Why Should I Keep a Homeschool Portfolio?

What is the Purpose of Keeping a Homeschool Portfolio Anyway?

A portfolio is the story of your child’s learning and adventures, both academic and extra-curricular. Some states require a portfolio assessment each year, but some do not. Why is a portfolio so important to my child’s success?

As discussed briefly on Homeschool Portfolio Ideas,  portfolios do three things.

The purpose of the portfolio is three fold:

chalkboard portfolio LearningKeeper 300x300 Why Should I Keep a Homeschool Portfolio?

  1. To show growth over time.
  2. To celebrate success.
  3. To assess and direct future learning.

 

Show Growth Over Time

We all like to see that we are getting better at what we are doing. Kids are no exception.

 

Celebrate Success

Go on…CELEBRATE!

 

Assess and Direct

If your record keeping is done primarily out of mandate, then you are really missing an invaluable tool as a parent/teacher. Keeping a LearningKeeper portfolio is about moving beyond the portfolio as a mandate to meaningful record keeping. By incorporating hands on learning activities through photo and video, you no longer restrict assessment to paper and pencil tests. Authentic learning demands authentic assessment. The way you teach, and the way you assess are like two sides of the same coin. If you teach to produce regurgitation of facts, then assess by demanding regurgitation of facts. Look for more ways to use authentic assessment strategies in your homeschool in the blog.

Does your current portfolio method give you meaningful information that can drive your  planning and teaching as a parent? Or is your past portfolio strategy just a pile of papers that, if you are lucky, will make it into a three ring binder? Do you look ever look back at those precious pieces of ‘learning’ that you shove into the ‘portfolio’ or do you stressfully have them assessed at the end of the year and then promptly push them into a closet somewhere? If that describes you, there is so much more.

Accessibility

You work hard to homeschool. You do a lot, invest a lot of time, and give it your best. Your children are creating beautiful writing samples, pieces of art, and doing exciting things! So you put them in your portfolio. You may even have a year end assessment.

THEN WHAT?

If you are like the parents we talk with day after day, you likely shove them in a box, in the back of a closet. You may step it up to a nice plastic container. You may pile them in your basement. If you’ve been homeschooling for many years like us… you may even need a storage unit to contain all these treasures.

Treasures. Treasures that you likely never look at again. Learning samples that could be used to activate prior knowledge, motivate your child, celebrate past successes, drive educational decisions, and show progress over time. BUT HOW? They are relegated to the same storage status as old rags.

 

Portfolios are meant to be appreciated. They are the story of your child. They show who they are becoming.

 

LearningKeeper makes keeping, accessing, appreciating, and sharing this story do-able, for even the busiest parent!

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