Example of a Homeschool Portfolio

Students who homeschool experience a variety of learning methods, both traditional and nontraditional. To evaluate the effectiveness of those learning experiences, educators occasionally require homeschooled students to provide a portfolio. Homeschool portfolios should provide an overview of the student's learning achievements and furnish the reader with insight into the student's abilities.

  1. Function

    • The homeschool portfolio should give an accurate summary of academic and personal achievements. Certain states require a yearly evaluation by an accredited teacher to prove regular academic progress. Homeschool portfolios can demonstrate to another educator what was studied the previous year and how well the student mastered the subjects. The homeschool portfolio can also function as an objective, personal assessment of all topics studied to determine the course of study for the next school year.


    • Homeschool portfolios can come in a variety of formats. The most common portfolio for homeschooling students is the three-ring binder, divided into different subjects. Some homeschooled students prefer more of an artistic, scrapbook approach to a portfolio. A filing box can hold more paper for a more detailed portfolio. Students preparing for a professional career may want to use a portfolio case of their best work to show when interviewing for jobs or future educational opportunities.


    • All homeschool portfolios should include some basic information along with work that shows the student's personal strengths. It's possible to compile a portfolio from daily records to include a record of days in school, course of study and educational materials used, including books read, field trips taken and educational videos watched. Homeschool portfolios should also include an overview of assessments such as test scores, written essays, projects and research papers. Many students participate in extracurricular activities such as sports or volunteer work, and this can be included in a portfolio, as well. Portfolios can also document any awards or recognition given for these extra activities.


    • The high school portfolio can keep a cumulative record or just be a memory book.
      The high school portfolio can keep a cumulative record or just be a memory book.

      Homeschool portfolios need to contain enough information to create a definitive assessment of what has been learned in school. Homeschooling students also occasionally need to keep a cumulative portfolio of work and topics covered year-by-year. This portfolio can be the basis of a high school transcript or a cumulative review for an educational adviser. Portfolios for personal use do not need to be cumulative, but record only the highlights of the student's educational experience.

    Reasons for Portfolios

    • Homeschool students may choose keep portfolios for several reasons. A few states require homeschooling families to keep portfolios of each child's work and assess them annually. Many university applications require homeschooled students to submit a portfolio explaining their education and quality of work. Many parents wish to keep a yearly portfolio of each child's work to serve as a memory book of what they learn each year. Since the portfolio documents individual success by preserving key written material produced by the homeschooled student, a portfolio can be a record that students will enjoy referencing when remembering their school days.

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  • Photo Credit school days image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com a blue empty binder image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com

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