The following blog was authored by homeschooler and abcteach staff member, Carol Welch. With the year coming to a close, Carol shares ideas and quick planning activities that she used for her boys.
Wrapping Up a Successful Year
Here we are at the end of another school year. As a homeschool mom, I have always used this time to wind down, wrap up, review great achievements, and look ahead to the upcoming year.
I normally plan the last month of school so that there is a gradual decrease of assignments to complete. Instead of rushing through the last month, trying to catch up or squeeze in the chapters we did not cover, my family is able to end the year in a positive, relaxing manner. My sons have always had the option of working ahead, and would often finish school early because they doubled up on assignments.
Once school is officially “out” for the summer, I tuck away the last of their school work in our homeschool file cabinet and sort through the past year’s textbooks. The books that will be used again or that will make good reference material are placed on the shelf. Any books that are outgrown can be sold or traded for new ones. Then I begin my annual curriculum hunt. As eclectic homeschoolers, my family uses a variety of materials, rather than just one particular publisher’s curriculum for every subject.
I spend the first week or two of summer break researching textbooks and curriculum packs and checking the materials available on abcteach. Although the site does not offer complete curricula, I’ve been able to easily assemble many unit studies with abcteach materials. For some subjects I still use textbooks for our main study focus.
Once I decide which books to use, I search auction sites and bargain book stores for the best prices. I have found that, in most cases, there is a wider variety of materials available earlier in the summer. Many homeschool families clean out their old curriculum at the end of each school year. Shopping early usually means getting the best prices when it comes to used books. For new books, I check with stores and websites to find when they will be holding curriculum sales during the summer and mark my calendar.
After the basic curriculum is secured or scheduled to be purchased on sale, it’s time for me to relax and enjoy the summer. About a month before school begins in the fall, I begin preparing lesson plans. At that time, I return to abcteach for supplemental materials. Report forms, graphic organizers, and abctools have always been included in our homeschool studies.
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Posted by Carol Welch, abcteach staff writer