You’re at the finish line.
But how do you cross it?
Do you and the kids slam your books shut on a designated day and throw everything into a few drawers? Then forget about homeschooling until it’s time to start again come fall?
Picking up where you left off can be a daunting task, especially if you’re taking a long break.
There are ways to wrap up the homeschool year that make it much easier to start again later. You’ll spend less time getting organized and reviewing outdated notes and forgotten content.
They’ll save both you and the kids a lot of time and stress.
Keep reading and try some or all the suggestions below. You’ll thank yourself for it later!!
How to Wrap Up Your Homeschool Year with the Kids
1. Find a good stopping point. Don’t break for summer in the middle of a unit! If you do that, you’ll have to start over from the beginning of the unit again, because the kids will have forgotten the material. Assign an enrichment activity to reinforce and deepen their learning if one of your kids is done ahead of the others.
2. Wrap up the homeschool year with a portfolio project, which is a collection of their work over the past year. This project offers your kids a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what they’ve learned. They can celebrate all they’ve accomplished over the homeschool year.
Invite your kids to include their favorite summative assessments to show what they’ve learned. They should choose end of unit projects for their portfolio, not things like completed practice worksheets.
Ask your kids to write reflections as part of their portfolio project. This is excellent critical thinking skills practice. Why did they choose each piece? Did they learn any lessons they could use in their daily life from that activity? If yes, what?
Consider having them share their portfolios with the rest of the family, so everyone can celebrate all they’ve done this year. Tell your kids this before they begin their projects.
3. Review your planner notes on the year’s successes and failures. You can do this at the same time your kids are working on their portfolios. What worked well? What didn’t? Identify gaps in your kids’ homeschool experience and the curriculum you used.
Begin to work on your wish list of curricula for the next year. With a specific list in hand, you’ll laser in on the right curriculum. You’ll also know what questions to ask vendors at the next homeschool convention, if you attend one.
4. Conference with each of your kids one-on-one. Review their portfolio while you do so. Discuss their strengths, accomplishments, and successes for the year. Then talk about areas of improvement to work on for the next year.
Ask your kids for their input too. When you include them in the discussion you’re showing them that you value their ideas. Kids have interesting insights you might not have considered, and they can help you make your homeschool better.
Then Do Your Own Wrap Up of The Homeschool Year
After you conference with your kids, complete your wrap up.
Ask yourself a few of the questions below:
• Were your learning objectives met? How well?
• What are your key takeaways for the year?
• If you wanted to do something different, what would you do?
• What would you like to try in the future?
• When did you learn to relax more, and when did you learn to draw a firm line and stick to it?
• What took more time than you expected? Do you have a clear idea why, or do you need to experiment?
• What does your pediatrician or child psychology books say about how your kids will develop and change over the next year? Do you need to adjust your homeschool activities for this?
Finally, take a look at your multi-year plan. Are your kids generally where they need to be for their current age or grade level? If you want them to be college ready by a certain time or have state learning requirements to meet, this is something to consider.
Wrapping up the homeschool year with long- range planning can feel overwhelming. Even a few minutes spent on this will crystallize your focus for the coming year.
P.S. I’m taking the summer off of blogging to finish up our new Research Paper Rockstar course. It’ll be Writing Rockstar’s latest online writing curriculum. Stay tuned for news on its release, and have a great summer!!