5 Reasons to Use Portfolios in Your Homeschool

Homeschool portfolios are a great way to keep documentation of your student’s progress in one place. As you are getting started homeschooling, however, it can be challenging to know what should be included in the portfolio, so you may add a bit of everything. Then, you blink, and suddenly your cute, organized, #MomGoals portfolio is brimming with messy paperwork and feels nearly impossible to sort through. As a result, you may even decide keeping a portfolio simply isn’t worth the hassle.

Thankfully, as experienced homeschoolers, we have a few techniques to keep this all-too-familiar situation from happening again. At the root of this disorganization is the fear of not keeping enough. So, our portfolio organizer is here to help you know exactly what you should keep and reduce the guesswork!

Before you can know how to use a portfolio though, you need to know more about it. You’ll hear the term tossed around in homeschooling circles, but what is the definition of portfolios, and specifically, what are portfolios for homeschooling? In our experience, it’s helpful to hear about and see what other homeschooling families have successfully used, so researching example portfolios for homeschooling can give you an idea of what you’ll need. 

When considering the definition of a portfolio, it is fluid and flexible. A portfolio, usually kept in a binder with dividers, showcases the best of your student’s work in multiple subject areas. It is a displayed compilation of your homeschooler’s strengths and aptitude. In addition to progress, portfolios exhibit achievements, efforts, and honorable mentions. 

Portfolios are helpful and convenient for several reasons. Here are our top five!

  • Fulfill state requirements. If you are just now getting started homeschooling, you’ll want to make certain to follow your state’s laws. Several states and provinces require a homeschool portfolio for each child to demonstrate their work throughout the year.
  • Collect memorable creative work. In addition to essays and assignments, a homeschool portfolio is a wonderful way to organize your homeschooler’s artwork, projects, stories, and so on. A portfolio showcases their creativity while keeping it neat and tidy.
  • A quick overview of progress. A portfolio will follow your child’s work from beginning to the end of a homeschool year. This timeline allows for easily tracking your homeschooler’s improvement over the year in a visual format.
  • Catalog your homeschool year. As we plan for new homeschool years, we often find ourselves going back to previous planners, schedules, and boxes of documents for reference or answers about what we’ve already completed. Keeping a homeschool portfolio will offer those answers in one place.
  • Simplifies Grades and Transcripts. If you forgot to record your children’s grades or take down the details for their transcripts at the beginning of the year, portfolios can easily help fill in those gaps.