One of the most visited posts on my blog is this one – entitled Homeschool Portfolio 1,2,3. Here in PA, in addition to have our children evaluated, we are also required (by PA Homeschool Law) to turn a portfolio in to the local school district along with the letter signed by our evaluator saying that they looked over everything and it was “good to go”). Now, I’ve heard from some friends in other areas of PA that their school district does not require the portfolios. Ours does, so I comply.
I have always enjoyed creating the portfolios. They are a nice keepsake for the girls to look back on. And for me, a confessed former packrat, they keep me from saving more than what actually needs to be saved. Anything that doesn’t go in the portfolio gets tossed at the end of the school year.
However, they are also a lot of work! If I put things into a binder throughout the school year, that certainly helps. But, I find that I often put it off ‘til the end of the year, then have to scramble to get everything together, copies made, portfolio bound, etc. I’m a perfectionist, so settling for a sloppy 3-ring binder never worked for me! Everything has to be just so!
Last year, we decided to try something new . . . rather than putting records of all our field trips into our portfolios (I had been doing them like digital scrapbook pages), we created videos. We put the videos on cd’s and attached them to the inside back cover of the portfolios. When we showed them to our evaluator, she said she had heard of people going totally paperless with their portfolios.
At the time, I didn’t give it much thought; but when portfolio time rolled around this year, that idea popped into my head too. I mean, our schedules, books logs, grades, etc. are all kept on the computer anyway. So, we created our videos, I made sure everything else was in order, and we took my computer to our evaluation. Simple, convenient, and takes up no room!
My thought process was that we would put all the information on cd’s, put the cd’s into a storage “book” of some sort, and turn that into the district. No such luck. Every cd I inserted into my computer gave me an error. Fortunately, Brian had been given a memory stick (or whatever you call them) as part of a “goodie package” at a golf tournament recently. Everything fit on that one little “thing” (with cd’s, I’d have had to put each video – 1 long one for Ashley and 2 shorter ones for Gracie – on their own cd, and the “paperwork” on 2 cd’s as well).
On Wednesday, I went in to the school district with an envelope containing our evaluator letters and that stick. That’s it!
I’ll let you know how they are received. I’m not sure if we’ll go this route again next year or not. We’ll see. I actually bought Gracie her own personal planner this year, so I don’t plan to keep a 2nd copy on my computer. I’ll have to think about it.