Monday, May 16, 2016

5 Things To Do at the End of the Homeschool Year

The end of the homeschool year is in sight! Or maybe your family has already completed the year and you have dived into summer? We'll be focused on the end of the year testing this coming week. Then we'll have a little over one week left in order to get in our 180 days as required by our state, even though we've completed almost all of our work for this year.

But my own work isn't quite completed. You'll see below what I have left. And if this was your first year of homeschooling, here are five things to be sure and do as your homeschool year comes to an end.

1. Reorganize Your Materials


You will be absolutely amazed at the amount of material your family has covered over the last year. And if you're like me, you won't believe the mess you have in your school room! That's okay. It just means your children have been very busy learning and creating all year long. So I roll up my sleeves and start clearing out the materials and tools that my kids won't be needing next year. All the used materials - i.e., workbooks, notebooks, worksheets - are sorted and filed away in their grade binder should they ever want to reference what they've learned (or should I ever need to show it to our state if they ask to see our homeschool work). The materials we can use next year are stored. And the tools and products that are in good condition go into a clear tote so that I can...

2. Sell Your Gently Used Curricula


Now is the best time to sell! Most homeschool coops/groups have a curriculum sale where families go and set up tables to trade or sell the materials they've used (or not used because they weren't a good fit). And if you don't have a local curriculum sale near you, look online.
  • Facebook has several homeschool groups for selling tools and products
  • Amazon is a great way to sell books and manipulatives
  • Ebay is a gold mine for finding curricula and even themed materials. (It's great when you can go on there and find a complete set of materials that some other awesome parent has collected, used, and is now selling for studying castles/pirates/space/American Revolution/WHATEVER!)

A few things to consider before selling your goods:

  • Get a notepad and a pen or pencil, then sit down with all your possible sales products.
  • Carefully look through (work)books for forgotten slips of paper, art drawings, etc., and make a note if there are any tears, missing pages, writing on the inside, and so on.
  • Research online to get an idea of what similar products are selling for so you'll know how to price yours
  • Choose a sales venue and upload your products and be sure to disclose any defects to the product (this is where your notes come in handy)
  • Be sure to take clear, up-close pictures of the materials, including pictures of any writing or tears


3. Stock Up for the Summer...and Next Year!


Since everyone is selling right now, it's a great time to stock up on book and curricula for next year! Also, many of the online homeschool sites are having sales, so take advantage of them if you can. I know that all you want to do is start your summer plans, but if you go ahead and get this over with, then that's one less thing for you to worry about over the summer and you'll be excited to start the new year with your new materials. Hold off, though, on buying consumable materials like pencils, glue, paper, notebooks, etc until all the really great sales happen at the end of the summer at places like Target and Walmart.

But you should also be thinking about this summer. Don't let your kids waste it sitting on the couch for three months watching TV or playing apps. While there is time for this, make sure they're using their noggins, too. This requires a little bit of planning on your part, so go ahead and stock up now on arts and crafts supplies or activity kits!

4. Make a Yearbook


Just because you homeschool doesn't mean your kids can't have a yearbook to celebrate their year of learning. I have no doubt that you've taken loads of pictures this year on field trips, special artwork, science projects, and more. So take the time to go through them and organize them into a yearbook. If you've never made one before, read how to do so here.

5. Celebrate!


Um. Need I say more? The end of the school year is a big deal. Make sure you celebrate with a party, or take your children somewhere special to mark the last day of school (the zoo, a museum, fancy dinner, the arcade - whatever!)

Stay tuned for fun ways to keep kids learning over the summer without overwhelming them!

photo courtesy of blackboard1965

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