• Portfolio:

The following areas need to be addressed with samples of the student’s work:

Elementary School Level (grades 1-6) - the following courses shall be taught: English, to include spelling, reading, and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the U.S. and PA; civics; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art.

Secondary School Level (grades7-12) - the following courses shall be taught: English, to include language, literature, speech, and composition; science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the U.S. and PA; mathematics to include general mathematics, algebra, and geometry; art; music; physical education; health; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires. Other courses may be included at the discretion of the supervisor.

The portfolio should be well organized in an easy-to-read manner. A three-ring binder with subject separators is an excellent vehicle for displaying samples of the student’s work. A combination of worksheets, tests, written assignments, pictures, tests, time lines, and projects, etc. would be acceptable representations of student’s work.

  • Documentation Requirements

The homeschool law, (Act 169) requires a portfolio as part of the homeschool evaluation.  It is made of samples, to be collected throughout the school year, for each of the required subjects. While the law does not specifically state how much documentation is needed, I believe that adequate testament of sustained progress and appropriate education can be proven by using the following guidelines:

  • Math: 15 to 16 lessons
  • English: 4 to 10 writing samples, varied length, content, and depth depending on the student’s age and ability.  Evidence of grammar would be included.  (For the younger child, modified writing sample could incude pictures that are labeled, dictated samples, siple sentences progressing to complex sentenced, etc.)
  • List of books read by or to the student, noting any classics in grades 9 - 12. This booklist is part of the "log." 
  • Spelling: 7 to 9 lessons, if you do formal spelling in grades 1-6.
  • Handwriting: 7 to 9 samples if you do formal handwriting in grades 1-6.
  • History: 15-18 pages of notes, end of chapter questions, tests, time lines, pictures, and/or essays.
  • Science: 15-18 pages of notes, end of chapter questions, tests, time lines, pictures, and/or essays.
  • Art, music, and physical education: samples or brief write ups depending on depth of the program.
  • Field trips: Not required, but a list could be included in the portfolio.
  • Extra curricular activities and/or awards: Not required, but a list could be included in the portfolio.
  • If you are using CD-ROM programs, include print outs, notes, etc. for documentation, especially for grades 9 - 12.

Unit Studies suggestion: Separate work into individual subjects or label as a unit study and keep all documentation together.

Note: If you are using an "unschooling" approach and lack documentation, just include a brief description of how the required subjects were covered. Booklist, photographs, and hand drawings are also great for documentation. 

  • Log:

The log, included in the portfolio, is an ongoing list of reading materials used in your school program. This includes books read to or by the student. Curriculum that is used regularly would be logged as "ongoing."

  • Record of Attendance:

You are required to document the state’s attendance requirement of 180 days of school or 900 hours for the Elementary level (grades1-6) or 180 days or 990 hours at the Secondary Level (grades 7-12). Remember, although you must meet the hour or day requirement, you can be evaluated before the requirement is met.

  • Standardized Testing:

If your child is in grades 3, 5, or 8, the portfolio must include the results of a standardized test for at least reading, language arts, and mathematics. These test results no longer need to be handed into the local school district.  I will again be offering the Peabody Individual Achievement Test (P.I.A.T.). The PIAT is accepted by the PA Dept. of Ed. and can be given for all grades. If you need to schedule testing at the time of evaluation, please let me know when you make your appointment. If you need information on other testing options please feel free to contact me.

  • Interview:

I will review the student’s portfolio, log, and attendance record during the required interview. Your child may bring a project to show to me, and/or read a short selection from a book of their choice. This usually takes approximately an hour for grades 1-8. The interview time for students in grades 9-12 working for homeschool diploma credits depends on the number of electives and the intensity of their learning program.


West Hill Farm & Ranch