Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wrapping Up Your Year

Wrapping up your homeschool year for the first time can be a bit confusing. When do I finish? What do I keep? What's next?

When do I finish?
In Kentucky, I am required to educate 180 days. We are doing school year-round, and will surpass that by a lot. I don't judge school to be over by days, as much as getting our main curriculum finished. I don't feel the same way about math however.

I sometimes start a new book for math in the middle of the year. Sometimes we aren't finished with our math and use the same book going into the new school year. Since our break isn't that long, if we have switched mid-year it is better to stay on track anyway.

What do I keep?
Go through your child's work, pick some of their best work to keep in a portfolio, and keep some work that shows their growth for the year, like handwriting comparisons. Not only will that show you are teaching, but will serve as a way for your child to see just how much they have grown over the year.

What's next?
This would also be a great time to really sit back and assess the year before moving forward with next year. Don't wait to do this after your break, if you take one. Your mind won't be as fresh with things you want to remember or do differently next year.

Some things to consider:
  • Was the curriculum a good fit?
  • Was the grade level appropriate?
  • Did your schedule work well for your family?
  • Discuss with your child what things he may want to learn more about next year.
  • Are you happy with your planning/grading system?
  • What electives would you like to include?
  • Where are your weaknesses?
  • What are your strengths?
Write your thoughts down! Have them ready when you go to order curriculum for the next school year.

Perhaps you need to sell all of your curriculum and start from scratch-write down why you felt the curriculum didn't work for your family. That will help you find a better fit next time.

If you can, find a local homeschool convention to refresh your homeschool batteries and look through curriculum. Having a book in your hand will be much more helpful than looking at a small preview online.

Our break is very short, less than a month, and I spend a lot of time planning our year, clearing out shelves, filing school work and getting acquainted with our new curriculum. Nothing feels worse than being unprepared!

Pat yourself on the back, you just gave your children one of the best gifts you can give them-time. Time with family, time with you, time to be a kid. You deserve some chocolate!!

Sam is a Christian homeschooling mom of six, married to Rick, her high school sweetheart. Rick was called to be a preacher, Samantha was called to homeschool, and loves blogging about their journey. She is interested in Bible study, photography, exercise, organizing, and sweet tea. You can find Samantha blogging at Sam’s Noggin. She also writes for The Curriculum Choice.

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