End of Homeschool Year Reflection and Celebration Ideas

End of Homeschool Year Reflection and Celebration Ideas

The end of the school year is a special time for both parents and children. Whether you homeschool year-round or take a break during the summer, the end of the school year can bring up a lot of different emotions. There are reasons to celebrate, reasons to reflect, and reasons to take a break. 

Since we usually homeschool school year-round, for many years we were able to transition to the next school year naturally. Other times, by the end I felt we needed to re-evaluate and make a lot of changes for the upcoming year. While I am not afraid to make curriculum switches or change up our rhythms mid-year, taking time off between curriculum or school years is helpful to get a clear mind and start again with purpose and intention. 

Related: Benefits of Year-Round Homeschooling

Personally, this year I am excited to add our almost 6-year-old to formal lessons next year, so I am planning his curriculum and thinking ahead to what it feels like to have more homeschooling time with him. I am reflecting on a very busy and somewhat chaotic school year that came with a lot of struggles. I am thinking about what went well, what we could have done differently, and what I want the next school year to look like – more importantly, feel like. How can I foster joy, wonder, and passion? What curriculum, resources, and rhythms will serve us the best? What went well this year and what felt more like a checklist and burden?

In this blog post, I discuss ideas for reviewing your previous homeschool year, reflecting on your accomplishments in your homeschool, and celebrating the progress you and your children made over the past year.

In this blog post: 

  • Reviewing your previous homeschool year
  • Reflecting on accomplishments during the homeschool year
  • Honoring the progress made over the past year 

Reviewing your previous homeschool year 

Reviewing your homeschool year is a simple exercise that helps recount what you did during your homeschool year and gives clarity to how you and your children spent your time. It gives perspective on your homeschool instead of getting lost in all the things you do every day as a parent and teacher. 

If you choose to do this, I recommend setting aside time to look through your homeschool planner and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. You may want to take your planner to a coffee shop where you have some space to think over how the past year went or review it together with your spouse to get their input. As you go through, you can use a pen and paper to write a list of books, projects, or units that felt life-giving and brought connection to your kid's hearts and minds. You could do this independently or involve your children to get their feedback as well.

This is also a good method of compiling information for an end-of-year portfolio. A portfolio is an assessment that showcases a collection of your child’s work to record what was accomplished during the school year. Many of the lists suggested below could be inserted into your children’s portfolio as a way to track their progress during the year.

Related: Finishing Your Homeschool Year: Testing, Portfolios, and More

Here are some other things to consider as you review your planner:

  • Mark the start and end dates of your homeschool year, plus any special dates or breaks from school. 
  • List the curriculum each child completed during the school year.
  • Review the time you allotted for each subject or any special unit studies. Were you able to complete it in that timeframe or did you cover it in more or less time?
  • List your reading log for each child.
  • List field trips or educational experiences and note your favorites.
  • List favorite projects your children completed.
  • List any unit studies completed.
  • List Bible verses that were memorized.
  • List or use highlighters to color code any curriculum that you would recommend or use again. Similarly, note any curriculum that you would modify or consider changing.
  • How much time were you and your children able to be outdoors during the year? Did it vary based on the seasons or shifting priorities?
  • Make a list of activities you did outside of the home, like co-ops, homeschool groups, or extracurricular activities. Evaluate which experiences were meaningful and which subtracted from your home life or added stress to your daily routine.
  • What went well in your homeschool this year? What went poorly?
  • What were the largest time commitments this year and what was the result? Was it worth the time commitment?
  • Evaluate the daily rhythms in your homeschool. Do any areas for you or your children need more growth?
  • What things brought joy or gratitude this year?
  • What would you repeat and what would you change if you were to do it over again?

I believe it can be a meaningful experience to notice the ways you spent your days in your homeschool. Of course, this type of reflection is completely subjective and your takeaways will vary based on your personal preferences, the age of your children, and the goals you have for yourself and your family. This is one of the joys of homeschooling – the ability to create the kind of life and educational experience you want for your family. 

Related: Homeschool Planning 101 and Homeschool Preschool: Five Intentions for the Early Years

Reflecting on accomplishments during the year

end of year homeschool ideas

After spending some time looking over your homeschool planner, it is nice to dwell on all the accomplishments your family made over the past year. You should be proud of your family for embarking on this homeschool journey and everything that was accomplished 

You can consider or discuss with your children the ways they have grown over the past year. If you did any personalized activities to start the year, like “all about me” or a similar project, you could pull it out and talk about any changes over the year. What were your children’s interests at the beginning of the school year versus now? What new skills or knowledge did they learn over the year? What is the same and what has changed?

Related: Ideas to Make Back-to-Homeschool Memorable and Fun

If you made any lists when you reviewed your planner, like a reading log or a list of field trips, share those with your children. Count the number of books each child read and ask them which were their favorites. Talk about the field trips you took together and ask if there are any places they would want to visit again during the upcoming school year. I always love hearing feedback from my children and am usually surprised by their responses.

Honoring the progress made over the past year 

homeschool field trip ideas

Now for the fun part – plan a celebration for your family to mark the end of the year. Let your children know that you are proud of them and plan a special celebration.

Here are some other ideas for celebrating the end of your school year: 

  • Decorate your homeschool area with balloons or streamers.
  • Take “last day of school” photos or make a self-portrait, and have your children list out their favorite things.
  • Make a special meal or visit a restaurant as a family.
  • Plan an outing like a trip to the splash pad, the park, or the beach.
  • Choose a new game or activity for your children to use during their break from school.
  • Make a slideshow, video, or photo album of your favorite memories of the school year.
  • Recognize your children’s accomplishments with unique awards or certificates of achievement. You could give awards like most improved in a subject, most creative, best sense of humor, and more.
  • Host a get-together with other homeschool families to celebrate your children.
  • Host a field day with fun outdoor activities like an egg and spoon race, tug of war, and a water balloon toss. 

Related: Best Board and Card Games for Kids and Families

How will you celebrate the end of your school year? What are you planning to repeat or change for next year? Let me know in the comments below.

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