So you’ve made a homeschool portfolio before. It sat on the shelf collecting dust until the day before your annual evaluation when you pulled an all-nighter trying to cram a year’s worth of work into it. (Not that I would know this from experience or anything. *cough*)
You know, we really give ourselves a hard time about this kind of stuff. As a homeschool mom, there is a lot on your plate. Trust me, I know. Even if you are a pretty organized person, things can easily get behind and you find yourself sitting there at midnight stuffing the portfolio before your evaluation. Or worse, you just give up and throw the papers in the trash.
I’ve got a better idea. Wouldn’t you like to know the secret to keeping up with your homeschool portfolio all year? Wouldn’t you like to be free from those piles of paper that somehow become completely random over the course of even just a few weeks? I know you would and that’s why I’m going to tell you my secrets.
5 Secrets to Keeping Up with Your Homeschool Portfolio
1. Start before the year starts.
Yes, I mean it. Before the first day of school, sit down with your kids and create the portfolio. Put in dividers, set up checklists, decorate the front, etc. If you have a landing spot ready for collecting all of those papers, it’s super easy to slip them in once school starts.
If you wait, it’s just like that mountain of laundry. Before long, it’s so high you can’t even motivate yourself to get started. Don’t let this happen. A few minutes on the front end will set up the whole year for success.
2. Stick with your purpose.
Remember that you are only keeping a sampling. If you try to keep more, you will find yourself discouraged at the work load it takes to preserve your stuff. Don’t fall into that trap. Typically we keep all the work for the week in the front pocket of the binder. At the end of the week, the children go through and choose things that should be saved. Or for some subjects, we save everything and they already know to file it.
3. Make it routine.
Which reminds me, file things in your portfolio on a regular schedule. When you do it is totally up to you. But you NEED to schedule it in. Will you do it at the end of each school day? How about the end of the week? You could even spend time at the end of the month if you want. I would recommend not going any longer than that though.
4. Make it your child’s job.
This is my favorite secret. When I taught 1st grade, I had the kids trained to put things in particular places in their binders. It takes a little training, but it can be done even in the early grades. You’ve got a lot on your plate. Why spend your time doing something that you can easily train your kids to do? Plus you have the added benefit of increasing their responsibility and their sense of ownership. It’s a win-win. Just remember to train them and help them establish a routine for when this should be done.
5. Use tools to help you.
I love the saying, “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” I know it’s cliche, but it is just a good reminder of a great principle. If someone has created something awesome that will make your job easier- use it. Don’t hesitate. Before this year, I used to download printables from several different places in order to make my portfolio process much easier.
This year I’m super excited because I have created all of my favorite printables and put them into one pack. Yay! That right there is worth so much time for me. Plus many of the printables are editable, so they meet a wide variety of needs and circumstances.
The good news is, I’m making this portfolio pack available to you, too! For the next few days, you can grab your own copy for a super low launch price! Click below and get your homeschool organized this year!