Keeping track of your child’s homeschool career is very important, especially if you live in a state with strict homeschool laws and regulations. Regardless of where you live and what your state’s homeschool laws are, it’s essential to be diligent in tracking your child’s journey through high school. You’ll want to keep good records so that your child can go onto college, the military, or any other future plans they may have. A homeschool portfolio is a great way to keep track of everything. Many colleges are wanting to see more than just a transcript these days. They want to get a good idea of who the student is, so keeping track of more than just grades is important.
A homeschool portfolio can help you keep things in order. You may be asking, what is a homeschool portfolio and how do I build one? What should go in it and how do I organize it? Just as there is no one-size-fits-all way to homeschool, there is no right or wrong way to create a homeschool portfolio.
What is a homeschool portfolio?
Simply put, a homeschool portfolio is a way to keep track of your child’s educational progress and growth each year. They are used to track what your child has learned, what resources were used, progress made, and can even include samples or photos of their work.
What to include in a homeschool portfolio
Check the laws in your state to find out what paperwork is required and what you need to keep track of each year. Some states require very specific things like an attendance sheet or log for school hours. Others do not require anything, though a homeschool portfolio can still come in handy should an official question your homeschooling, plus it’s a great keepsake of what your child has learned and accomplished over the years.
Here is a list of things you can include in a homeschool portfolio; these are simply suggestions, you don’t need to include everything on this list (and you may want to include things I didn’t list), but you do want to be sure to include anything that is required by state law –
- Courses taken, along with course descriptions
- Standardized tests taken and results
- Academic goals
- Year-end evaluations
- Field trip log
- Book log
- Honors and awards
- Extracurricular activities and volunteer opportunities
- Course of study
- Enrichment classes/dual enrollment classes
- Writing samples and other assignments/completed work
How to organize a homeschool portfolio
Again, there is no right or wrong way to put together a homeschool portfolio. I feel that using a 3-ring binder is the easiest, most flexible way to put your homeschool portfolio together. Using a 3-ring binder helps you keep everything organized and together, plus allows you to easily move things around and add things as needed.
Use tabbed dividers to help organize papers within your binder. You can organize by subject or grade. I prefer to organize my kids’ binders by subject (once they are in 9th grade, I start creating a separate, more official portfolio for the high school years, organized by grade; more on that below), with important papers in the front, like attendance and course of study. I also prefer to use digital planning pages so that I can print what I need, when I need it and easily add it to the binder.
Homeschool portfolio for high school
Even if you have lax homeschool laws in your state, you are still going to want to keep good track of your child’s high school years. This will help with college admissions, plus make a nice keepsake of their academic achievements.
When it comes to the high school years, I prefer to keep track by grade, not by subject. I also prefer to make it a little more official and professional looking. I still keep track of everything by subject in each child’s binder, but when the high school years start I also keep track of things in a document on my computer where I can type things in so that it’s much neater and professional. Once a child is done with high school, I will print out the document and bind it so that I have their entire homeschool high school career in a nice booklet. I can also print out certain pages from the portfolio for college admission purposes like the transcript, grades, and course descriptions if needed.
I include many of the same things in the high school portfolio as I listed above for a regular portfolio. I created an editable PDF document to use to create a high school portfolio and record book for my kids and I’m making it available to my readers!
The 4 Year Plan – Homeschool Planner for High School is printable, editable, and undated, making it flexible, adaptable, and reusable for all of your kids! It includes planning pages for ALL four years of high school – pages like grading records, standardized test tracker, yearly overview, academic goals, course of study, course descriptions, year-end evaluations, monthly & weekly calendars, and so much more!
I also have an editable transcript printable if you are in need of that, and it’s FREE!!
I’m offering this editable homeschool transcript template FREE to My Joy-Filled Life subscribers. To get yours, simply click on the download button below, add the transcript to your cart and go through the check out process (don’t worry, it’s free); if you aren’t already a subscriber, you will then be added to the list. If you are a subscriber, you will still need to go through the check out process to get access to the transcript printable (but don’t worry, it won’t add you twice to the email list). After check out, you will be redirected to a page where you can download the printable (FYI, it is a zip file); you will also receive an email with the download link (be sure to check your junk mail if you don’t see it in your regular inbox within 5-10 minutes).
As a subscriber to My Joy-Filled Life you will get weekly(ish) updates and occasional information about great freebies, giveaways, and offers.
Making a homeschool portfolio for high school is actually quite easy. Even if you don’t use the printables I created, it’s still pretty simple to keep track of your child’s high school journey – remember, you mainly want to record what courses they take, grades and progress, extra activities & accomplishments, and maybe some samples of their work. You’ll also want to include any paperwork that is required by your state. Organize it all in a manner that is easy and makes sense for you. My biggest tip is to keep track as you go; don’t wait until the end of each year or until the end of high school – it will likely be time consuming, stressful, and you might forget some important details.
Rachel B. says
Thank you for this wonderful planner!! I have a 6th grader and am starting to keep more records and plan for highschool.
Kathleen Parker says
Our umbrella school uses AppleCore for grade reporting, attendance, and you have the ability to create a portfolio.
