What is a portfolio review? What should it include?

Question: I am a newbie. This was my first year, and now I’m worried about this portfolio evaluation. What exactly should I prepare for a homeschool portfolio review? What should I expect?

So you’re opting for the portfolio evaluation to wrap up your school year. If you are registered with your local school district, this is one way of meeting the Florida State Statue’s requirements.

You may be wondering exactly what a portfolio is, and how to prepare one. Simply put it is a recorded log of what you’re student completed during the school year, and examples of their work. It should reflect the the growth a student has made during the school year.

It does not mean that an evaluator needs to see every last piece of paper, or evidence of every assignment completed. Nope! In fact, don’t even try. It will drive you nuts, and an experienced evaluator will not be combing over thousands of work samples. 

Think about an artist student that curates a portfolio to show to the admissions board of a art  school. Do they give the admissions board every doodle they ever made? No! They make sure that they show the board their best work, in wide variety and range--essentially their portfolio says “Look at me, who I am, and what I can do!”

Your student’s portfolio should do the same--it should showcase your student’s growth over the year. By law, it needs to be kept for 2 years, and be available for inspection by the county within 15 days of being requested. Once a teacher or evaluator has signed off on it, keep it neat, keep it together, and keep it handy for two years.

A log of some kind should be kept throughout the school year. I have seen things as simple as composition notebooks written by hand that just state what a student did, to electronic notes stored on private cloud storage sites. Some parents have written plans, and just make the date something is completed and keep it as a log--they don’t actually create anything new or separate. It doesn't matter what method you use--just use one. It doesn’t need to be long, complicated or stressful. Make a list. Write down the page numbers covered in a book, or jot down the novel the student is reading.

A solid portfolio will have examples of student’s work in all subjects they spent a lot of time working in. It’s a very good idea to have material examples that span throughout the school year. This makes it easy to see how students have grown. Don’t think only written work has to go in there. Went on a field trip? Throw in some pictures. Kid’s took a painting class? Show off a creation. Took a trip to the theater? Save that ticket stub! Taught your student about plants or bugs while growing your backyard garden? Take pictures of your student in their garden! Did they earn an award or certificate? Yes, please up in a copy. Did they start a business? Throw in some proof of that. Remember, field trips count! Religious responsibilities that required reading, studying, research, speaking, or preforming? Please include that! Older student have a internship? Put a record sheet of that in your portfolio too! If your school year was more than worksheets--your portfolio should be too! 

U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 412-DA-15766    Photographer: Haque, Abul

Just as an artist doesn't include every piece of art they have created in their portfolio, the homeschool portfolio does not need to maintain every piece of work a student produces.

IF your student used a program like Time4Learning, FLVS FLEX, of the Simple Revolution Solution (that's ours), print out the grades! Sites like MobyMax, IXL, and others have parent reports that show how a student has performed using their site over time. These are just a few a super easy way to continuity of work. 

Also, a portfolio review is not to see if your student is “on grade level” or to see if they made what the school system would consider “a year’s worth of growth”! Every child starts at different places, and grows at different rates. The portfolio review is to give proof to the county and state that the student is learning and making the growth possible based on their own abilities and circumstances.

Unschoolers or relaxed schoolers will not have a problem completing a portfolio review. Look for an evaluator who understands these educational approaches, and you’ll be just fine (if you're wondering, I love working with unschoolers and relaxed schoolers). 

IF this is your first year and you’re like “Oh crap, I didn’t keep anything! No one told me to keep a list”--breath! Once again, an experienced evaluator will help you by looking at what is there, and give you the reassurance you need to feel comfortable. You’ll find the method and evaluator that works for you and your family in time.

As a side note, it’s great if you can work with the same evaluator once your find your fit. This way you won’t have to explain your situation to someone new annually, or feel that you have to go to great lengths to demonstrate growth. and you can feel at ease. You should also have an ally there to help you at anytime throughout the school year if you need assistance. 

Remember, Florida law requires 180 days of school completed during the 365 span since their last evaluation (or when they registered). It could happen ANY day--even holidays, summer, or weekends. A log or records with dates, a examples that were produced over a course of the year is all that is required. It should not be a source of stress or anxiety for the home educator or student!



Questions? Want to schedule a portfolio evaluation with me? I can help you out! Just contact me

5 Days To A Stress-Free Curriculum Choice

Are you feeling the stress of trying to select the right curriculum for your family?

Recently I was speaking with a fellow home educator whose current curriculum wasn't working. It had come to her highly recommended, and even though it was everything she was told, it wasn’t right for her. Now she was facing the stress of diving back into the maddening world of homeschool curriculum to find something new. She also had to face spending money again to purchase new materials.

