Last week, I took Maxim to pick out the "hardware" to put his portfolio together. We chose a cloth-covered scrapbook with 12x12" sleeves and a variety of card stock. Max chose red -- theorists believe red suggests a combination of speed and confidence with a dash of danger -- which seems an accurate description of my boy, actually. Though I wasn't looking for a theme, Max chose some animal stickers and prints because Kipling's "Just So Stories" are his favorite.
In Massachusetts, we have the choice of submitting either standardized test results or a portfolio "that displays the student's progress in each subject" at the end of each school year. We chose the latter, believing we'll be able to tailor it to the Charlotte Mason approach we use, while providing us a meaningful look back at Max's first official year.
After finding out what my state required, I contacted the head of a local homeschool group, who is also our MassHOPE representative. Her biggest piece of advice was to not set the bar too high, stating a sample of work in each subject -- one from the beginning and one from the end -- would be plenty. Any more and the deputy superintendent might begin to request the same from others.
Max loves to storyboard so I plan to have him help design the layout of his portfolio in his storyboarding book. Pictured above are boards from his movie "The Popcorn Wars" - not his portfolio.
I have not found anything in Charlotte Mason's writings to suggest the use of a portfolio for evaluation. If any of you have, please do let me know. She does encourage us to free ourselves from the juggernaut of tests and graded exams, which Sonya Shafer recently discussed in When Grades Are Necessary. Reading is "tested by narration" or by writing on a passage. CM tells us in the preface of vol. 3 School Education that children taught under the thought "that education is an [atmosphere, life and science of relations] are remarkable for their keenness after knowledge, and do well afterwards in any examination..." Samples of examination work done in the Parents' Review School are found in the Appendices of vol. 3 and are also much discussed in A Philosophy of Education vol. 6.
Jeanne, from A Peaceful Day, sums up CM exams beautifully in AO1 Term Three Exams. I'll provide examples of how we incorporate them as well as other CM educational thought into an evaluation portfolio by subject. Meanwhile, I hope those of you with more experience will share via link or comment what you have done or are doing for a portfolio that reflects a CM education.