skills, and Critical Thinking
~Science and Social Studies
This is also good because if I feel an area is too blank like this week, I try to put extra emphasis on those sections the following week.
It is also important to date each worksheet or project your child worked on and document that in the planner.  Just in case a paper gets loose in your portfolio or if the evaluator asks when this project was completed, you have a date on the item and it documented in your planner. 

At the end of the year, take out that same piece of paper you wrote at the beginning of the year and look at what your child has accomplished or areas you may want to work on for next year.  Every child learns at their own pace and this is not a competition or a comparison.  You are the teacher and you know how your child learns best and what they need to know.
2. Each month, keep a piece of paper for a reading log and document all the books and authors your child has read, or the books you have read to your child.
Each month I print out a reading log.  This helps me to keep track of the books I read with my sons.  It also is the top sheet for each sleeve I put into the homeschool portfolio so I know what month it is and all the worksheets, projects, and crafts I put into the sleeve behind the reading log.  I have a regular folder I keep the reading log in along with the worksheets for that month.  At the end of the month, I pack everything into a sleeve and put it into the homeschool binder.
I also have a teacher planner that a friend gave me from Abeka.  I label each area that I consider important such as Reading and Bible, Art/Music/Physical Education, Motor and Social Skills and Critical Thinking, Writing, Math, and Other (Science, Social Studies, Computer work: and  Here is also a great Planner by HEDUA.  The planner helps me keep everything organized for what the boys learned that week.  You can choose to label the subject areas with the subjects you are comfortable with.  My sons are still young so I don't have a separate Science or Social Studies area for them yet.  We usually do one weekly activity in this section.
At the beginning of the homeschool year, write down what you want your child to learn for that year.  Write down important subjects or topics you want them to learn about.  This is a good tool to have when evaluating at the half way point in the year to see if you are on track for where you wanted your child's learning to be.  Also, write down their favorite things like color, subject, TV show, food, or toy.  It is amazing to see how different those items can be in a years time or less!  I am also the Mom who takes the first day of school picture and last day of school picture but that's not necessary for your homeschool portfolio, just a Mommy portfolio :)  Here is a link to The Life in Bloom and she has amazing free templates for beginning of the year questions and a cute place for your child's photo. (That's what's on the front of my sons binder)
3. At the end of the month, place all the projects, papers, worksheets, or anything you and your child have done together into a folder or a plastic sleeve.  Place the Monthly Reading log on top and label it for that month, such as August 2014.
4. When it gets to the end of the year, place all the plastic sleeves (or folders if you chose to do folders) together in a binder.
Where I live, it is required that the homeschool portfolio be kept for at least 2 to 3 years just in case the state decides to come in and audit what you have done.  In this case, it is good to also have legal representation for your homeschool rights, such as Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).  I have a large plastic bin where I intend to keep all homeschool portfolios once they are complete for the year.  I also intend to keep most of the projects we work on together after this time has passed, because it is memories of all the work we did together.

*Some states require that you keep your child's portfolio for a certain amount of years so don't throw them out right away!  They make awesome keepsakes also to see how much your child has learned!*
5. This is what each of the months looks like out of the binder.  With a little maintenance each week or month, end of the year portfolio will be all done and after the evaluation, you can relax and enjoy the summer with your family! 
How do you keep everything together for your child's homeschool work?  I am a first year homeschool Mom and I found this system has worked well for me but I am always open for new ideas!  If you are getting ready to end your homeschool year or continue through to the summer, I wish you all a Happy Memorial Day and hope you have an amazing summer!
Part of this article originally appeared on Satisfaction Through Christ on 5/26/14, and was updated on 4/14/15.

#homeschool #Christian




  1. I just found you through Top Mommy Blogs. Love your blog! Thanks for sharing ideas!

    1. Thanks, Melissande! I am truly inspired through things from day to day and I love to offer to share what I learn from these experiences :)

  2. I really need help in this area! Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Thank you for commenting and I am glad that this was helpful to you! It just takes a little bit of practice each month and then it becomes super easy!

    2. Thanks for sharing with#SmallVictoriesSundaylinky. I love reading about how homeschoolers organize anf execute their days even though I do not homeschool myself. Hope you join us again this weekend!

    3. Thanks for hosting Small Victories Linky, Tanya! I am enjoying all of the posts every week! Yes, it helps me to stay organized each month so it is not a crazy pile of papers at the end of the year!

  3. Thanks for sharing this post on #SmallVictoriesSunday. Added to the Small Victories Sunday Pinterest board. Hope you will join in again next week!

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I love #SmallVictoriesSunday and I should have a new post this week :)

  4. The link below your photo doesn't seem to be working? I tried to read your guest post at Satisfaction Through Christ but received an error message that the page no longer exists....

    1. Hello and thank you for your comment! I had the article posted as a guest post so I will work on putting the article back up on my blog soon! Have a wonderful weekend :)