Woohoo!  You finished another year of homeschooling!

 

It’s such a good feeling to complete the year and look forward to summer. Time to celebrate and give yourself some time to just relax. You earned it!

 

But before it gets too far past the end of the school year, I encourage you to take a little time to evaluate your school year and think about what you liked and didn’t like about the year.   I know you just want to be done, but this will help make planning your next school year so much easier. (Trust me, it’s much harder to remember what you want to change if you wait too long to think about it!)

 

1. Ask yourself the following questions: (Ask your children some of these questions too.)

Schedules/Overall Experience
  • What worked well in our daily schedule that we should remember to implement again?
  • What didn’t work well in the daily schedule? Make a note of it, so you don’t try it again.
  • Are we happy with how the school year went?
  • What could we do to improve our school days for next year?
  • What caused me to feel frustrated with homeschooling in this last year? Is there anything I can do to change that, so it doesn’t happen again?
Goals
  • Did we accomplish the goals we set? Were our goals achievable or do we need to reassess them?
  • Are there goals we want to carry over to next year?
  • Is there anything I should read this summer to help me grow in my teaching skills? (Some teaching resource books are listed below.)
Character/Learning Styles
  • Have our children grown in character and in their walk with God?
  • Are our children spending their free time wisely, or do we need to consider making changes there?
  • Did we learn anything about the children’s learning styles that we should consider as we buy the new curriculum for next year? (For more on learning styles, see my two-part post called “Understanding How Your Child Learns“)
Learning environment
  • Was our home environment well set up for homeschooling, or do we need to make some changes for next year?
  • Are there any resources that we need to get before we start school again next year? (such as a printer/copier, another bookshelf, a globe, a teacher’s resource, etc.)
Curriculum
  • Were there any academic subjects that need extra focus for any of the children next year? (Look at the annual achievement test scores for more guidance on this.)
  • What curriculum did we all really like using and would want to use again if possible?
  • What curriculum did we dislike enough that we want to sell it and never use it again?
  • Did the curriculum we used fit my teaching style preferences?
Consider doing an individual assessment for each child

Do this free individual assessment for each of your children to determine where they need to grow in character, spiritually, and academically.

  • As you go through the above questions, pray, and seek God’s wisdom and direction. Ask Him to show you what you need to change and what you might want to work on regarding your children’s academics, and also regarding their character and walk with Him.

2. Make a list of things you want to get done over the summer to prepare for next year based on the above questions.

Examples:

  • Curriculum to look for during the summer.
  • Changes you want to make and how you plan to implement those changes.
  • Changes in the learning environment you hope to make.
  • Books you want to read to help you grow as a teacher or parent.
  • Set aside time with your spouse to set goals for the next school year.
  • Set dates for when you hope to have each of the items on the list completed to help you stay on track.

3. Get your school records in order

  • Finish up any grading and finalize report cards (plus finish up transcripts for high school students)
  • Go through all your student’s school work, and save several special assignments, projects or tests for each child from the year. Or better yet, have them do this!
  • Using an expandable file folder, put all your records for each school week plus the above saved school work into the file folder and label it with the year.

4. Have an amazing summer enjoying time with your children!

 

 

Some Great Reads for the Homeschool Parent: (includes affiliate links)

Homeschooling with Confidence by Kris Cox

The Way They Learn by Cynthia Tobias

Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Sally & Clay Clarkson

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens by Debra Bell

The Christian Homeschool by Gregg Harris

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

Home Schooling 101: The Essential Handbook by Mark & Christine Field