Woohoo! School is out for the summer. It is the time to sleep in, go swimming, take a vacation, go to the fair, do the gardening, go camping, attend ball games, and any other assorted activities. But, wait. What about wrapping up the school year? Have you done that yet? It is so tempting to walk away from the school area with the intention of taking care of those loose ends later. If you are unsure what you need to do, allow me walk you through the steps of wrapping up the school year so you may truly enjoy your summer.
Take a pad of paper, a pen and your favorite beverage to a place where you are able to relax and think. Reflect over this past school year and ask yourself the following questions:
- In what areas did my children improve throughout the year?
- Where do my children need more practice?
- What are the things that worked well in our homeschool?
- What needs tweaking?
- How do my children feel about the school year?
I suggest you keep this information in a file. It will be quite helpful for when you are ready to plan the next school year.
Update Your Children’s Portfolios
The paperwork you will need to include in the portfolio depends on what grade level your children are in and what your state’s homeschool requirements are. Here is a general list:
- Attendance records
- Course list
- Course descriptions
- Curriculum / materials used
- Hours taught per course
- Reading list
- Samples of schoolwork from the beginning, middle, and the end of the school year.
- Pictures of projects completed
- Standardized test results
- Awards received
- Extracurricular and volunteer activities
Fulfill Your State Requirements
If you live in a state that requires an evaluation, there are steps to take to complete the assessment.
- First, organize your children’s portfolios.
- Second, if need be, arrange for testing. Be sure to include the results in your children’s portfolios. If allowed, keep a copy of the completed tests.
- Third, take the information you wrote during your reflection time and formulate an assessment of each children’s progress.
- Fourth, contact an Evaluator for an appointment. Your state homeschool association or a local homeschool group can give you a list of certified Evaluators.
- Fifth, mail the evaluation results to the appropriate person and request a signed delivery receipt. In case the other party misplaces your report, the signed receipt will serve as proof that you did mail the results.
- Lastly, keep a copy of the evaluation for your records.
I am not referring to washing the windows and shampooing the carpet. I am talking about sorting through the materials used for the year and throwing out what is necessary. This might include broken crayons, really short pencils, schoolwork that will not go into your children’s portfolios, and old science and art supplies that are no longer usable. Do not forget to clean off the bookcase to make room for new curriculum, and other school materials.
This is also a good time to take inventory of what you have and what you will need to replenish for the next school year.
Now is the time to receive a return on your curriculum investment. Be sure to keep what you can later use for a younger child. For instance, use an older child’s textbook, unit studies, science supplies, or math manipulatives for a younger child when the appropriate time arises.
There are several options for selling used curriculum, such as:
- Used curriculum sale through a homeschool group or co-op
- Other homeschool moms
- Online sources (forums, Facebook, eBay, and etcetera)
- Homeschool curriculum consignment store
Sometimes it is confusing when setting a price for the curriculum. You might consider the following:
- The price you paid for it
- What the going price is for the same product at used curriculum stores found online
- The condition of your curriculum
- Including any shipping charges with your asking price
Purchase New Curriculum
If you have not purchased the curriculum you need for next year, this is the time to do so. There are still a few homeschool conventions occurring. Take advantage of any discounts the curriculum providers are still offering.
You may want to consider purchasing curriculum from a homeschool consignment store. Recently, I had $180.00 in credit all because of what I had brought in at the beginning of the last school year.
Once you have the curriculum and supplies, organize them by subject and place them on a shelf until you are ready to set up for the next school year. This will ensure the materials are readily accessible when you need them.
Plan for Next Year
If you are feeling really ambitious, go ahead and plan for the next year by:
- Obtaining a new planner. There are several companies that are already selling planners for the upcoming school year.
- Setting up the school calendar.
- Making out the course list and descriptions.
- You might even want to begin your lesson planning. One bit of advice is do not wait until August to begin with your lesson planning. Families tend to squeeze in last minute activities before the school year begins and lesson planning tends to be set aside for later.
It is much easier to finish wrapping up the school year now than to procrastinate. Afterwards you will truly be able to enjoy your summer.
Angie McFarren lives in a small town in Indiana with her husband and their two children. They began homeschooling in 2002. Seven years later Angie felt called to assist others in their homeschooling journey. As a result, she became a Homeschool Consultant and the owner of H.O.P.E. Home School Consulting. Angie is the author of the Educate the Home Educator Crash Course, which is a “go-to” resource both new and veteran homeschool moms. You are welcome to visit her website to learn more about what she offers.