Simple Steps to an End-of-Year Homeschool Celebration
My fellow homeschoolers, do you see the light—that light at the end of the tunnel for this year’s homeschool journey? I am seeing mine and it feels great. Our 36-week schedule stops the week before Memorial Day. While it’s almost time to wrap up the year, let’s not forget some simple steps to an end-of-year celebration!
However, before we start to celebrate, let’s talk about a few housekeeping items.
I know it’s hard to believe, but you will forget your progress this year. So, we need something for remembering and reminiscing.
We keep all of our papers in a binder. That way, we can hand it off to our Pennsylvania evaluator for review. Our portfolio review gets certified and sent to our school district. However, some of you may not have this handy because of your state’s requirements.
Here are some ideas you may want to record:
- Subjects/Topics discussed per child (samples of grades, projects,papers, etc.)
- Online Courses/Educational Videos
- Drawings with dates/ages
- Read out loud or Independently read books (including audios)
- Field trip
- Special Recognition
For special drawings or papers, you may consider taking pictures then put them in a special folder on a cloud for safe keeping (icloud, One Drive, or Dropbox).
YEAR END EVALUATION
Every year, I jot down some notes that will come in handy for the following school year. It’s easy for this information to slip your mind as summer rolls around. I write it on a thicker piece of paper and add it to their binder or laminate it.
Check out these suggestions you may want to evaluate for next year:
- Curriculum you loved/didn’t love and why
- Progress compared to last year
- Strengths/Weaknesses for each child
- Good/Bad Character Traits
- Routine Improvements
Another tradition we’ve held onto for years is video taping each child. We ask them questions on their thoughts for the school year. Most kids enjoy talking about themselves—don’t we all? So it’s usually not too hard to pin them down. Some examples of questions include:
- What grade/age are you?
- Tell me your favorite books?
- Do you have a favorite subject?
- What are you most proud of?
- Is there a character quality you’d like to work on?
- What curriculum did you like best?
- Is there a curriculum you liked least?
- Did anything surprise you about yourself?
- Would you like to learn anything special next year?
- How did <least favorite subject> go this year?
- How did <favorite subject> go this year?
- What is on your bucket list this summer?
- How would you like to celebrate the end of the school year?
Once I stop recording, I confirm the recorded video works properly on my smartphone/camera. I almost missed a recording failure; so don’t let it happen to you!
Then, it’s time to take an end-of-year picture of each child.
Now, it’s official—we are done for the school year.
Woo hoo! It’s time to bask in the light and celebrate! We consider each child’s request on how they would like to party and then together, make a plan! Some ideas may be to visit a new restaurant; so there’s no mess at home. Or, if you are on a budget, make or buy a cake with ice cream and have some friends over. Kids can be very creative; so let them come up with some fun ideas to get the summer party started!
What are your simple steps to an End-of-Year Celebration? Share with us in the comments below. Happy End-of-Year!
Natalie Fullmer is married with two children. After leaving her IT career in the healthcare industry, she decided to stay home full-time and homeschool both children. In the early days, she used boxed curriculum but has now adopted a Charlotte Mason & Eclectic-type style the last few years. She works part-time as a Virtual Assistant and teaches English to Chinese children. Natalie is also a proud member of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Besides homeschooling, her passions include raising animals on her mini farm, reading non-fiction, gardening, learning the latest tech, and sharing her minimalist approach with other homeschool moms on her blog at http://contentwithsimple.com. Favorite bible verse for encouragement is Philippians 4:13.