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Parents and students are needed for our AdvancEd Accreditation Committee for Continuous School Improvement and Planning. Contact us today!

Guiding Principles

We are risk-takers, critical thinkers, decision makers, and collaborators—we are STEM.

You know the old saying, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”
It rings true for homeschooling too.  You know how it goes–you start off the homeschool year with great intentions for the year.  You get a fancy new planner and think of all the fun times ahead, hands-on learning, field trips and more.  Then somewhere along the way, life happens. An illness, loss of a family member or close friend, financial hardships–you name it.  Life throws your “A” game off and now you’re trying to pickup the pieces and get back to your fab homeschooling year. I’m here to tell you that you’ve got this!
We created a STEM Homeschool Portfolio just for you!  It includes all the tools you need to plan for a successful homeschool year:
  • 2019-20 Calendar
  • A Year At A Glance
  • Plan For Success
  • 2019-20 Attendance Record
  • 6-Week Planner with Goals, Grade Tracker, and more
  • Reflection Journal
  • 6-Week Attendance Record
  • Final Report Card
  • Transcript
  • Life Skills Record
  • Health/Physical Activity Record
  • Extra-curricular Activities Records
  • Reading Log
  • Reading Graphic Organizer
  • STEM Reading List K – 6th Grade
  • STEM Reading List 6th – 12th Grade
  • MakerSpace
  • Inquiry-based Learning Thinking Stems

