Keeping a Homeschool Portfolio for High School

A homeschool portfolio is a tool that shows what has been learned. It shows your child's accomplishments. It is often the first impression that your child will make on someone so keep it professional.

What Records to Keep

A portfolio is a selection of work that shows your child's abilities. Each portfolio has a theme and a set audience. Here are some examples of what to include in a high school homeschool portfolio that would go to a college.

  • A cover letter - State who you are. That you are homeschooled. Also state why you are presenting your portfolio. If you have some exceptional pieces of work that you want them to look at say so in the cover letter.
  • A table of contents - List how to find information
  • Examples of high school work - Take pictures of art and other large projects
  • Awards
  • Test scores
  • The copy of the SAT or ACT scoring paper
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Community service

How to Organize a Homeschool Portfolio

This is what I plan to do. It is based on how I created a work portfolio.

I would buy a large three ring notebook. I would use sheet protectors for each page. I would also want some dividers. I might also want a camera to take pictures of artwork or projects that are too large to fit in the portfolio.

The first item in my child's portfolio would be the high school transcript. Then I would have a section for each year of high school.

For each year I would have a section for each class. For classes that I use a textbook, I would make a bibliography. I would note the name of the textbook, the edition, the author, and the publisher. I then would have my child add a paper or two from the beginning, middle and end of the school year.

For other classes I would put in essays and reports. In science I would put in the lab sheet.

I want to show that my children did the work successfully.

If my child took a class outside of home we need to state it on in the portfolio. It is also helpful if your child can get a letter from the teacher stating that your child was in class. Your child should ask for a letter long before the end of class to give the teacher time to respond.

For each year I would also have my child write down all of the books that he reads.

We would keep records of awards that are received each year. It is also important to record the community service activities that your child is involved in. Sports and other activities such as scouts or 4H should also be recorded. I would have a special section for awards and community service in the portfolio.

The last section should be for letters of recommendation. If your child had a job during his high school years ask for a letter. Your child could also ask his pastor or advisors of community service projects. Another place to get letters of recommendation would be from teachers at colleges or trade schools where your child took classes.

The Homeschool Learning Network has an e-book that you can download for free. In the book are forms to help you keep a homeschool portfolio.

Making a homeschool portfolio seems like a lot of work, but if you keep daily records of work completed it should not be too hard.

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