On Monday I posted about my initial portfolio feelings and experiences, if you missed that go read it, because I made improvements last year.
The first thing I did was toss out any thoughts or ideas about tracking time or using traditional planners and emailing a week of work was tossed aside too. We used a very cool little tool called Protopage. I kept a running widget there of websites we used and major accomplishments to note for porfolio review purposes. (I’ll tell you more about how we used Protopage in another post.)
The second thing I did was create a homeschool blog for Michelle to use for daily journaling, world religions, current events, mini book reviews and home ec. This worked really well for two reasons – we used a lot less paper and when it came time for portfolio review, looking at the blog entries by "month" or by "category" made it very easy to double check that I hadn’t missed anything. When I was pulling together the portfolio, I printed entries that I thought were particularly interesting or a good example of the variety of work she had done over the year. The only thing that would have made it easier would have been to add the "Portfolio" category to the blog and label these types of entries as we went along. The blog also made it easy for me to create a list of all of the books Michelle read through the year, since Typepad has that nice reading list widget.
I didn’t spend nearly as much time pulling together work samples from the FLVS classes she took because it simply wasn’t necessary. All I really had to do was include a copy of the FLVS transcript in the porfolio. Because the woman doing the review was so interested in the FLVS classes last year, I did include the outlines for each of the classes and some of the big projects and essays Michelle wrote for those. (She appreciated seeing those, but they weren’t necessary for the evaluation.)
This porfolio was about half the size of the first one and much easier to put together.