How to use your FREE STEM Homeschool Portfolio 

Ready for your reset? OK, read through this entire article to learn about how to use all of the components of the STEM Homeschool Portfolio. Try it out and let us know how it’s working for you!
SCHEDULING/ATTENDANCE
First, take a look at the 2019-20 Calendar.  When do you want to begin homeschooling for the year?  Already started–no problem! Just pick up from where you left off. Think about your year ahead–family trips, holidays and celebrations, and your homeschool end date.  Mark all of these in your calendar. Special note: Remember to submit your intent to homeschool letter if required in your district/state.
The Attendance Tracker is your full-year view for your homeschooler’s attendance.  This is also helpful for any homeschool audits or reports that must be submitted to a district, state, or other regulatory agency; check for any specific requirements for your area. You can transfer attendance information from your 6-week Attendance Tracker to the general Attendance Tracker.  This will limit the use of your general Attendance Tracker so it can remain in good condition throughout the year.
PLANNING
Next, move on to the Year At A Glance.  This is your chance to collaborate with your homeschooler and decide on themes, subjects, and goals for the year.   Discuss what you want to achieve by the end of the year. What does a successful homeschooling year look like? What outcomes do you want to achieve? Factor in any limitations such as budget, time, and location.  NOTE: the reflection column should be filled in at the end of your homeschool year.
Many students have challenges. Some may have processing speed challenges, dysgraphia, low working memory, anxiety, or lack motivation. Use the Plan for Success template to note any barriers to learning.  For example, if your homeschooler has difficulty with reading comprehension, list it here.  Then list methods to overcome those barriers such as read alouds, reading fluency drills, or using our Intensive Reading program to help with reading comprehension.  
The 6-week Planner consists of six week-by-week planning templates with columns for subject, student goals, lessons, materials, grades, and reflection. With your “Year At A Glance” in hand, you and your homeschooler can begin to plan using the 6-week Planner. This will help in setting your 6-week goals for each subject.  Then, think of projects, activities, and major lessons that you want to experience and include it in your 6-week plan. Here’s an example: Breana’s overall goal in Chemistry is to learn about all of the elements in the periodic table and understand how the elements impact her life. For the first, second, and third 6-weeks, her mini-goal is to learn about all of the elements, so she will chunk her learning by studying one element per day and conduct at least 1 experiment or investigation per week.  For the fourth 6-weeks, she plans to learn about how the elements come into play in her home life through a research project. This project will require her to conduct further research to learn about how elements impact our quality of living. Note: homeschoolers should complete the weekly reflection on the week-by-week planner at the end of the week, and apply the reflective notes to improve the next week’s learning activities.
At the end of each 6-weeks, homeschoolers should complete the Reflective Journal to solidify their learning. This will help your homeschooler to think deeply at the learning journey and how to maximize learning potential.
Remember to use your 6-week Attendance Tracker to maintain accurate attendance records.
GRADES/TRANSCRIPTS
The Final Report Card is your final grade report for the homeschool year. Simply log the subject and corresponding final grade for the homeschool year. Feel free to use the grades logged in your 6-week Planner to provide the basis for your final grade, and note the grade calculation method or equivalency in the grading system section of each box. Some homeschooling families use pass/fail, satisfactory/unsatisfactory, letter grades (A, B, C, D, F), or numerical grades on a 10-point scale (100, 93, 81…) or on a  4-point scale (4.0, 3.5, 2.7). Comments on your homeschooler’s learning behavior can be logged in the conduct section.
The Transcript is a record for all of the final grade reports over time. There are 4 boxes on each transcript page; each box is dedicated to one homeschool year. Log the final grades for each subject accordingly.
CONSUMER ECONOMICS
Home and family life comprise the foundation of homeschooling life. A study of consumer economics is essential. You can include as little or as much as you and your homeschooler decide–from financial management to human growth and development–the choice is yours! Included in your STEM Homeschool Portfolio are 3 pages to log your homeschooler’s work and accomplishments:
  • Life Skills – Include paid and unpaid employment activities, any skills learned (can be unrelated to work), and skills to learn. Include household chores, neighborhood babysitting, dog walking, gardening and landscaping, etc.
  • Health/Physical Activity – Give your homeschooler a solid foundation in being a self-advocate by learning the essentials of physical and nutritional health.  Encourage participation in sports, exercise, walking, hiking, and jogging. Physical activity helps to keep our bodies in good physical condition but also play a big role in improving mental and emotional health. Learning about setting boundaries for physical touching, body consciousness, and mental health are critical. Finally, study the science of nutrition together–what is a kcal and why is it important? Plan a healthy meal, shop for ingredients, read nutrition labels together, and use cooking methods to preserve a high nutrition content of foods such as baking and steaming.
  • Extracurricular Activities – Field trips to your local museum, library, points of interest, courthouse, and local/state government agencies gives you a closer look at the world around you! Log your field trips, clubs, and volunteering activities and remember to share them with future employers or on college admissions applications.
CRITICAL THINKING AND STEM
Transform your list of books read to a list of books explored! Couple the Reading Log with the  Graphic Organizer to dive deep and critically assess your reading.  Go further and explore more books with your K-6th Grade STEM Reading List and your 6th-12th Grade STEM Reading List. The books are sure to spark imagination and discovery!
Ever wonder what a Makerspace is? It’s a space that’s dedicated to, uh, making! The space can be as small as a box or table or as large as a room. Add tinkering bits like screws, nuts and bolts, wheels, legos, and add in leftovers like paper towel rolls, tape, glue, string, etc. and let your homeschooler’s imagination run wild. You can encourage them to come up with their own ideas of what to make, or maybe they will find inspiration in a book. STEM is all about inquiry and critical thinking! There’s no right or wrong way, just get in there and create!
While working in the Makerspace or reading a book from the STEM Reading List or while doing nothing at all, you can encourage critical thinking in your homeschooler. The handy list of critical thinking stems in the Inquiry Based Learning template can help to start the conversation. 
I hope that this STEM Homeschool Portfolio is a wonderful starting point for your successful homeschool year. We are incredibly happy to offer free products and services to homeschooling families such as the online STEM Camp, Math Tournament, Coding Class, and more. Want to hear about our latest offers?  Stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter today. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower students to reach their potential by developing their passions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Our Motto

Inspiring passions in STEM.  Educating a new generation.

Our Vision

Our vision is Dolphin STEM Academy as the catalyst for a strong globally-minded community of families and educators who work collaboratively to promote innovative STEM education for all. We envision Dolphin STEM Academy as a leading American curriculum online school with a truly unique approach to STEM.

The support from the staff is amazing!

My daughter and I are so excited to start a new school year with Dolphin STEM Academy! The support from...

Deborah Smalley

2019-08-29T19:33:21+00:00

Deborah Smalley

My daughter and I are so excited to start a new school year with Dolphin STEM Academy! The support from the staff is amazing! Debbie has a genuine interest in educating my child per her abilities and interests. I am so glad we found an 

We are so glad!

This is our 1st year homeschooling and we are so glad that we chose Dolphin STEM Academy

Erin, mom of a 5th grader

5.0.0
2019-05-26T08:35:22+00:00

Erin, mom of a 5th grader

This is our 1st year homeschooling and we are so glad that we chose Dolphin STEM Academy

“Absolutely wonderful”

My daughter's work is completely tailored to her needs and pace.
2019-03-27T13:02:01+00:00
My daughter’s work is completely tailored to her needs and pace.
10
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Dolphin STEM

Inspiring passions in STEM.  Educating a new generation.
2017-03-13T11:54:16+00:00
Inspiring passions in STEM.  Educating a new generation.
Programs INFO
Full-time online private school and independent study homeschool
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