One of my achievements during Christmas break was to sort through my school portfolios.
My Mom was very diligent at documenting our education--each year we created a portfolio with samples of our work in every subject, as well as tests, quizzes and papers. We also included photographs and other artifacts, such as certificates, concert programs and museum pamphlets. Partly this was for our benefit, but it was also to prove, should anyone ask, that our educated at home was legitimate.
When Julie and I moved to the Cookie House our boxes of portfolios moved with us. Since keeping all of my records for truancy officer is no longer necessary, I wanted to reduce the number of boxes in my closet. The easiest thing would have been to haul them to the road for the trash man.
But, I decided there was still some value in keeping some of those drawings and old math worksheets. So, I sorted through the boxes and three-ring binders and saved some of the artifacts. I started the task months ago, but finally completed it in January. It was a painful process to look back at those math and history tests. I reread a few of my high school essays and cringed. I still could barely stand to look at my Moderm Curriculum Press elementary math workbook and felt no qualms about chucking it in the trash. I threw out nearly all of the worksheet pages, quizzes and tests, saved all the essays and photographs, and managed to reduce the lot by three-quarters.
In the end I was quite pleased. I had four, neatly-organized, three-ring binders. They still represent the blood and sweat and tears of those years of my home education, but they don't take as much space in my closet.