Friday, June 24, 2011

Portfolio Time/Kotikoulukansiot

Two cold and rainy days here in Maine have provided this homeschool mama (finally) some extra time to put together four homeschool portfolios. As we are residents in Florida, we have a few options how to wrap up our homeschool year. One of them is to have a certified teacher/evaluator in Florida take a look at our homeschool portfolios (which we are required to keep by law anyway) and write up a Certificate of Review which will be mailed to our county homeschool office to show we meet all the Florida homeschooling requirements.

I would definitely recommend all homeschool families to start on their portfolios as soon as they start homeschooling. That way special projects and samples of work can be added throughout the year, and when it is time to do the evaluations, you can just pull out your beautiful work and show off all you did that year. Even if your state doesn't require it, these portfolios would be wonderful keepsakes for you and your children.

It would be a lot of work to start from scratch right before the portfolio evaluations are due.

I know this from experience. Yes, I had to start from the beginning yesterday, and I'm sure I left out a lot of special events and outings we did as a homeschool family this year. Yes, it was a ton of work. I spent about six hours on the first portfolio, and then 2-3 hours on the next ones. Yes, I still had all the housework and cooking and everything else to do, too. No, I don't recommend this way. However, some people just work best under pressure :)

Being a techie traveling homeschool family we are going to do this a little differently. We found an evaluator in Florida who is willing to do an online evaluation! Instead of making pretty portfolio binders, I made portfolio emails and sent them off to Florida. Our evaluator is going to go through all the info, and we made appointments with her this Monday to have our interviews via video iChat. Works great, since we are in New England for the summer!

What I included in each of the portfolio emails (bare bones, since I was short on time):

1) a digital photo of our our letter of registration from our county
2) 2010 - 2011 Curriculum List (including our Monarch curriculum and co-op + extra classes)
3) a couple of digital photos of certificates earned this year
4) a link to more info about Monarch and our online classes, as well as a link to our homeschool co-op
5) curriculum samples (three from each subject: from the beginning, middle and the end). These I attached as pdf-prints from online showing the students lessons, quizzes and tests and their answers. (Very time consuming! But so glad I can pull these off Monarch easily.)
6) I also added a report card produced by Monarch (not required)
7) Daily Activities Log, which is required by law. I attached two pdf's from our travels that I had kept online, but I still need to scan a couple of pages from my handwritten notebook I have kept (but forgot in New Hampshire during our last travel). So thankful I did keep the daily log!!!
8) Lastly, a sample list of books read during last school year. Unfortunately we didn't keep a list. Fortunately my kids read a ton, so it was fairly easy to put together a list of 20-30 books for each.

Overall, I have to say the homeschooling requirements were easier in New Hampshire (where we finished our first year). I have done a little research on Maine requirements, and I think we'll stick to homeschooling in Florida ;-)


Viimeiset kaksi päivää olen puurtanut hullun lailla kotikoulukansioiden parissa. Floridan osavaltio vaatii meitä pitämään kansioita jokaisesta oppilaasta, ja vuoden lopulla meidän pitää täyttää osavaltion vaatimukset, ennen kuin voimme jatkaa tulevana vuonna. Floridassa on muistaakseni neljä eri tapaa saada kotikouluvuosi valmiiksi, me valitsimme tavan, jossa opettaja arvioi ja käy läpi meidän kansiot, ja kirjoittaa todistuksen, että on käynyt läpi meidän materiaalimme. Onneksi löysimme arvioijan, jolle voin lähettää meidän kansiot sähköpostina, ja maanantaina hän haastattelee koululaisia video iChatin kautta. Pian on saatu 6. luokka purkkiin! Yllä englanniksi listaa mitä minun piti koota kokoon.


  1. This makes Georgia requirements seem like a piece of cake! I think it is awesome, though, that you can do it all remotely - how cool is that?

  2. Mary, I think there would have been easier ways had we actually finished our year in Florida. Like having my students take a standard test. But this seemed like the best way while staying in Maine :) New Hampshire was SO MUCH easier.

  3. Hmmm...I always figured Maine was easy! Instruction for 175 days and a portfolio assessment with a certified teacher. (If only I could do my own as I'm a certified teacher! LOL) I spend a little time every 4-6 weeks on our portfolios during the school year. By May, I'm ready to add the finishing touches and add our reading, field trip, activity, and curriculum lists.

  4. Jessy, you are smart to do it around the year! Sounds similar to FL but we don't have the # of days required. NH didn't have the portfolio, which was a huge relief. Neat that you are a certified teacher! Do you offer portfolio assessment to other ME homeschoolers?

  5. wow! that does sound like a lot of work! thanks for the heads up... though it doesn't apply to me yet, i know that your words of encouragement and advice are very helpful for all the other homeschooling mamas! :)

  6. Thank you, jdavis2! I didn't find a whole lot of info online on the portfolios, so I figured I should explain what we did for the benefit of others. Plus in a few months I probably won't remember any of this, but then I can go back to my own posts :) (It's embarrassing how often I have to do that!) LOL!!

  7. Helpful advice--we're in Florida and starting homeschool this year. Looks like you're having a blast up north:) And you're missing the awful heat:)

  8. Christina - as much as we miss FL, we don't miss the heat :) Let me know if you'd like the info on our evaluator!

  9. Love you how wrote about your portfolio process! Here, in Minnesota, there are no portfolio requirements. While I like that, sometimes I think it would be nice to have that extra accountability.

    Blessings to you.

    {and thank you again for your comment on my blog -- I've emailed you back}

  10. Thank you, Rachel, for your comment and email! NH didn't have a portfolio requirement either - it does make things easier..

  11. Huh, ei olisi pitänyt lukea tätä postausta näin aamusta, tuli itselle niin laiska olo kun luin millainen homma sinulla on ollut kotikouluvuoden päättämisessä. Olette kyllä koko joukko lomanne ansainneet. Ja aina täytyy muistaa että sinulla nuo hommat on kertaa neljä.

  12. Hehee, Bloggaajaäiskä, oikeasti tuli kunnolla laiskoteltua aurinkopäivinä, minä osaan sen taidon hyvin :) Mutta sitten pitääkin rehkiä vauhkona taas pari päivää :)

  13. Ugh, did you finish yet? Virginia is really easy, thankfully!!

  14. Saina, do you need to do anything about K?