Portfolios for Your Children

Ever wonder what to do with the collection of work your children accumulate throughout the year? It may seem like an endless amount of work comes home from daycare, lunchtime programs, weekend activities, camp and school. Kids cart home art work, crafts, dioramas and an endless list of school assignments. The question is: What should you do with all of this stuff? How do you best honour your child’s work without leaving it destined for the recycling bin? There must be a meaningful way to collect and store these items for our children, so that they can reminisce in the distant future.

It may not be realistic to keep decades’ worth of banker boxes to archive your child’s artefacts. Instead, consider creating a portfolio of key pieces each year. In the professional world, we understand the portfolio as a growing collection of artefacts to represent a person’s growth, skills and competencies. Why not apply this mentality to the growth of your toddler, your child or your young teen? Here are some questions to consider as you set up portfolios for your children.

  • How should I organize a portfolio?
    Decide how you want to chronicle your child’s work. Do you want to have annual, semi-annual, or quarterly collections? If you decide to make annual portfolios, decide if you want to mark the year by school year, calendar year or by birthday.

  • What should I keep?
    Develop criteria for what to keep in the portfolio. Perhaps you want to set a number of items to store, and within it you can set a quota for different categories of artefacts. Some potential categories include: arts and crafts, creative writing, math accomplishments, etc. You can involve your kids in this decision making process. Help them value their work too.

  • How many items should I hold onto?
    Decide on a reasonable number of artefacts for you to hold onto. Try to collect a diverse sample to showcase a variety of artefacts and a wide range of abilities.

  • How should I store these portfolio artefacts?
    You can make use of a variety of storage boxes. Think about what works best in your home. Some options include: bankers boxes with folders, large Ziploc bags and large plastic portfolio envelopes. Something else to consider is to build a digital portfolio with pictures of work samples. Take this one step further by making a photo book or scrap book with the pictures to really celebrate you children’s accomplishments.

Remember to communicate to your children that their work is precious and worth keeping. Find meaningful ways to document their growth and achievement.

For more information regarding academic and organizational support, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space 416.925.1225 or visit www.ruthrumack.com.

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