Homeschool Year End Shortcuts

Are you ready for some homeschool year-end shortcuts?  Are you finished with your school assignments or are close?Homeschool Year-End Shortcuts ~ Episode 467

Are you ready for some homeschool year-end shortcuts?  Are you finished with your school assignments or are close to them being done? Well, now is the time to show how much you’ve accomplished this year. Here are some of my best-kept year-end secrets. Listen to this podcast to learn more.

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Year-end has such a final ring to it, and often I’d cringe thinking about all the work I had to do, paperwork that is to finish off our school year. It turned into a nightmare until I finally clued in that it was something I needed to do all year long and it made my end of the year a breeze. So much of this depends on your state laws, and how they require homeschoolers to report student progress. Some states are less strict than others. It also depends on whether or not you are using an online curriculum that reports grades and progress for you or if you are putting together a portfolio (with or without your child’s help) in order to see growth and progress throughout the year.

Homeschool Year-End Shortcuts ~ The Questions

Here are some questions to ask before you dig in:

  1. What are my state homeschool requirements and how will I fulfill this with an end-of-the-year report or summary.
  2. Are my children required to take standardized tests? Can the ACT or SAT fulfill this requirement (middle school and up)?
  3. What type of progress report or portfolio (samples of the child’s work in each subject area) will I compile?
  4. What is missing?
  5. Do I have my child’s reading list for the year? This includes textbooks, workbooks, and other curriculum guides as well as books that were assigned or were read to the children as a family.

How do you keep track of your progress? One of the best ways is to create a portfolio of your child’s accomplishments, even if they are enrolled in an online school or class. It is wonderful to create new ones each year or to keep adding to a master portfolio year after year. Doing it during the school year is a plus because it cuts out the mess of trying to create this at the end of the year. One way that makes this painless is with a memory keepsake the children can help put together.

Catch this replay – Yearly Evaluations

Yearly Evaluations

Best Homeschool Year-End Lists

My best homeschool year-end shortcut is not to have to scramble because you’ve been putting together bits and pieces throughout the year. Here are some things you can add to your portfolio or the children can add to a memory keepsake:

  1. School days or hours *calendar suffices
  2. Awards
  3. Reading lists
  4. Special projects such as science fairs or history fair
  5. Art projects or samples (pictures) of artwork.
  6. Chapter tests or summaries
  7. Reports
    1. Book reports
    2. Subject related reports
  8. Samples of quizzes
  9. Clubs or sports
  10. Hobbies or accomplishments

Homeschool Memory Keepsakes

With a memory keepsake, the children will take pride in adding their special ribbons or pictures of sports trophies. Perhaps they’ve learned a difficult music piece for the piano, or sing in the choir at church. All of these things are “school-related” and can be added to a memory book with pictures or even just a list. If you keep track of progress throughout the year it is so much easier and it is fun to see how much has been accomplished.

Short-Cuts:

  1. Gather completed work samples weekly or at least monthly.
  2. Enlist the children’s help.
  3. Use the best samples from different subjects. Minimum of twelve per subject.
  4. Use samples from the beginning, middle, and end of the year.
  5. Make a plan to document special events.
  6. Create Calendars that you can use to jot down memorable events.
  7. Tests? Grades? Optional in most states, add this to the end-of-year lists
  8. Keep track of schooling days each week/or month
  9. Use pictures whenever possible.
  10. Stop and evaluate.

Sometimes it is unavoidable and leaving things to the last minute can not be helped. If this is the case, don’t panic. Use copies of your child’s best work and put together a reasonable timeline of accomplishments. This can include extracurricular activities. For many years I assigned the children reports based on our field trips. This was one way to make the fun field trip tie into schoolwork and they were able to practice their writing and spelling skills with this project.

I love the idea of keeping a yearly memory book or portfolio because it shows you that yes, you have accomplished so much during the school year. And, if you have not? No worries there is always next year. I believe if your children are working to their ability even if it does not fit into the academic plan that is okay. I had some struggling learners and some children that were gifted, and struggling learners who were gifted. This is one of the bonuses of homeschooling it helps to allow your children to succeed in a safe and loving environment. Encourage your children daily, and believe me I know it is hard at times. After five children completed their homeschool journey successfully I’m happy to report they are now all well adjusted and thriving adults! All those times I worried about spelling or reading lags were wasted time. Enjoy your children and your homeschool journey and hug your kids daily, telling them how much you love them.

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