Are you looking for a way to help your kids retain more of the information they learn during their school day? By using a tool such as a homeschool portfolio, you can assist your kids in retaining the information they learned during lesson time. Make the record keeping simple and fun. Get the kids involved, because when they play an active role, learning sticks. Let’s look at some effective ways to keep it easy and enjoyable.
Pick Your Paper
Think about the types of recording you want to do and work these into something the kids can do. Your youngest children can help as well. Here are some ideas to help you pick your paper:
- Use a printable calendar and let them check off the box each day.
- Use check-the-box record keeping templates for things such as completed lessons.
- Create or find a simple fill-in-the-blank document for recording highlights from their day of learning.
- Make a graphic organizer to print out. Your kids can then see how their learning is connected.
- Use Post-It notes to create a moveable planner.
Kids love taking pictures, so including photos in their homeschool portfolio is a great way to make them part of the process. Whether you are using a digital camera or an instant film camera, you can inspire your kids to record their learning with photos. These are some fun things to capture:
- putting together a meal from a recipe
- receiving an award
- winning a spelling bee
- a picture of a sketch or painting
- a field trip
- a multi-step project
- a family reunion ancestry project
- grade level graduations
Try Some Tech
One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is having the freedom to try different approaches to learning. Technology is a good example. Whereas parents may have grown up before the microwave was around, today’s kids are tech-savvy. Here are some ways to include tech in your portfolio building:
- Collaborate web tools. These are especially helpful for your tweens and older teens. Tools that encourage communication, allow commenting on projects, screen sharing, or chatting on projects, can inspire learning and increase retention. They can also use these tools to share a notebook or build a Wiki page.
- Flip your classroom. This is a method of using online video formats such as YouTube or Vimeo to capture or produce video lessons. In a regular classroom, the homework is project based and done at home. As a homeschooling family, you could do a fun family project based on a TedTalk or streamed learning. In a way, homeschools are already flipped classrooms.
- Pinterest. Most homeschool moms are already pinning things on Pinterest. Create boards for your kids to use and allow them to make project boards. Under your supervision, they can browse by topic or project and create book lists, collaborate on projects, and find inspiration. The Educator’s Guide to Pinterest is a handy guide for using Pinterest for education.
- Technology as a method of teaching. Rather than simply teaching the use of technology in the homeschool, utilize it as a method. Harness technology forms such as Wikipedia, online encyclopedias, and podcasts.
Because you homeschool, all of your daily activities are opportunities to make memories. Furthermore, these are great things to record in your homeschool portfolio. Think of the many fun ways you can incorporate memory-making into your learning—hands-on activities, technology, and even your digital camera. Whether it is the struggles or the smiles, you have a memory to record. It can lighten up school time and keep the kids busy with fun.
A digital planner or portfolio is a good way to bring all of the teaching and learning moments under one umbrella. Let your kids help you decide what works will go into their planners. If your kids are older and preparing for college, it is especially relevant to let what colleges are looking for be a guide for you. Because you have the big picture in mind, you can create something fun that increases retention and helps kids learn in an effortless way.