Are you about to finish your first homeschool year? Congratulations! It’s a cause for celebration! But before you party, here are some tips for ending the homeschool year and taking care of some vital tasks before enjoying a well-earned summer break.
Tips for Ending the Homeschool Year
The trick to ending the homeschool year is to ensure you’ve finished off any loose ends to ensure you can easily start homeschooling again in the fall without any problems. This doesn’t mean you complete every single page of your curriculum. Instead, you tie off any and all loose ends.
1. Set an Ending Date and Stick to It
Homeschooling is like housework. It never ends! Something will always be left undone. But you need time to rest and recuperate. Time to enjoy life with your family.
So set an ending date for your homeschool. It doesn’t matter if you are leaving half the math book unfinished or still have a chapter left in history. Set an ending date and stick to it. The homeschool material will wait for the new school year.
Or you can set up a light homeschooling summer schedule that only includes one or two subjects, like doing a math lesson and reading a few pages in a book.
But set an ending date for the school year. Tell your kids and stick to it. You and your kids will enjoy the change of pace and come back refreshed and ready for the new school year in the fall.
2. Set Up a Countdown Calendar
Set up a count-down calendar in your home so that you and your children can see how close you are to the end of the school year. This works beautifully if you have a party or celebration planned for the first day of summer.
Plan a fun trip to the water slides or take off for the beach. Head down to your local pool and swim all day in the water. The countdown calendar will help everyone stay focused until the end of the school year.
3. End of the Year Testing
Many states require testing at the end of the year. Make sure you complete any testing your state requires before your official first day of summer break. I started testing the kids in my home the last week of the school year. Once the kids are finished testing, they can enjoy summer break! It helps to keep the kids motivated to sit down and complete each section without complaining.
At least, not too many complaints!
This post is sponsored by True North Homeschool Academy’s Performance Series Test: state of the art standardized testing in Reading, Math, and Language Arts tests for K-12th grade. These tests can be submitted for state standardized testing requirements and taken more than once throughout the school year at no extra cost to you.
4. Record the Previous Year
Grab a notebook, sit down, and write down everything you did this year while it’s fresh in your mind. Record the highlights, field trips, books read, experiments completed, and videos watched.
Note what went well and what needs to be improved. Write down ideas for things you’d like to do next year.
I’ve found that many mothers don’t realize how much they’re covering with their kids until they journal what’s going on in their homeschool. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much material you and your kids covered.
5. Order New Curriculum
As we’re coming into summer, it’s time to order your new curriculum to ensure you have it before the new school year starts. Sometimes, curriculum companies can deal with so many orders they may be delayed in packaging and shipping.
Don’t be too quick to jump ship to that shiny curriculum your best friend uses. We often get lured away from a good program by a new program with all the whistles and bells. Your kids will be intellectual giants when you complete it!
In my experience, when you have a curriculum that’s working and working well, don’t switch. The new curriculum often sits on the shelf gathering dust while you feel guilty because you loathe using it, and the kids complain every time you pull it out.
But if a curriculum is not working well for you and your kids, switch! There are many great programs out there. Find one that meshes well with you and your family.
6. Tips for Ending the Homeschool Year: Plan Next Year
This sounds counter-intuitive, but yes, plan next year now. The reason is simple. Since you’re fresh from the fray, you have reasonable expectations for what you and the kids can accomplish over the next school year.
If you wait, you’ll start to plan everything you could or should be doing. You’ll add more fun and important subjects you must cover and end up with an unrealistic plan that must be tossed out in October.
So plan the next year now!
7. Tips for Ending the Homeschool Year: Party!!!!
When you’re ending the homeschool year, plan a party. Have a family celebration. Have banana splits for dinner! Believe me, the kids will be ecstatic. Or invite some of your homeschool friends to your house for an end-of-the-school-year celebration.
You’ve survived. You finished. You and your family can pat yourselves on the back and relax. The end of the school year-celebration is a fabulous tradition to start. It gives you and your children something to look forward to and a way of saying we’re done beyond just putting the books away.
As you’re ending the homeschooling year, make sure that you know when you’re actually ending. Otherwise, you may keep finding one more subject to cover and never take a break. You can even set up a countdown calendar to encourage you and your kids to finish the year strong.
Also, ensure that you complete any end-of-the-year testing required and that you sit down and write down what you accomplished. It’s also a great time to order the new curriculum and plan for the next school year. This will allow you to plan a realistic schedule instead of trying to add so many subjects that you and the kids will be exhausted by October.
And most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate the end of the school year with a party!
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