We're nearing the end of the homeschool year and I felt like it was falling flat. We definitely weren't ending our year on a high note and I wanted to change that.
I want to share with you my ideas for how to make that happen, but first I wanted to mention the Reading for Treasure map. This map is part of the Grammar Galaxy curriculum and makes reading motivating. I realized it would make a great summer reading program. You can download your free copy at GrammarGalaxyBooks.com/treasure. Share pictures of your kids reading books related to stops on the treasure map or just the books themselves with the hashtag #readingmap on Instagram. You can also tag me at Psychowith6 if you'd like. At the end of the summer, I'll randomly award a prize package to one of the entrants.
Teaching Tip of the Week
Today's teaching tip of the week is Rochelle Barlow's Learn American Sign Language in 31 Days. We used these free videos in our co-op and we loved them. Rochelle is a sweetheart and an amazing teacher. What a fun study for you to take on with the kids this summer. Check it out at RochelleBarlow.com.
The Organized Homeschool Challenge of the Week
How to End Your Homeschool Year on a High Note
Now if you're nearing the end of your year, you may be feeling like you're fizzling out instead of all fired up. I know that's what was happening in our school. I was ready to be done for sure, but I wanted to feel good about what we accomplished. Remember my recent podcast on being disappointed in your homeschool year? I also wanted to teach the kids by example how to persevere to the end. I chatted with friends from HomeschoolScopes.tv and this is what I decided.
#1 Decide on a finishing line
What if you're not where you planned to be at the point with school? I think you have a couple of options that can help you end your year well. First, you can decide to challenge yourselves and finish anyway. I've shared with you before how I created an end-of-the-year checklist for each of my kids and their motivation soared. They were determined to finish in time and so completed tons of math and reading in record time. With subjects we were behind on as a family, the kids agreed to do double and even triple lessons so we could finish. I love the lesson within the lesson. Don't give up, but give your work even more attention.
But there are kids and subjects for which the nose-to-the-grindstone approach isn't appropriate. In that case, decide on a challenging, but not impossible goal. Make a new lesson plan for your child for the end of the year or choose a good stopping point. I did this with our Bible curriculum this year and decided to finish with one book without starting another. I also created a new lesson plan for one of my kids. The point is to choose a finish line you can cross.
#2 Do something different
One of the reasons our studies start to fall apart this time of year is from a desire for something new. We want to get outside, be done with a book, or learn something completely different. So while you are challenging yourself to cross your finish line, mix things up. We like to take our studies outside this time of year and even to a new room in the house. This is a great time of year to add in more field trips, nature studies, and P.E. Even traditional schools understand spring fever and do more of these things this time of year. It may also be a good time to start a short unit study. I added a unit study on disaster preparedness that I hadn't planned on doing for our co-op and I really enjoyed teaching it. I was ready to learn something new, too!
#3 Plan a celebration
We always had some kind of water fight at the end of the year when I was a kid in school. On our last day of co-op, the kids had a water balloon fight and loved it. They ordered more balloons to have another fight later.
The other end-of-the-year tradition I remember was some kind of outdoor competitive games. We do that as homeschoolers, too. In fact, we like it so much that we go to two events where the kids can compete and hang out with friends. At the suggestion of a friend on Periscope, I planned an educational competition as well. I created a Jeopardy game using questions from many of the topics we've studied in co-op this year. Our co-op friends went out to eat together which was also a nice treat.
My favorite way by far to celebrate the end of the homeschool year, however, is to go on vacation. This year we are going with a large group of homeschool friends. Our homeschool year will definitely end on a high note. Speaking of vacations, Homeschool Sanity will be on vacation until June 7th.
This week's action steps are to download your free reading map at grammargalaxybooks.com/treasure, sign up for your free American Sign Language course at RochelleBarlow.com, and end your year on a high note by deciding on a finish line, doing something different, and planning a celebration. Find the links to this week's episode at homeschoolsanity.com/yearend
Have a happy homeschool week!