Alternatives to Traditional Portfolios

Pretty please remember to re-follow my new blog url (link on the left)! Also remember the totally cool giveaway coming next week only for my new blog followers (on this blog).

Here’s today’s Heart of the Matter offering:

By now, most of us have heard the party line about the why and the how of assembling traditional portfolios for our homeschooling students. But, some things just can’t be flattened or captured in a photograph. What do we do with large canvas paintings? What about performances by the future ballerina or actor? How do we best showcase the culmination of thousands of hours of practice for our classical pianist?
We use a professional artist’s portfolio for large-scale art projects and we create an electronic portfolio for videos, audios, and multi-media presentations. This is my daughter’s artist’s portfolio. It is the smallest size I could find at a local art supply store (because I’m cheap!), but it has done the trick. I paid less than thirty dollars for it on sale. This will allow you to showcase over-sized drawings, paintings on canvas and other mediums, and other art projects. For a teen who wants to go to art school, an artist’s portfolio is a must.
Here are some links to help you decide which size/brand is best for your artist:
For musicians, if you can afford to do so, set up time at a professional recording studio in order to get the best results. If you can’t afford that, buy cables to connect the instruments or microphone directly into the computer. Several free programs are available online for download that will enable you to record, mix, and save music into different types of files. The quality of the recording is almost as important as the quality of what is actually being recorded, especially if your musician is planning on using these as college entrance auditions. Dancers, actors, and filmmakers can record their performances and dramas directly onto computer files. Again, be sure the sound quality is superb. Also be wary of poor lighting conditions and outside distractions while you’re doing the actual filming.
With an electronic portfolio, students can control who sees which content. They can create CDs to send to people and even create several different CDs with unique recordings as needed. If the files are stored online (securely, of course), students can refer anyone they wish to that website to view its contents. Another benefit of creating an electronic portfolio is that a lot of information can be stored in a small amount of space. It is portable and can be available to more than one person at the same time.
Here are some links that detail the electronic portfolio process:
The more our high schoolers are involved, the more they will take ownership of their portfolios. Besides, teens will probably come up with ideas that we would never have imagined. Enjoy the process and be creative.
Q4U: What creative ideas have you implemented in the portfolio process? Please share them with the rest of us.

10 thoughts on “Alternatives to Traditional Portfolios”

  1. http://waddleeahchaa.com/We start portfolios in Pre-kinder. We have one folder for each child and select a piece of work and a photo of something they create in a center or out on the playground per month. All folders are kept in a crate and each child knows his or her folder. The children can place the pieces in the folder upon the teachers request or sometimes the child has work they choose to place in the folder. Ideas: Sept. Picture of parent dropping off first day of Pre-K and a self potrait,Oct. picture of a tower child built in block center and child printing name, etc. Be creative and have fun. As a teacher or a parent you can do this too. As the children get older you will have a lot more to keep track of but this is a simple way to get started with young children.


  2. Hi, on the blog walk and wanted to meet ya. I don't do portfolios, but may have to for my artsy teen this time around. Some good ideas and thanks for sharing.Blessings-FM Sheri


  3. Neat ideas! Our state requires portfolios as one of its options for \”seeing student progress\” at years's end. Most families tend to go this route as it's easier (for some). I like the ideas you gave about art and music. Good stuff! Stopping by as part of the TOS Crew.


  4. Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog…Love your ideas for the alternative portfolio. I have an artist/writer in the house, and this is sure to be helpful.


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