How to ROCK the last few weeks of your homeschool year

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The following is a post by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

In our family, we have tried many school year schedules.

We’ve tried summers off, summers on, occasional month long breaks and once, a 6-week-on-one-week-off rotation that I never successfully kept track of, meaning that often it was more like 8.5 weeks on, followed by 1.5 weeks of too many DVDs (them) and too many novels (me).

And so please know, that I am not suggesting that you change your school schedule in any way. If you have found something that works, and doesn’t leave your family with a mess of library fines, then carry on!

But, if you follow a more traditional school year, the end is near, my friends. And that’s something fun to celebrate!

And so, I recommend the following to make the last few weeks of homeschooling, you know, ROCK:

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Get Outside

I remember my grade school teachers leading us outside a few times a year to hold a particular lesson in the grass. The change of scenery awed us into quiet, and we would sit rapt, wondering how the formerly cranky Mrs. L had suddenly gotten so … AWESOME.

I’m not ashamed to say that we had the same response in college when a cool professor would announce we were all heading outside of the classroom.

There is just something about being in nature, especially after so many weeks indoors, that can reinvigorate students. And teachers.

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Plan a field day

Spring is the perfect time to plan some sporting activities. And a field day doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A local park is a great locale – even a backyard will work.

And a fun field day doesn’t have to be all about athletic competition. In fact, some of the more fun pursuits often create better memories – egg-and-spoon races, three-legged races, etc.

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Plan a BIG field trip

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the opportunity for mid-week adventures. Museums and zoos aren’t nearly as busy, and often there are really great bargains available.

Through membership with our local science museum, we are allowed free admission to many other museums across the country, as long as we’re willing to travel a bit, and for us, that’s what spring, the end of the school year is all about!

Consider what’s working

Right now, you are in the thick of homeschooling. You’ve probably learned this year some things that really work and some things that really don’t.

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Don’t make yourself crazy, but do take a few notes for next year. Because you also should …

Plan for a REAL break

Breaks are so important for homeschooling. They give us wonderful perspective, and a chance to start fresh again.

So even if you only do periodic breaks, or even if your summer break is only a few days, be OK with the too-many hours spent at the park, or too-many afternoons reading in the grass, or whatever else spells R-E-S-T for your family.

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Commemorate!

And finally, celebrate!

Our kids are amazing. And we are so lucky to be on this journey with them. So plan a special dinner, or a little family award ceremony to wrap up the end of the school year.

Sure, you can congratulate your kids on finishing a math workbook or learning 35 sight words, but think outside the box too and celebrate who your kids are.

Did they learn to tie their shoes this year? Ride a bike? Did they lose a first tooth or get their braces off? Did they start a comic strip, or start beating you at chess?

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Those are all BIG THINGS, and they are worthy of hugs, high fives and perhaps even cupcakes.

So get celebrating, because before you know it, you’ll be starting another school year, and wondering how this summer went by so fast.

How do you celebrate the end of the school year in your family?

About Kara Anderson

Kara is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom, driven by an unknown force to write everything down. She takes too many pictures, and never leaves home without a notebook. Read about her adventures with her two amazing kiddos at Quill and Camera.

Comments

  1. This is a wise post. We’re trying to “rock” our last weeks, but we’re so excited to put the books away, that by common consent we’re pushing through so we can get to weeks of hiking, swimming, and hammock swinging. I love the beginning of a new school year, I love the middle, and I love the end–all for different reasons. Hurrah for the joys of different seasons!
    Anne’s latest post: A Day in the Life–April

  2. I love the reminder to celebrate who they are and not just academic accomplishments. This is our first year of homeschooling, so we’ll have to celebrate somehow! Thanks for the suggestions!!
    Amy’s latest post: My kids are shy, we homeschool, and I may or may not worry too much

  3. Great Post!

  4. Summer! So close I can taste it. We are going to start planning weekly regular outings in summer. With a new baby, a sweet treat.

  5. Stephanie says:

    We started the vacation countdown today! This year we are celebrating finding our groove, having both of my boys home instead of just one and being ready to go with our curriculum choices for next year! Hello summer!

  6. This is the time of year that we’re all feeling the “itch” to get outside. So we do go outside for lessons. We also use this time for doing less formal learning. Less bookwork, and more exploration. One year, we learned various life skills like cooking, how to use tools, painting, etc. This year I’m teaching my youngest daughter how to sew and my youngest son is exploring business opportunities.
    In the meantime, we continue with math, reading and music.
    We do take a break over summer because, honestly, I need it!
    Alecia Baptiste’s latest post: Confessions of a Mom with a Graduating Senior

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