"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."
New to Home-School?
Law states: "A PORTFOLIO OF RECORDS AND MATERIALS. THE PORTFOLIO SHALL CONSIST OF A LOG, MADE CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH THE
INSTRUCTION, WHICH DESIGNATES BY TITLE THE READING MATERIALS
USED, SAMPLES OF ANY WRITINGS, WORKSHEETS, WORKBOOKS OR CREATIVE MATERIALS USED OR DEVELOPED BY THE STUDENT AND IN GRADES THREE, FIVE AND EIGHT RESULTS OF NATIONALLY NORMED STANDARDIZEDACHIEVEMENT TESTS IN READING/LANGUAGE ARTS AND MATHEMATICS OR THE RESULTS OF STATEWIDE TESTS ADMINISTERED IN THESE GRADE LEVELS..."
A lot of people are intimidated by the portfolio, thinking that a "mega" portfolio is necessary. As you can see from the quote taken from the law, that is just not so. All that is required for a portfolio is a sampling of your child's work. Some people use their portfolios throughout the year as a filing system (oftentimes making their size quite huge); and some use them as a creative project and an opportunity to use their scrapbooking talents. You may use any system you wish, just remember a LARGE SIZE is not required by the law; and you may make your portfolio a small, glowing example of the best of your student's work.
I started helping my mother assemble my portfolio when I was in the 5th grade. By my freshman year of high school I was doing it on my own! I always enjoyed helping my mom create my portfolio; and, as I got older and became more responsible, I took on the full responsibility of the portfolio. It became a form of creativity for me as I created a "scrapbook" of my year. We still have all of my portfolios, and I enjoy looking through them from time to time.
It is very easy to create a portfolio if you don't put it off until the spring. In the fall, as we were starting school, we would fill a notebook with plastic sheet protectors and use strip tabbing (available at an office supply store) to mark off the different areas of study. Our tabs could be in the following order during the elementary years: evaluation, literature, handwriting, spelling, history/geography and current events, math, science, health and fire safety, physical education, art/ home economics, music, and field trips.
As the year progressed, any tests that I took were immediately placed in the correct category. This way, the portfolio actually acted as our filing system as well. Any exceptional pieces of art work, compositions, or pictures of activities were also immediately placed in the portfolio. Doing the portfolio in this way prevents work from getting lost and also keeps you from pulling your hair out trying to get the portfolio together at the last minute.
At the end of the year we would add the log at the back of the notebook and the evaluation (after we received it) and achievement test (if required) in the beginning. Some unnecessary items we added to our portfolio were a table of contents and a yearly report card given by my parents in the front of the portfolio. I enjoyed seeing my report card, and I like the organized feel that the table of contents gave to my portfolio.Here are suggestions for compiling portfolios:
The portfolio must be submitted by the end of the school year. See law. The Pennsylvania Department of Education's definition of a school year is July 1 to June 30, so the portfolio and related materials need to be submitted to your superintendent prior to June 30.
Although the deadline to submit the affidavit, purposes, and required immunization and health records for the next school year is not until August 1, it is nice to get it done ahead of time and submit it at the same time as the portfolio. Be sure you make a list of the documents that you are submitting to the superintendent and have an official sign the statement as your receipt. (Due to the great amount of materials submitted to the superintendent's office, it is remotely possible for your submissions to be separated and/or lost.)
Copyright © 2003 BuxMont Parent
We are not lawyers; and, while we have researched the PA home-school law in careful detail, we are not offering legal advice.
If you need legal counsel, you should consult a professional attorney or HSLDA.