This left me feeling horrible. Both as a home educator, and a professional educator with over 15 years of experience, I felt her pain. It especially stung because I knew what mistake she had made when selecting the curriculum. I have been able to avoid bouncing around in curriculum choices myself, and have been helping fellow educators for the last three years to do the same!

Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed as you research the 1000s of curriculums on the market today? Do you jump from Facebook group to Facebook group, blog to blog, asking for advice about “the best” curriculums? Are you pouring hours into trying to find the curriculum that will work for your family?

We have created this FREE 5-Day, 5-Step challenge (​CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW) that will help you cut down the time and the stress in the curriculum selection process!


This guide is for you if you are:

  • seeking a curriculum to use at home.
  • feel overwhelmed by the number of curriculum choices on the market
  • want to avoid spending money on curriculum that won’t work for you


If you’re ready to stop stressing and spending endless hours trying to find the right curriculum then sign up for our free email series “5 Days To A Stress-Free Curriculum Choice.”

Over five days this 5 step guide will help you learn about yourself and your student and show you how to eliminate 100s of curriculum that would not work for your family in a quick amount of time. When you sign up, you'll also be invited to a private group where you can get live answers to your questions, and be a part of a group going through the same process as you. You will be provided practice guidance and resources to help you pinpoint your exact needs. At the end of the five days you will have drilled down to a handful of curriculums that would work for your family, your goals, and your budget--all while skipping the stress.


Sign up below to join the 5-day challenge!

Stress Free Curriculum Choice Challenge!

Sign up for this 5-step, 5-day challenge that will help you ditch the stress and select the right curriculum for you and your family!

Homeschool Q & A: maybe your questions have been answered?

Maybe you've had some questions about homeschool? Well, maybe I've answered it in one of my recent Q & A sessions. Check them out below to see if your question has been answered. 


Just look in the menu below above each video to see what topics are addressed in it. Click the question to see at what time stamp the information can be found--it's that simple!

If you don't see your question addressed here, feel free to send it in to me on our contact page, or send me a message on Facebook. I'll answer it in an upcoming Q & A session OR live on Facebook!


Does Education Revolution and the Simple Revolution Solution meet Florida's state statues? 

Can a parent really work full time and homeschool?

Does a student in the Simple Revolution Solution have to make all the live lessons?

How many sessions of tutoring are included with Simple Revolution Solution?

What is the breakdown of the pricing for the Simple Revolution Solution?

What does a parent need to provide to sign their student up with Education Revolution/Simple Revolution Solution?

Is it enough for a student to just have exposure to content, using a non-structured approach (relaxed homeschooling), at a young age?

If we start with the relaxed homeschooling approach and we find out part of the way through we want to try FLVS, will be available to us?

What if we start FLVS but don't like it can we stop?

Does the Simple Revolution Solution offer courses à la carte, or do we have to take all the courses if we sign up?

What if you are working with a student and suspect dyslexia?

Are there any other programs out there just like FLVS FLEX?

Are there subjects you "must have" for a kid who might be college bound?

Suggestions on used curriculum?

Is social studies for elementary kids very different from year to year?

Is FLVS FLEX based on Common Core? Are there test? Assignments? 

What do you think about sites like ABC Mouse,  Starfalls, ect.? 

Advice requested from a parent of a student in need of exceptional services looking to transition to homeschool/Education Revolution.

How does the Simple Revolution Solution look different next year from this year? 

What do you mean when you say that students in the Simple Revolution Solution are grouped by ability, not by grade? 

What advice do you have for a home educator whose young students give up quickly when reading work becomes difficult, or shows little interest in mastering the skill of reading?

Let's talk about students with 504 Plans Simple Revolution Solution.

If a student (young) who is homeschooled is not given standardized tests, but re-entered the public school will it be a check against them?

When selecting a curriculum, how do I ensure that I am covering the material that students of the same grade-level are expected to cover?

Are there any other subjects outside of the core curriculum that should be covered?

Scenario: A student is taking a combination of FLVS FLEX and The Simple Revolution Solution--will they be required to have assessments? Will these programs produce enough data and records to show that a student is ready to more forward academically?

What does attendance taking look like with Education Revolution? How many days are in a school year? How many hours are in a school day? What counts as a school day? What is the "start" and "end" of a kid's school year? How is attendance taken?

Does Education Revolution organized field trips and meet-ups?

Can a parent that works nights successfully homeschool?

What is your response to people who say homeschoolers are not socialized?