8/16/2013 - PLEASE NOTE: All the forms found on this page and site (including the study journal covers) are free for your PERSONAL USE ONLY. You may print as many copies as you need for your family. Under NO circumstances is permission granted for these forms to be bundled, sold, packaged, or given away as part of any fee-based program, service, or system.
Before starting your high school program, it is a very good idea to put together a portfolio you will use to record your work. This portfolio may serve as part of an evaluation process, if one is required by your state, and as something you can use to demonstrate your high school studies for any college admissions requirements you might encounter.
Begin with purchasing a good, sturdy, large 3-ring binder. If you select one with a clear cover insert, you can create your own customized cover page.
You will also need a set of dividers.
Remember that back-to-school sales generally start as early as July, so if you can, be on the look-out then for any great deals you might find.
There are several sections to include in your portfolio:
You will want to print copies of each year's course curriculum list (found on the individual year pages) and the course catalog. If you decide to change any courses or substitute another curriculum provider, be sure to adjust your lists and catalog accordingly.
- Include an attendance log, marking the days in which school instruction took place.
- Include a reading list of all books, journals, and magazines read.
- Include an activities log for any notable activities such as volunteer work and field trips.
- You should have several work samples from different subjects and courses. This may include math worksheets, English essays, and copies of the Saylor final exams.
- You may want to add subject grade reports and/or yearly reports cards.
- Consider adding photographs. This could include pictures from field trips or volunteer hours, and participation in other events and activities.
- When you are finished your high school studies, you will want to add a completed transcript. (You can download an editable version of this document here. This file was created with the free Open Office word processing program.) HC USA IS NOT A SCHOOL! This transcript is provided for your personal use. You may change the portion that says "Home Education Program" to anything you like, such as "Smith Family Homeschool," but DO NOT USE THE HOMESCHOOL COLLEGE USA NAME. You MUST make it clear that this is a homeschool transcript. You can see an example of a completed transcript here. If you need a blank transcript because you altered the course schedule, you can download a PDF or Open Office transcript based on semesters, or a PDF or Open Office transcript based on subjects. (A subject-based transcript works well if you studied one or two courses at a time, or devoted a period of time to completing all your required courses in a single subject, such as math.) Remember, it is legal to homeschool in all 50 states. You do not need to pay for a company or service to create your transcripts for you.
- You may also want to have a diploma. Again, HC USA IS NOT A SCHOOL. This diploma, like the transcript documents, is provided for your personal use.
This may seem like a lot of work to maintain your portfolio, but it is definitely worth your time. We are hearing more and more from homeschoolers who are being informed by college admissions officers that they want to see a complete list of all curriculum and materials used during high school. If you encounter such a situation, you will be able to provide your portfolio to meet that request.
You may not even be considering college right now, and might think this is something you personally don't need to put together, but keep in mind that things could change for you in the future. Having a portfolio you never need is infinitely preferable to finding yourself not having one you do need!