By: Andrea Dillon
We are so close! Summer is approaching quickly, and the end of the homeschool year is approaching! You might be looking at your calendar with a sigh of relief. Or, you might be like many homeschoolers and are now feeling the finish line crunch because you’re behind on curriculum or haven’t finished up your assessments. No matter what the reason, don’t panic! There is still time to finish the school year strong.
Double-Check Your Homeschool Requirements
Each state’s homeschooling requirements are different, so to prepare for the end of the homeschool year you should first understand what you are mandated to complete per your state’s homeschool law.
First, check out your state’s homeschool laws to identify what is expected of you.
Secondly, ask your local homeschool support groups for help understanding the state requirements. Fellow homeschoolers can be very beneficial. The homeschoolers in these groups have been through this before. They are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the specific quirks that your county’s board of education might have.
Make A Homeschool End of Year Plan
Now that you know what you must have legally, you can plan how to get there. Take a look at the remaining curriculum and set homeschool goals for your homeschool end of year date.
- Do not attempt to do an entire year in two weeks that will only frustrate you and your homeschooler. Instead, set realistic short-term goals: complete the remaining lessons on the current math concept, finish reading the book already started, etc.
- Remember, you are homeschooling! You can be flexible to meet your homeschooler’s needs. This includes scheduling more time to learn individual concepts and deciding to call yourself finished before the end of the curriculum.
- Let your student help you create these end goals. This helps them to be invested in their education and can motivate them to work hard to finish!
- If you get stuck or begin to feel overwhelmed, start a list of what you have already accomplished for the year. Congratulate yourself and your student for making it this far! It is easy to forget what you have already achieved when looking at what is still needed.
Complete Your Homeschool Assessment
Assessment requirements are different for each state. Some states require standardized testing and some portfolios, and a few states let you choose which to use between the two. There are also a handful of states that require no testing at all. Even if your state laws do not require evaluation, you may decide to opt for one or both to track your homeschooler’s progress.
- Testing– Each state that requires homeschool end of year testing also sets different test guidelines. Again, it is essential to check your homeschool laws and local homeschool groups to make sure you are meeting legal obligations. States that require testing typically allow you to register with your board of education to test through the public school system. However, the majority of these need to be scheduled earlier in the year and may not be available last minute. You can also find different homeschool tests available to use if this is the case.
- Portfolios- Your state requirements will set what you must have in your portfolio. Generally, you are required to add in work samples, attendance, and information on the curriculum/resources used throughout the year. Many homeschool portfolio resources are available to help you compile the best portfolio for you and your student.
Plan An End Of Year Celebration
Congratulations on completing this homeschool year. You and your homeschooler have worked hard and deserve some fun. An end of year celebration can be a great way to close out the year. Go as big or as small as you want.
Here are some ideas a try:
- Take end-of-year pictures.
- Create a summer bucket list together.
- Set up a playdate or party with family and friends.
- Make silly awards and have a living room ceremony.
- Use a site like Shutterfly or Snapfish and make a homeschool yearbook full of memories of your homeschool year.
- Plan a special outing.
Don’t Forget The End Of Year Reflection
Have you thought about reflecting on your year? We get so caught up in all the housekeeping and packing up that we forget to take a moment to reflect on the year that has passed. Don’t worry; I have some FREE printables to help! Grab a coffee for you and lemonade for the kids and get to reflecting with these Homeschool End of Year Reflection Printables! Did I mention they are FREE?
Use the parent copy to record what worked, what didn’t, and some ideas for making next year even better!
Get the kid’s input with the student’s reflection sheet. It may surprise you what they liked the most and what they want to change for next year.
Wrap it Up
The end of a homeschool year can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Take time to know your state’s requirements and plan to finish the school year strong. Then celebrate the accomplishments and reflect on all that hard work! You and your homeschooler deserve it!