Crew Blog Walk

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the youngest is still snoring! So, I thought I’d spend a few minutes checking out my fellow TOS Crew members’ blogs. I wish I had time to post the list every week. Here is the list from this week’s blog walk:

1. Deanna’s Corner
2. Light, Liberty, and Learning
3. Bunny Trails
4. Flowers N Plaid Homeschool
5. Gadow Ohana
6. His Wonderful Works
7. Expand
8. Confessions of a Homeschooler
9. The Sojourner
10. A Full Heart


(The graphic is courtesy of my First Mate, Debbie, of Debbie’s Digest.)


TOS Homeschool Review Crew Announcement & Weekly Blog Walk

Join us every Tuesday            

Drum Roll, please! I haven an announcement: I have joined the TOS Homeschool Review Crew after a year’s hiatus. Check back regularly throughout the 2010-2011 school year for helpful reviews of middle and high school curricula and general homeschool products. I’m excited to see what TOS has in store for us this year!

Talk a leisurely stroll through some of my fellow crew mates’ blogs. Here are 10 to visit this week. Enjoy!

PLEASE remember to re-follow (or follow for the first time!) this NEW URL. Big giveaway coming next week!


Introduction to Portfolios

Welcome to all the visitors from the Carnival of Homeschooling, hosted by Janice Campbell this week. Thanks for stopping by.

This is a repeat, I admit it, but it’s that time of year again! School’s out and you’re wondering what to do with the plethora of papers under your dining room table. Or, you know you have to make a portfolio, but you  have no idea how to go about it. In the coming weeks, I’ll post more ind-depth directions and thoughts on portfolios, so keep reading!

What does a hard-working homeschooling mom do with all those 3-D projects, art papers, grammar workbooks, math tests? Throw them away? Horrors!! There is an alternative that can make both the “savers” and the “throwers” happy, believe it or not. The solution is to make a portfolio to showcase a selection of each student’s best work throughout the school year. Portfolios are required by law in some states, but they are a good idea for everyone for several reasons: preserving hard work, providing evidence for skeptical grandparents or other family members and friends, planning purposes for younger siblings, and recording grades and/or levels earned.
A meritorious portfolio does not include every single assignment from every single subject. It includes a representation, which has the best writing samples, the best test scores, the best artwork, the best notebooking pages, and the best worksheet pages. It also includes pictures of 3-D projects, field trips, and other activities that can’t be condensed to a single written document.
To grade or not to grade? That debate is a whole separate subject which is goes far beyond the scope of this entry. But, if you choose not to give actual grades or not to fill out a report card (or its equivalent), then a portfolio becomes even more important.  A portfolio gives physical evidence that little Johnny really is a genius – just like you always thought!
The easiest way to make a portfolio to do all along, but it’s never too late to start. My preference is to take my children’s binders (again, a different topic, but I’ll get to that one eventually) about once a month, choose papers to go into the portfolio and trash the rest, unless they’re needed for a later test. Older students who have final exams may benefit from having some of the papers not needed on an every day basis sorted and put into another binder kept on a shelf for future reference.
That’s the ideal. However, I fully realize that it’s June and most of you are just ending your school years. If you’ve got piles, cartons, or binders stuffed full of papers all over your dining room table, that’s OK! Take it one pile at a time. Sort by subject, then by date, then choose the best page or two out of every 10 or 20. Use dividers to separate each subject. Have each child decorate the front of his or her binder, add the year and grade, and you’ve got a portfolio!
I’m currently working on an e-book dedicated to portfolios, so if you have any bright ideas, drop me a line, I’d love to incorporate some of them!
Q4U: What do YOU do with all the artwork, papers, tests, and projects that accumulate throughout the school year?