If you are close to completing the "formal school year", then I hope you and your children find blessing and satisfaction for your efforts. When we pray "give us this day our daily bread" (Matt. 6:11), one of the things we ask is that God would supply us with the fruit of our labours. In the case of homeschooling, it is right to expect a measure of success for the efforts done. This includes the best kind of knowledge and understanding, rooted in God's truth, which we wear around our necks (Prov. 1:8-9) for the rest of our lives, and also various skills in writing, speaking, thinking, and creating.
To help express and summarize these blessings of learning at the end of the school year, it can be very helpful for each student to collect and compile a portfolio of work. This can also be a good opportunity to clean up and clean out papers and materials that clutter your homeschool area. Here are some examples for various grades/ages:
- fine copy-work samples
- a constructed model (or picture of one)
- a favourite essay
- a research assignment
- scientific diagrams
- nature sketches
- list of books read
- math exercises or results
- coloured maps
- an art project
- a creative piece (eg. story or poem)
- a practise log for some skill or second language
- official grades, certificates, or other results for higher level courses
- pictures of homeschooling activities, morning time, private study time
- short writing pieces of younger children could be typed out and printed by parent
The decisions over what items to include in the portfolio can be shared by the child and the parent. Sometimes one party will feel strongly about a particular piece while the other thinks it unimpressive or holding little value! In general, it should reflect good work, improvement (e.g. earlier and later samples), variety, and creativity. Try to compile the materials in a nice-looking binder or scrapbook. Plastic sheet protectors can be used to hold each item.
A good portfolio captures a point in time that illustrates who the child is and what they have produced. Flipping through a portfolio several years down the road will hopefully elicit some laughs, good memories, a measure of thanksgiving and a sense of accomplishment.
Do you have any ideas to share for finishing the school year?
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