By Florida law, the portfolio must contain:
1. A log of educational activities 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.
The portfolio review evaluation looks over the records kept of the child's learning to be sure that the child is being educated.
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, how much detail should be included, how they should be organized, 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.
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.
Keeping a Portfolio
A short video showing a variety of options for keeping a portfolio.
"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)
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's easy to share with an evaluator.
Suggestion: Back up digital records.
Keep records in a way that makes sense to you.
The parent shall determine the content of the portfolio....
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)
Pro tip: Saving library receipts can be a great shortcut to recording titles of reading materials.
Florida law requires parents to keep their portfolio for TWO YEARS.
Q: When should I turn in the portfolio to the district?
A: Unless your child was being investigated for truancy, or someone in your life pushes the district to check, likely they'll never see these records. They can ask, in writing, but must give 15 days' notice.
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.