Several people have asked what an online portfolio might look like, so I have set up this sample blog to give you one example of what you can accomplish. I use BlogSpot.Com, but there are other free online blog sites available for you to use. The basic advantage of an online blogging system is that you have your child's entire portfolio in one place. It is easy to add to it throughout the year, and then just send the link to your evaluator before your evaluation is due and s/he will be able to view everything very easily.
I recommend that you post three dates on your calendar, one near the beginning of your homeschool year, one near the middle, and one near the end. At those designated times, scan samples of your child's work (one item from each subject area is all that is necessary) and one page from your Daily Log, right into your child's portfolio blog. Add to that your curriculum or resource list (This is a list of everything you are using to teach your child, including websites, textbooks, or other resources.) Also keep a running list of pleasure books that your child is reading throughout the year. This list needs to be scanned onto the blog prior to evaluation time as well.
One of the most important elements that needs to be included (by law) is the Daily Log. This should have names of subject areas, dates, and what was accomplished in each of those subject areas on the dates listed. Make sure there is enough info so that a stranger could come in and teach that lesson to your child, but not SO much info that you are writing a book! For a great example, view my power-point, "How to Prepare for a Portfolio Evaluation, without losing your mind!" which is on the Services page of EvaluationStation.Com
So those four elements are what is required by Florida law:
1. Curriculum/ Resource List,
2. Pleasure Reading List,
3. Daily Log, and
4. Student Work Samples
Keep in mind, the object of the work samples is to show that the student is PROGRESSING. Your student doesn't even have to be on a specific grade level (Many of us don't use grade levels anyway!), s/he just has to show progress. Every work sample submitted should be graded and include the child's name and the date the work was accomplished.
There are other things that I show on my power-point that are nice to have and can help you have a more organized homeschool year, but especially if you are new to this... just concentrate on the basics!
SO... normally, you would not have THIS much print cluttering up your child's portfolio! Basically, my plan here is to show you how the work looks posted on this site and the basic categories it should include (which I described above. You might also have each subject area listed as a separate category on the side bar as shown here). Feel free to add VIDEOS and PHOTOS of your child doing exciting things like playing an instrument, dancing in a recital, describing a science project, reading a lap book, or visiting a famous location. Remember when posting work, it should be right side up (so I don't have to turn my computer upside down to look at it!)
Be sure to keep the blog PRIVATE, as we don't need the entire world to have access to your child's work. when you are ready, just copy and paste the link from the blog into an email to your evaluator or send them a formal invite through the blog itself if your blog has that option.
I hope this helps! As always, you have the other option of simply scanning your work into a few emails and shooting those over to your evaluator if this is too much for you. If you are planning an in-person evaluation, just bring your portfolio in notebook form to the scheduled appointment (along with your child!). I really DO prefer the online versions though! I can take my time looking at everything without having to make you wait! Then we simply meet in Cyber-space on Skype or video chat for a quick interview and we are DONE! Remember, evaluation time does NOT have to be stressful!