5 Ways to End Your Homeschool Year Right

It is May, which means that we are beginning to wrap up our homeschool year. 
As we close things out, there are a few things I like to do, some “end of year housekeeping” to ensure we’re covering everything we need to be learning, and all the fun things I want to be teaching too.

1. I make sure we’re at the end of our books or have met our curriculum goals. I don’t always have my children do every page in their books and workbooks, we just cover the material until they’ve mastered the subject, and then occasionally throw in a review or difficult problem applying those skills as the year goes on.

In homeschool we naturally move quickly ahead in some subjects while other subjects may be slower or fall off track a bit, and so in the last month or so of school I like to go back and cover anything we may have missed, and make sure we’re on target.

2. Double check the standard learning objectives for the grades I’m teaching from home. Kto8 website is a good resource for this information, and I oftentimes seek out another source or two like my state's curriculum, or another educational website to make sure we really have covered all the educational concepts that my children would receive if they were attending a brick and mortar school.

3. Make a list of the extra activities I think are important for that grade, and make sure those are covered. Kindergarteners need to learn to tie shoelaces. First graders need to learn to tell time. Fifth graders usually learn about Washington DC and our country. These things aren't necessarily on a list somewhere, but they are things that are pretty standard and that I remember from my own education. It is important to us that our children go on nature walks, listen to good music, and are exposed to quality poetry and short stories. These are things that may not be in your curriculum, so make sure to note which ones are important to you (because they vary by family culture) and include them in your activities.

4. Evaluate whether the curriculum we used worked for us. This year I did a combination of a few curriculums, and I liked a lot of aspects about them but I do plan to look and see if I can find something better for next year. Finding the right curriculum comes with a certain amount of trial and error, and the end of the school year is a great time to sit back and assess whether the program you are using is best suited to your family and your particular needs.

5. Make a plan for summer, and begin to think about the curriculum for the following year. I tend to spend my summer researching various curricula, and ordering my supplies for the fall in late July. For summer, I make a plan that includes what educational things AND what fun things we want to do that summer. In years past, our lists have included goals such as:

- read every day

- go on nature walks
- visit the beach
- finish that lingering subject we haven't completed from the school year 

- teach the children to make popsicles

We try to keep summers light and not full of too much book work. However, if it has been a particularly rough year with many breaks, or if a child is very excited about moving ahead in a subject, we go for it in between the swimming and ice cream and summer fun.

Wrapping up our school year in this way is a great way to ensure that we've learned all we wanted to, have a plan for what's coming next, and makes me feel confident in our homeschool plan.

What about you? How do you round out the school year?