Friday, June 18, 2010

A Homeschool Portfolio

These are copy of papers that I have to sign after the meeting.

This is my cover letter that BOE has to sign after the meeting.

Alhamdulillah, I finished the portfolio meeting for school year 2009-2010 with Board of Education. My oldest son will be dropped for the next year portfolio because he is already taking classes in college. I will still have to do for my youngest son. Insha Allah.

I would like to share my experience about this meeting.
Insha Allah, it will be useful to others.

  • What is a Home-school Portfolio?

    Some states require an annual assessment of homeschooled students.

    The annual assessment can be in form of periodic testing or the presentation of a portfolio.

    Basically, a homeschool portfolio is a collection of materials that are used to show what your child has learned during the school year.

  • The Important of Portfolio

    Some homeschooling family need a portfolio is because of the law in some state.
    Portfolio can help parents to record their children progress and achievements, especially when the children are homeschooling through high school.
    It is also important to help to make a transcript in their high school program.

    If your state requires you to keep records, then you should:
    • pay attention to any filing dates and submit paperwork promptly
    • remember to submit only the information required by your state law.
    • create a portfolio, which show her/his how much she has learned and her/his progress.

  • How and What To Present A Homeschool Portfolio

    I always create my own way to make this record keeping more informative for others and useful for the future. You can create your own record keeping which is depending on your children activities. My children love reading the books, working on the textbooks, and doing programming on computer. For the meeting, I create a list of reading books, a list of the textbooks for each subject with the explanations, and some sample of their computer works. I also bring some of their Arabic writing, an album of pictures of their activities and the field trips, and the audio of their reading Al Qur'an.

    Then I print and collect all the important documents in a binder.

    You can choose any variety of materials to reflect what your child has learned, experienced and accomplished throughout the year.
    Some suggestion materials are:
    • a journal which contains notes about your child,
    • a report card or a progress of your child for all the subjects,
    • a list of textbooks or workbooks pages,
    • a list of computer software or websites,
    • a list of outside classes or online classes,
    • a list of activities and achievements of your child,
    • samples of the child's work, such as :
      • samples of creative writing,
      • samples of drawings,
      • and sample worksheets of each subjects.
    • audio or video tapes of your child,
    • pictures of your children activities,
    • photos of field trips, artwork, projects and family life,
    • brochures and booklets from field trips and other activities,
    • a list of books that the child has read including both the title and the author,
    • a list of your goals for the year,
    • and a monthly or weekly schedule of your child during the school year.

  • Who Will You Meet in The Portfolio Meeting

    In the meeting, I meet with the Director of Pupil, the Board of Education in my school district. He usually ask some of the questions, such as:
    • How are your homeschooled children?
    • Where are the sample of worksheets of your children?
    • Are you going to continue for next year? or drop?
    • How is the social life for your children?
    • Do you have any problem in your home-school?
    • What is your plan for next year?

    The director will not asking any question at all about our homeschool, if I bring some sample of my children school works. He only ask me that if I am going to continue the homeschooling or not.
    But this year, I didn't bring any sample of my children school works. The director asked me to bring some sample next time because he wanted to see the actual works. You can read his comment in one of the pictures above.
    It's not easy to bring all the materials in 5-6 plastick bags or in a big box in the meeting.

  • How Long Is The Meeting?

    The meeting is only taking 5-10 minutes for each child.

  • When Is The Portfolio Meeting?

    You will get a mail from Board of Education. You have to choose and confirm to the date of meeting with the Board of Education.
    Usually the meeting is taking place at the end of school year around June, July, or August.

  • Things To Remember in Portfolio Meeting.

    Things that I always have to remember in portfolio meeting are:

    • never bringing children to the meeting.
    • to ask the Board of Education, who is in meeting with us, to sign on my cover letter of portfolio meeting in my bundle of record keeping for my children.
    • always remembering that the purpose of portfolio meeting is to overview of the homeschool year that the child is have been done in homeschooling and that progress is being made.
    • keeping a portfolio is a great keep sake, a good way to chart progress and keep records.
    • not to copy any your child works for Board of Education, except the transcript from the institution where your child attended the classes. With this transcript, your child will be dropped for the next portfolio meeting.
    • to copy the papers which you are signing on for your record.
    • asking any support in your school district, such as textbooks, school facility, and important information regarding the testing or others.
    • making a lot of doa to Allah.

    I hope that this article is useful for you.

    May Allah make it easy on your homeschooling journey. Ameen.

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