Posts Tagged ‘portfolio’

One of the things I like least about homeschooling is keeping a lesson planner.  I accept the value of having one, but the planners that I have used just were a pain in the backside to maintain.  I am horrible about keeping them up to date.  Often, I have found that the lesson planners that you can purchase just don’t seem to fit our needs.  So, this year I am doing something totally different.

I bought a pretty pocket portfolio and 6 of the less expensive 2 pocket portfolios that do not have the metal prongs in them.  These will be my lesson planner for the school year.

To assemble the planner, I first cut the larger, pretty portfolio in half along the fold to create 2 covers.  Next, I opened up the less expensive portfolios and refolded them so that the pockets were facing outward.

The folded portfolios were stacked neatly in between the covers and spiral bound at the office supply store.

Lesson planner front cover

Lesson planner front cover


Inside lesson planner

I have organized the planner in this manner:

Inside front cover contains a calendar sheet and the attendance record form that I downloaded from New Bee homeschooler.

The second page contains a curriculum resource list showing what materials the kids will be using this term.

Next page is a weekly planning sheet that I use to record any preps that I have to do for each week.  This includes things like printing out worksheets, books to check out from the library, or any special supplies I may need to purchase.

The next 4 pages are specific to our daughter: workbox planner (which also functions as a weekly lesson planner), an 8-week lesson planner for courses she is doing that are using materials not sold by Heart of Dakota, Reading logs, and her Unit Study Planning guide that covers the entire year.

Following Little Miss’ 4 pages, I have 4 pages of the same forms for Pookie.

The last 3 pages will be used for each child’s grade sheets and field trip records.

At the end of the year, I will remove all of the papers from their pockets, add a laminated front & back cover, then have them bound to make a more permanent record of the school term.

I like this format as it will allow me to add as I go along.  If I find that I need to make changes, it will be much easier than a bound lesson planning book would have allowed.



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I have found that Little Miss and Pookie are doing well in their homeschooling but there was one area lacking.  Do the the amount of hands-on and reading in their curriculum, there was very little to show Daddy when he is home from the truck.  The answer — Notebooking!  Tucking a notebooking page into her workbox file is easy.  I am gradually building up a supply of a variety of notebooking page designs for her to choose from.

It takes a bit of planning, but I am finding it to be easy to plan out notebooking activities.  I look at the week’s assignments and find ways to make it a notebooking page.  One example is the grammar assignments.  In one lesson, there were about 5 simple sentences that I was to discuss with Little Miss.  She was to tell me what the subject of the sentences were.  Instead of doing this orally, I typed up the sentences on the laptop and printed them out as a worksheet.  At the end of a reading assignment in her history reader, there are usually questions to discuss.  Again, this is turned into a worksheet.  I added maps that I have found online to show where the historical events took place.

For her free reading, she chose to do the Little House books.  On Homeschool Share, you can find free unit studies for each of the Little House books.  We are doing these.  They take up quite a lot of space in her notebook binder, so I bind them with my comb binder.   I keep track of her free reading books on a reading log.

When I was doing a web search for notebooking ideas, I found free printable covers for the various subjects at the Crafty Classroom.  She has other free printables available also.  These work great for Little Miss.  Each week, she has assignments in the binder to show her work and give Daddy an opportunity to go over her work with her.

More free notebooking printables can be found at:

Notebooking Pages has a free membership that allows you to access free printables

The Notebooking Fairy has a large selection of printables

Homeschool Helper

Jimmie’s Collage has a list of links for a variety of school subjects and includes links to posts describing how to do notebooking.

That Resource Site has a large number of printables available both for notebooking as well as other homeschooling projects.

Activity Village is one of my favorite “go to” sites.  When you go to the website, type notebooking in the search field.  You will get pages upon pages of link to their site for free printable noteboooking pages on a large variety of topics.

Contented at Home is a homeschooling blog.  Type notebooking in the search field and you will find the notebooking pages available in the blog.  Some topics are Bible related while others are not.

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In Oklahoma, we are not required to keep a portfolio of homeschool lessons.  I decided to make one anyways.  With Daddy on the truck all week, a portfolio is a great way to share with him the schoolwork completed.

I started out with a 3-ring binder for Little Miss.  Using the curriculum manual as a guideline, I made an index divider for each subject.  Some of her lessons involve written work while others do not.  When doing a thematic unit, that is often the case.  Many lessons are a hands-on activity.

Written work is easy.  I simply use a hole punch on the page and add it to the appropriate section in the binder.  This includes reading logs of books from the library or our home collection, copywork, and any paper that can be hole punched and added.

Hands-on activities are a little bit more work.  I take pictures with my cell phone and print them out from the computer.  I size the pictures to allow me to fit as many as possible onto a sheet or two of paper.  If you wanted to get fancy, you could do a digital scrapbook layout.  Once the pictures are organized on the paper, print it out to add to the portfolio.  A written sheet explaining the activity would be added with the pictures.

Field trips, such as the one we took to the Oklahoma City Zoo, are treated the same.  I have some field trip record sheets that I found online.  You can find free printable sheets at http://www.abcteach.com/directory/homeschooling-and-parent-resources-field-trips-8931-2-1     I love this resource for the field trip forms.  Instead of a simple record sheet, these are actual worksheets that require the child to participate.  For example, the form for a trip to the zoo includes pictures of animals that have to be matched to their names.  Some of their worksheets are for members only, but they have an assortment that are free also.  A second resource that I use for field trip records is http://www.thatresourcesite.com/printables_for_homeschoolers_logs_learner.htm  That Resource Site has a lot of fun and very useful forms on it!

One additional thing that I am doing with Little Miss’ assignments is to type up her Grammar lessons.  In the manual, they allow for you to simply discuss the lessons instead of having worksheets.  To help Daddy see what she is learning, and to provide a review we can use later, I am typing the lessons on the word processor and printing each week’s assignment for her.  One example being a lesson showing the difference between a sentence and a sentence fragment.  I typed each with a blank line before each sentence or fragment.  On the line, she wrote an “F” for fragment or an “S” for a sentence.  Typing the lessons takes very little time, yet is is giving her something to show Daddy when he is home.

Her Singapore Math workbooks are remaining intact.  I won’t be cutting the binding on those to add to the binder.  Any little books that she makes, such as her timeline book, are going to be added to the binder simply by tucking them into a pocket-style sheet protector.

With her homeschooling, I am considering adding in the Keepers of the Home program that she is doing.  It is a program from Keepers of the Faith.  The projects include not only the homemaking skills and Bible character trait studies, but her academics too.  Keepers also has a program for boys.

All in all, I am enjoying putting this binder together for her.  It will make a nice record of what she has learned throughout the year.


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