By Florida law, the portfolio must contain:
1. A log of educational activities kept around the time of the learning with
2. titles of reading materials, and
3. samples of work.
Parents get to decide what these should include and how they should be organized.
School districts cannot add requirements to Florida law.
Q: What should our portfolio records look like? How many are needed? Am I doing it right?
A: Florida law doesn't specify what exactly these should look like. As long as your records include a Log of Educational Activities with titles and samples of work, the rest of the details are left to the parent. FL law does not dictate how much detail should be included, how the records should be organized, what specific subjects should be included, etc.
If you have some kind of log of educational activities, some titles of reading materials, and some samples of work, you have the records required.
See below for a variety of portfolio options that others have used.
Pick a way that makes sense to you and how you homeschool. Make it easy to keep up with.
The portfolio review evaluation looks over the records kept of the child's learning to be sure that the child is being educated.
Start evaluation now
Keep records in a way that makes sense to you.
No particular forms, format, nor organization are required by Florida law. (And we don't add requirements for our evaluations.)
"A school district may not further regulate, exercise control over, or require documentation from parents of home education program students beyond the requirements of this section unless the regulation, control, or documentation is necessary for participation in a school district program."
Florida Statute 1002.41(13)
The parent shall determine the content of the portfolio....
Nothing in Florida law requires a portfolio to be kept on paper.
A Facebook page or album, Instagram page, photo-sharing site, One Note, Google Drive, Drop Box, or other digital storage app can make a great portfolio that can be easy to share with an evaluator.
Suggestion: Back up digital records.
Suggestion: If you're using digital curriculum, digital records make sense. Keeping screenshots can make that easy. (Online curriculum usually includes some kind of report or assignments' list that can serve as the log of educational activities; titles of lessons can be titles of reading materials; save a few samples of work and you have all the records needed.)
Most online curricula will end your access to records when the year/class is over. So do keep screenshots or printouts.
Q: Does the school district have the authority to exceed the Florida Statutes with local policies?
A: The school district must abide by the Florida Statutes regarding home education. A district may not enact policies that would apply additional requirements or ask for additional information that would make it more difficult for students to participate in home education.
From the FL Dept. of Education's Office of Choice's Home Education FAQ (updated Oct. 2020)
Saving library receipts can be a great shortcut to recording titles of reading materials for those using the library frequently.
Florida law requires parents to keep their portfolio
for TWO YEARS.
Q: When should I turn in the portfolio to the district?
A: Most likely you won't ever have to show it to the district.
Has the district sent you a written notice asking to audit (or review) your portfolio? If so, then the notice will give you a deadline to show them records. They must give 15 days' notice in most cases or within 30 days of the Letter of Intent if truancy is a concern.
If you get such a notice, we recommend emailing scans or photos or screenshots of some of each of the 3 parts of your portfolio records to the district before the deadline given. This has, in our experience, typically cause the district to cancel the intimidating committee meeting they've planned.
Most homeschoolers are never asked to show their records to the school district. But if you are, just show them that you have a Log of Educational Activities, titles of reading materials, and samples of work to pass the audit.
Titles of Reading Materials
Titles of reading materials can be typed in a list OR shown in photos OR on library receipts OR titles of websites or apps used OR recorded in any fashion that works for you.
Have at least
since "titles" is plural.
Dates, authors name, and page numbers are optional; only the titles are required.
Q: What counts as a reading material?
A: Whatever you, the parent, decide.
Titles can include textbooks, workbooks, articles, websites, graphic novels, apps, or whatever your child is reading or having read to him or her.
A Log of Educational Activities is required by Florida law. But what should it look like? How much information should it contain?
Since the law doesn't specify the amount of detail or the information required in the log, parents can decide for themselves. Keep as much information as feels right to you.
Some samples of various styles of Logs are shown here.
Samples of Work
Photos or scans of worksheets, written assignments, or pages read and be samples of work. Screenshots of websites or apps, photos of projects, field trips, or activities, brochures from field trips, and more can also be samples of work.
Showing a few samples of work from the beginning of your year and the end of your year in a variety of subject areas is ideal.