What Is Three Of The Most-Played Musical Instrument In Africa Creating, Maintaining and Presenting a Homeschool Portfolio

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Creating, Maintaining and Presenting a Homeschool Portfolio

Many school districts now require homeschoolers to submit portfolios that show their students’ progress in an organized manner. This is actually a very convenient method of recording whenever done properly. Here are some ideas on how to create, maintain, and present your homeschool portfolio for a successful assessment, evaluation, and review.

First of all, it is important to understand exactly what a home education portfolio is. Basically, a homeschool portfolio is a collection of materials used to present what your child has learned during the “school year”. This is important because many states require annual assessment of homeschooled students through tests or portfolio presentation. Although it seems that maintaining a portfolio is only good to the extent that you have to comply with the law. This is not the case however. Portfolios can also help parents and their children document their progress and achievements. This becomes even more important once a child has reached high school and needs a diploma.

Now that we understand the importance of a portfolio, it is also important to understand that there is no right or wrong way to create a portfolio. It depends on the parent and/or the child which materials the bag will contain. However, you should choose a variety of material in order to reflect what the child has learned, experienced and achieved during the year. Some items you should include in your portfolio are: Suggested items to include are:

(1.) A journal containing notes on the activities and progress made.

(2.) List of resources (ie books, computer software, games, toys, and outdoor classes).

(3.) Examples of the child’s work (i.e. examples of creative writing and drawings, textbook pages or workbooks, and if possible you can include audio or video tapes of your child singing, playing an instrument, reading aloud or taking part in a dramatic performance – sometimes pictures will work well instead of audio or video tapes).

(4.) Pictures of field trips, artwork, projects, and family life.

(5.) Brochures and brochures of field trips and other activities.

(6.) A list of books the child has read includes both the title and the author.

(7.) List your goals for the year.

Although this may seem quite overwhelming, you’ll really be surprised how easily you can achieve this when you start preparing your portfolio at the beginning of the year. Simply use a three-ring binder and add paper to your documentation. Start by detailing some of your goals for the year and what resources you will use to achieve those goals (these can be changed throughout the year as needed). Then start collecting samples of work, organize them by topic, and punch holes to place them in your binder. Always have at least a camera handy so you can capture anything you want your child to do (ie reading, playing, dancing). You will also want to take pictures on trips as well as pictures of your child’s projects and creations. These photos can be placed in a photo album or if you’re feeling really crafty, you can organize them in an album. You’ll also want to be sure to keep any brochures or other paper items you collect while on an educational trip. They can be easily placed in clear transparent sheet protectors. This is also a good time to start accumulating a list of books being read.

Once you’ve assembled the beginning of your portfolio, don’t stop there. Regular maintenance (I suggest weekly as it will help you write your lesson plans for the next week) should include regular journal entries and an ongoing collection of work samples, photos and anything else you’d like to include. Some school districts will require a quarterly evaluation during your home school year. This is the time for parents and children to reflect on their progress and achievements from the previous months. However, even if your school district doesn’t require a quarterly review, you don’t want to wait until the end of the year to scramble and race to put together a portfolio that your school district will approve. Neither you nor your child deserves to go through the unnecessary stress of having to sort through all the material collected during the year.

When it comes time for testing, you can choose to remove some materials from your portfolio. You’ll find that some of these things just don’t properly reflect what you’ve accomplished throughout the year. If/when you decide to weed your portfolio, you should remember that the purpose of the review is to provide an overview of the homeschooling year, to demonstrate that the child is engaged in homeschooling and that progress is being made.

Reviewing portfolios can be exciting because it gives parents and children time to talk about what they have been doing at home. When you talk about this with your child, you may find it helpful to write a summary of the items you want to highlight during your year before the review. For example, if your child has learned to read or master a skill, you may want to mention this to the visitor. Of course, never view your portfolio review as a time to judge or ridicule you. This is the time to listen, learn and support from your visitor. Your child does not need to be present at this time. However, if your child wants a chance to “show off” their achievements and progress in front of other homeschoolers, then this review is a perfect opportunity for them to do so.

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