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How to Create a Homeschool High School Portfolio

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It is becoming more competitive for students to enter into college and receive the high-dollar scholarships.  College admission personnel are looking for more than impressive grades on a transcript.


Admission counselors want to know more about the student.  A high school portfolio is one of the tools to help your child stand out in the crowd.


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 How to Create a Homeschool High School Portfolio



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Did you know a number of public schools require students to compile their own portfolios?  The students begin working on their portfolios in the 9th grade and continue until graduation.  The portfolios are reviewed and become a part of the students’ grade.  Those students have an advantage.


Is your child in or nearing high school?  Does he or she have a portfolio?  If not, it is time to begin putting one together.


If you are unsure what to include, here’s 


how to create a homeschool high school portfolio Click To Tweet


A portfolio depicts a student as a person and not a grade point average nor a SAT score.   The documents contain information reflecting a student’s high school accomplishments.  It may contain the following:


  • Table of Contents (makes it user friendly for the college admission personnel)
  • Cover Letter
  • Student Profile
  • Academics with Transcript
  • Extracurricular Involvement
  • Community Service
  • Work Experience
  • Letters of Recommendation


Personalized Homeschool Transcript Service


Note:  You will want to check with the colleges your child has interest in attending.  The more competitive colleges may want a portfolio while others will not.  In fact, some colleges prefer applicants to compile the information and create an outstanding transcript.  Learn about my homeschool transcript service for help in creating one that college admission counselors will love.


Personalized Homeschool High School Transcript Service Click To Tweet


Cover Letter


The cover letter is an introduction of the student to the reader. 


The letter will not be written until it is time to apply to colleges.  Until then, the student may collect the needed information as he or she goes throughout high school.  The information to include is:


  • Description of self (what makes him or her unique)
  • Strengths
  • Career Aspirations
  • Reasons why he or she wants to go to that particular college (be specific)


Here is a sample cover letter.


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What to include in the résumé portion of a homeschool high school portfolio.



College admission personnel view a large number of admission applications each year.  Your child must make a quick impression.


A student profile is like a résumé.  This one-page provides a quick glimpse of the student’s accomplishments and will invite the admission officer to look further into the student’s records.


There are a variety of formats for creating a student profile.  Whichever you use, you will want to include subheadings with accomplishments and dates listed below.  Here is an example:




  1. Homeschool – (actual or anticipated graduation date)
  2. Dual credit courses at (college name, city, state)


Extracurricular Involvement


  1. 10-year 4-H member
  2. Church choir member


Leadership Roles


  1. Vice President of the ________ Club (year)




  1. Center fielder for the ________________ baseball team (years)
  2. _________________ School of Dance (years)


Community Service


  1. Mission trip to _________________ (years)
  2. Red Cross Blood Drive volunteer (years)


 Work Experience / Internships


  1. Employed at ____________ as a ___________________ (years)


Personal Interests


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What to include in the academic portion of a homeschool high school portfolio.



This portion of the high school portfolio will give the college admission personnel an indication as to how well the student will do at that particular college.


Begin collecting this information in the 9th grade.  Feel free to add any significant accomplishments that occurred in the earlier grades.  The information to include are:


  • Transcript including other schools attended, classes taken, and grades
  • Reading list (both for academics and pleasure)
  • Samples of completed assignments and tests from each course reflecting the student’s progress (essays, research projects, lab reports, programs from recitals . . . )
  • Photos of larger projects
  • Academic achievements (awards, certificates, member of the Eta Sigma Alpha National Home School Honor Society  . . .)
  • Academic camps attended (math camp, space camp . . . )
  • PSAT, SAT, PLAN, and ACT scores




Letters of recommendations


Letters of recommendations provide confirmation of the student’s character.   The student will want to ask a pastor, coach, and his or her employer for recommendations.




It is quite common for high school students to change their minds on where they want to attend college.  It is best to have everything you may need readily available in case a college admission counselor requests it.


The 5 colleges my son applied to only wanted a transcript.  The admission counselors loved his transcript.  It helped him in not only receiving an acceptance letter from all 5 colleges but also in acquiring $212,000 in total scholarship money.


Personalized Homeschool Transcript Service



Learn about my homeschool transcript service for help in creating one for your child that college admission counselors will love.

Blessings, Angie






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Please share. It makes me happy. :)

Angie McFarren

Angie McFarren is a homeschool mom of 1 high school student and graduated another who is now attending college. She has homeschooled them since they were in K and Pre-K. Angie is passionate about homeschooling and enjoys Helping Other Parents Educate. She is a Homeschool Consultant and the author of Educate the Home Educator Crash Course. Angie is also on the See the Light Art Curriculum team.


  1. I am one lost Mom! My son is 15 and in 10th grade. He was diagnosed with ADD in 4th grade. Just a few months ago we discovered he has Auditory Processing Disorder. He is so far behind in school and I have chosen to pull him out now and work with him and a Processing coach to help get him caught up. It may be until next year or I may end up homeschooling him until the end of high school, which he is hoping won’t be the case. My question is I have NO clue where to begin finding out how to get started. I don’t know if one program is best of if we should pick amongst a few to build his schedule. This is all happening so fast and I want to pick something that will help him. Any advice would be great!

  2. Hi Donita,

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

    I will email you for a more personal response.


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