Creating a Portfolio to Document Your Child's Education
Updated: Sep 17
Think of an educational portfolio as comprehensive and organized documentation of your child’s educational progress. As a collection of student's activities, accomplishments, and achievements, portfolios showcase multiple skills including creativity, writing, and proficiency with technology.
Since a portfolio can set you apart from other applicants, professionals often demonstrate their accomplishments, skills, expertise, and attributes through portfolios. Therefore, the knowledge and experience your teenager gains through the portfolio making process will be valuable in years to come. When your child enters his teenage years, have him learn how to create and update his own portfolio and encourage him to explore ways in which he can showcase his portfolio digitally. A high school portfolio can help your teenager obtain a scholarship or help him market himself to colleges, universities, and potential employers. His yearly high school portfolios will become useful tools that you can use when creating your teenager's high school transcript.
The makeup of a great student portfolio varies by grade and subject. The goal of your portfolio should be to paint a detailed and accurate picture of your student's skills and abilities as well as show their progress throughout the year.
Research the homeschool requirements for the state in which you reside. You can find links to each state's homeschool laws here. If you are required to create an educational portfolio for your child and present it at a yearly evaluation, follow the guidelines outlined under your state's homeschool laws and adapt this suggested format to fulfill your state's guidelines.
Include your student in the selection process of sample work from the beginning, middle, and end of each year. If you and your student create a portfolio together, you will enjoy reminiscing about the year, his achievements, and his overall progress.
Supplies needed for an educational portfolio
Large 3-ring view binder
1. Record your child’s name, academic year, and grade on a piece of paper and insert the paper into the clear slot on the front cover of the binder.
2. Label the spine of the binder with the same information listed in step one.
3. As the first page of the binder, display a copy of your child’s nationally standardized test scores.
4. Next, insert a list of curricula used for each subject.
5. Then add your child’s education records including:
Your student's quarterly progress reports/report card
Your student's attendance record
Your lesson plan
Course descriptions which explain what your student learned in each course studied
Note: The scope and sequence from your curriculum publisher will include all course
6. Write the name of each subject on page-divider tabs.
7. The pages that follow each subject's page-divider tab should include:
Written works like essays, short stories, and reports
(Display these items in chronological order to show progress throughout the year.)
8. Optional pages to include under each subject tab
List of books read under the tab labeled “reading”
Special writing projects under the tab labeled “English”
Pictures of art projects under the tab labeled “art”
Pictures of your child demonstrating a science experiment under the tab labeled “science”
9. After you are finished with the subject tabs, label an additional tab for extracurricular and interscholastic activities. Pages following this tab should include your child's records of participation in:
Acting and drama
10. The last tab should be labeled "accomplishments" followed by pages showcasing:
Specialized short courses of study or workshops
Educational portfolios are more than a part of your child's educational record and proof of progress. They also represent your memories and time spent together learning. As a parent, you will enjoy turning the pages of homeschool years past. These time capsules of the years you spent teaching your child will be treasured for years to come!