The whole idea of a portfolio often overwhelms parents and causes unneeded stress and worry. Who has time for all that paperwork when you are having fun learning? You probably already have many of the documents needed for your child's portfolio, even if you haven't been the best record keeper. According to Florida statutes, home education portfolios must include a curriculum list, book list, activity log, and work samples for each subject studied.

The name "Curriculum List" sounds scary all by itself. But it is simply a list of any curriculum or learning materials you took advantage of over the past year. If you are not sure of what to include, just brainstorm and see what you and your child can come up with. Ideas are textbooks, structured curriculum, books, online courses, DVDs, online/streaming videos, workbooks, software, apps, manipulatives, games, CDs, nature (we learn so many things walking down the beach or hiking a trail,) field trips, classes, co-ops, apprenticeships, or anything else that your student used to gain knowledge. Only titles or short descriptions are necessary.

The reading list may contain duplicates that were listed on the curriculum list as well. This is normal as curriculum and reading can be the same thing. The reading list should include ANY AND ALL (or as much as possible) reading the student has completed over the past year.

As homeschool parents we know that we should write down every book that our child reads in a book log for the portfolio, but in reality that doesn't always happen. It is simple to put together a reading list if you have not kept one. Sit with your child and discuss their favorite books over the last year. As you talk about what they have read, you will remember more and more books that you can write down on the reading list. Make sure to include ALL pleasure reading, non-fiction reading, lesson extensions, magazines, online articles, blogs, or anything else your student may read. Title and author is preferred.

Sabrina and her husband Duane have been married for 22 years and have 4 wonderful children.

When Sabrina is not working with children, she enjoys reading books, camping, and taking long walks.

In addition to Weis Educational Services, Sabrina is also a middle school Math and Science teacher at Providence Community School in Sarasota, Florida.