Recap of Portfolio Review Fall 2019

Time for my semi-annual recap of my review experience. This was my third time reviewing with my assigned reviewer; let’s call her Dee. It was the first time I was reviewing for both of my children. Last spring, Dee had already given me the run-down of how the reviews change for high schoolers and I had asked her about her expectations for kindergarteners. 

My set-up

I decided to present my children’s work in a Google Slides document. That allowed me to easily add photos, videos, and links to documents. Each kid had a separate presentation, but they both followed a similar layout that I will describe below. 

I like to do my review as early as possible in the review period to get it off my plate before the holidays and so the reviewer hasn’t gotten disgruntled with her job yet. So, I had to drive across the county. My daughter had come with me but Dee did not quiz her. She tried to make some conversation with my kid, but since she is not talkative with strangers, things stayed focused on business. 

Age before beauty

I started with my son’s portfolio since he is older and completes actual written assignments that are easily recognized as school work. Dee had to read me the disclaimers about high schoolers not receiving a diploma from the county, schools not necessarily accepting homeschool work for credit if re-enrolling, and that homeschoolers can take the GED at 16. Then I launched my presentation. I provided the names of curricula and textbooks, as well as a list of topics covered so far. Then I included three work samples for each of the four academic subjects (English, history, math, and science). They were all either worksheets, tests, or typed papers. For health, I just gave the resources and the lists of topics without any work samples. For music and PE, I just listed the weekly activities.

Kindergarten work

For my daughter’s portfolio, the presentation followed pretty much the same set-up of giving curricula and topics. However, I also included a reading list for books I have read to her for English, social studies, and science. These are pretty easy for me to track and produce since I use Homeschool Tracker for my planning. Initially, I created her reading lists because I didn’t think I was going to have any work samples that illustrated the awesomeness of what we do. But in the end, I did come up with three photos of drawings or activities in each of those subjects. 

The Verdict

Then, my review was done! It took about 40 minutes total. 

I did feel that the whole thing could have been done without a face-to-face meeting. Dee just typed my exact words into her document and then sent it to me by email that afternoon. Several of my reviews in the last couple of years have proceeded in the same manner. So, I wrote an email to the director of the homeschool office suggesting an electronic option for the reviews. A couple of other counties in Maryland offer that. I received a response that in the spring, I’ll have the option to submit my material electronically and that they will consider making it an official option for the next school year. So, yay for jumping into the 21st century!

If you want to check out my previous review experiences, they can be found here: