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The Thinking Tree: 12 Subject Portfolio Review

Look what arrived at our house. I was super excited to receive the 12 Subject Portfolio from The Thinking Tree.
12 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree
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This 448 page 12 Subject Portfolio is a place for your child to create their very own portfolio.

The 12 Subject Portfolio was created for middle to high school age but can be adapted for younger kiddos as well (there's actually a younger 10 Subject Portfolio one coming out very soon).

High school students 10-12th Sarah recommends they complete this in one semester. They should use high school, adult, and college level books.

If you are using this book with students in grades 6th-9th it will last a whole year. The child is to use grade appropriate material. You can use library books or your own curriculum program.

If using this book with elementary grade students it can last 3 years, grades 3-5!!! Imagine all the memories you'll have, pretty neat!

This portfolio includes 12 subjects:

  1. Science
  2. History
  3. Geography and Travels
  4. Mathematics
  5. Business and Technology
  6. Language Arts
  7. Literature and Copywork
  8. The Arts
  9. Social Studies
  10. Films and Tutorials
  11. Home Economics
  12. Porjects

This is not for Thinking Tree users only. You can use this with any homeschool program or curricula.
12 Subject Portfolio from The Thinking Tree
(Geography and Travel "entry" page)
Each subject has an "entry" page. On the left side of the two page spread it has the child list what they want to learn, gives a set of action steps, and at the bottom of the left page there's a place for notes, book list, list of tutorials, etc. depending on the subject.

The child can list what books, tutorials, and documentaries they used to learn the subject on the right side of the two page spread.
12 Subject Portfolio from The Thinking Tree
(Math "entry" page - with about 40 repeated graph pages.)
With the Language Arts pages the child will fill in the "entry page" first and during the month complete a few of the pages.
12 Subject Portfolio from The Thinking Tree
(A few pages from the Language Arts section)
Included in the LA section: pages for grammar tips, copy a poem or song, a creative writing page, and as shown above, "Things I want to Remember", and a place to write vocabulary or spelling words. These pages are repeated for a total of 26 Language Arts pages.
12 Subject Portfolio from The Thinking Tree
(Literature and Copywork "entry" page)
The Literature and Copywork pages has your child copy a paragraph from their book. Another page has them Tell the story with words and pictures. These pages are repeated for a total of 28 Literature & Copywork pages

The child can either draw a picture, use a timeline image, or search on the internet for one to put in one of the boxes. Then  summarize what they learned. It'll be fun at the end of the year to read and see what was studied.
(Repeated Literature & Copywork pages for a total of 28)
Each subject is set up the same with an entry page and between 26-40 pages for the child to complete throughout the year(s) - depending on the age/grade of the child.
12 Subject Portfolio from The Thinking Tree
(History pages that repeat for at total of 38 pages)
In the back are pages for Projects. There are two pages for each project. There's space to write the project name, date started/completed, materials used, results, and to add pictures or as always you can draw what you learned.
12 Subject Portfolio from The Thinking Tree

The 12 Subject Portfolio can be used with unschoolers, delight-directed, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, eclectic, and traditional homeschoolers.

I plan to use this with our current curricula, so the books to choose for the subjects are all ready on our bookshelf. Except for Business & Technology. I think with that one I'l let Brent check some books out at the library and fill up the pages how he chooses. Maybe let him take a break from some of his regular subjects to concentrate on Business and Technology. I know he's interested in those subjects.

For math I'll have him use the Life of Fred books to fill in the pages.

The 12 Subject Portfolio is also a wonderful way to reinforce what is being learned. Once you wrap-up a month of science learning, have the child complete a few science pages.

Has your child just finished listening to the audio of Mystery of History or Story of the World? Well, they are now ready to get creative and complete a few pages from their 12 Subject Portfolio =)

Did you all watch a documentary, great! Record it in the Films & Tutorial pages!

What I like about this book is you can get creative. I see lots of delight directed learning going on using the 12 Subject Portfolio.
12 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree
If you wanted to use The Thinking Tree as your main curriculum program (with lots of library books or your own books) I'd suggest using one of the six week journals that has your child complete about 10 pages, add the Timeline of World History, a few DIY books, and of course your own math program.

And as I'm writing this my creative side is pondering doing something completely different in our homeschool. Wouldn't it be neat to do Bible, Math, and maybe a little bit of Language Arts daily but then focus on one subject a day? Like Monday can be history day. So Ethan and Brent would use their journals for history only.
Then Tuesday can be science day so their spelling words, reading time, screen time, and even filling out their Timeline of World History would all come from their science books.

One week out of the month they can use their 12 Subject Portfolio book to write about what they've been learning. Now that sounds fun!

Sarah has made this available to order as a physical book or in pdf format. To see a list of books The Thinking Tree books organized for you click HERE.


  1. Great review, thanks! My brain is buzzing with ways to use this book, I need to get my hands on one!

  2. We've done that with our schedule; we do math, reading and writing every day and then one day a week we focus on science, geography, history, art, etc. It allows us a lot more time to delve into each topic.