As your school year draws to a close, this is a good time to reflect on the past several months. Even if you are not taking a full summer break (maybe you are homeschooling year round, and you are only taking a couple of weeks off before beginning your new school year), spending some time cleaning out your children’s school supplies and materials and asking yourself a few questions can give you a sense of closure.
- List each child’s name on a piece of paper. Underneath each name, list the materials you used to teach this child, and then make a few comments. What programs and materials did you like? What did you not like? What will you use again for a younger child? What needs to be continued for this child in the next school year?
- Clean out each child’s work area/desk/storage bin/shelf. Determine what you need to keep, but have your trash can handy! Sort the items that you are keeping into categories like: things to file, things that belong somewhere else, books that need to be put back on a shelf, schoolwork that needs to be saved, books or supplies that need to be stored for another child to use, etc.
- Put all of the paperwork that you are required to save for your local state’s homeschooling requirements in a designated safe spot. Store schoolwork that you want to save for personal reasons in storage boxes and put them away.
- Store non-consumable books and materials in a place where you can easily find them for the next child. I have a bookcase in our storage room where I group my books by subject. I have a shelf for science text books, one for math, one for language arts, and so on.
- While you are cleaning out each child’s personal school supplies, make a list of what new items you need to purchase (markers, notebooks, paper clips, etc.). Keep this list until the school supplies go on sale in your area. Where I live, the school supplies are usually sold at very low prices right after July 4th.
- Think about what curricula you would like to use for the next school year. Make a list of what consumable books you will need to purchase. Also make a list of new materials that you would like to consider.
- Plan to attend a homeschool conference. Bring your list of items that you need to buy as well as materials that you would like to consider using with you. Actually holding the school books in your hands and looking through them can help you make a better decision.
Even though you are tired at the end of a school year, spending a little bit of time to wrap things up will make your next school year even better.
Roan is the homeschooling mother of five children whose ages range from 5-16. She just finished her 10th year of homeschooling, and always enjoys wrapping up a school year. Roan writes regularly at her personal blog, Joyful Always, on a variety of topics that include homeschooling, homemaking, and running.
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