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Should I Use a Homeschool Portfolio?

A homeschool portfolio is simply a way to keep track of your student’s educational progress. Whether you’re a brand new or longtime homeschooling parent, the question of record keeping is at the top of your list. Your child’s education is important to you and this is a decision you want to get right. Because of this you’ll have a lot of questions about a portfolio. Your questions might include:

  • Am I legally required to keep a portfolio in my state?
  • What types of things should go in a portfolio?
  • Is there an age at which I should begin keeping a portfolio?
  • Is a portfolio different from a transcript?

You might be wondering if keeping a homeschool portfolio is worth the extra work. What if your state doesn’t require it? Good questions! The last thing any homeschool parent wants is more work.

There are many great benefits to keeping one. Here are 5 big reasons to keep a homeschool portfolio.

5 Big Reasons to Keep a Homeschool Portfolio

  1. Records your child’s learning. Documenting your child’s learning, even if it’s not something your state legally requires, is just smart. Why? It keeps you accountable. This is an important consideration when curious family members, friends, and spouses ask how you know things are getting done. Being able to say, “We keep and maintain a homeschool portfolio,” eases the burden of knowing how to answer.  It also offers them a sense of confidence in your ability to educate your children. It may not seem all that important to you when your child is seven. But what about when they’re seventeen? It will be critically necessary when the time comes to create a transcript for graduation and college applications.
  2. Declutters your school. A digital homeschool portfolio keeps important work out of file folders, shoe boxes, and desk drawers. There is no more wondering where you last saw the science report on otters. You can easily access previous work.
  3. Reduces parental stress. Having a homeschool portfolio helps you manage the worry of what to do when asked for proof that you homeschool by any government official. It can also give you guidance when you must seek out alternative learning opportunities for a child who is struggling. Imagine how much help having a record of student work would be to a tutor or special education teacher.
  4. Prepares your student for life.  If you have a well designed homeschool portfolio you can give your children an advantage when applying for volunteer opportunities, work, and college. It shows the strength of your child’s work.  It is also a record of the volume of activity accomplished. This gives value to the numbers and letter grades on a transcript or job application.
  5. It’s fun. Having a homeschool portfolio is a simple goal for your homeschool. Every completed project is another opportunity to build your portfolio. The finished product will be a portrait of your student’s work.

Keeping a Homeschool Portfolio Makes Good Sense

If you need more than five big reasons to keep a homeschool portfolio, this bonus one might be the best of all. When you choose to keep a digital homeschool portfolio you make sharing the contents super easy. Think of the many ways you can record your homeschool day. It doesn’t all have to be written work.

Homeschooling in the modern world includes voice recording, field trips, written work, and vacation pictures. Being able to record on the fly keeps your focus on learning. This freedom is a big part of why you enjoy homeschooling.  A digital portfolio supports this.

In today’s world, the ability to easily share a record of your student’s work makes keeping a digital homeschool portfolio a wise decision.

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