Kara Horn says
Thank you for this printable!! This is our first year of homeschooling so any help and advice are wonderful 🙂
Crissy talley says
Thank you for the free printables that you offer . They have really been a help and a blessing to me as a homemaker and homeschool Moma!
We are years away from High School, but I am impressed with the planning set! Thank you for sharing your talent, and efforts!
Vicki Williams says
I’m not quite to the creating-a-homeschool-portfolio-for-high-school era of life yet, but I did find your printable timeline pages! 😉 Thank you for the info about creating a timeline for history!
Shanna Fegter says
Thank you for the great planner. I have 3 boys that I homeschool.
Alisha Merrill says
This is a helpful post. I keep my daughter’s portfolio in a 3-ring binder. Like you said, it’s easy to move things around. I like your editable files, too.
This is great information thank you for sharing!!!
This is my biggest struggle in our homeschool. Thank you for the great info.
Angie M says
Thank you for this post! I am in the midst of figuring out the best way to do transcripts, etc. for high school. This was very helpful.
Amy Rapp says
We use some of your planner pages. This year, I plan to use more! I’m creating a transcript for my high school senior! Thanks again for all you do!
Thank you for all you do. Be blessed
I love the support in the homeschool community. Thank you for your part in it!
Thank you for taking the time to make these resources for us!!
Shauna C says
Will be looking this over, I have a high schooler now and have been lost on how to keep it together for a transcript. Thanks.
Andi Thomas says
I’m a planning lover. I can’t wait to need this.
Kelly M. says
Thank you for the helpful info. I have a soon-to-be-high-schooler, so it’s perfect timing. 🙂
Cassie R says
Thank you for always putting together great content!!
That printable looks great! Thank you so much for sharing it and your wisdom with us!
Julia C says
Love this post! I will be looking at it in more detail later today! Much needed with 3 in high school right now.
This would have been so helpful for me for my first high schooler! I will definitely need it for my other five, though. I am looking forward to when this is released!
Good tips/resources to keep in mind for high school
K Chubb says
I’m looking forward to the high school planner. Thank you for everything you have done and plan to do for the homeschool community. 🥰
Amy T. says
Thank you for the great tips on making portfolios.
Such an informative article! You are so right that keeping track of your high schooler’s details is crucial to do as they complete each year. We THINK we will remember it, but isn’t it so much easier to remember it if you write it down? It’s funny that I’ve always thought of a “portfolio” as just keeping samples of work (especially important for the more creative students). But all those specifics about your child’s progress apply to all of our students! Thanks, Sarah!
Laurie Liss says
Thank you for this very helpful article. Even though I am on my 3rd high schooler, it is always good to get a refresher and learn better ways to do things.
I have one entering 9th this year. Do you stick to your 4 year plan?
Hi Jacquie –
For the most part, yes. Some classes can be moved around within the 4 year window. Nothing is set in stone saying a child has to take Biology their freshman year, or World History as a sophomore, etc (be sure to check your homeschool laws though, some are more strict than others) You really do have a lot of flexibility as to when your child can take the high school level courses between 9th-12th grade. I like to fill out a 4 year planning page when my kids are a freshman so that I know what classes they need in high school, but courses can move around within that 4 year period. Hope that makes sense.
Here are some planning pages specific to high school – https://www.myjoyfilledlife.com/four-year-high-school-planning-forms-homeschoolers/
love the high school transcript and storage ideas!
I don’t have a highschooler yet, but I love that you’ve made resources I can use when I do. You don’t see very much out there for highschoolers in my opinion.
Thank you for the great planner!
The planner was just the kind of idea that I was looking for, and
the giveaway if I should win it would be a great blessing during a really trying time of life.
NICOLE Epperson says
Hi, New here..
Your blog has been really helpful to me!
I’m so glad to hear! You made my day!
DaLynn McCoy says
We live in a state where we don’t have to put together a portfolio or anything, but sometimes I’m jealous that other moms get to actually tell someone what they’re doing! 😉
Mary S. says
Great thoughts on organizing things! Something I really struggle with. :/
Thank you for taking the time to write this out! So helpful for the future!
Very helpful information.
Deborah Cochran says
I think organization is key to successful homeschooling and am excited to start using your ideas! Thank you for your tips and the free printable home school transcript!
Great topics! Enjoy reading encouraging and relatable to our journey!
Thank you for all that you do! The free printables are fantastic. You are truly a blessing. I know that you will receive blessings from God above and beyond what you pour out into your business and your subscribers. 😊
Michelle W. says
Great information. Thanks for sharing!
Brandi Parris says
Sarah Burks says
I need this info for my girls – Thanks!
I have been a subscriber to your newsletter for a while now and I value you the pointers and advice that you give to me as a homeschool mama. We are early on ,grade 4 but thinking through a high school portfolio is a good thing to get on my radar now! Thanks for your words of wisdom. 🙂
Thank you Anna!
Christina Sparks says
Thankful for your site.
Lisa K says
Thank you for this! My youngest is starting 9th grade and I regret not doing something similar for our oldest.