With the arrival of June, many homeschoolers are ready to take a break of some kind. We used to homeschool year-round, but as my kids got older, we’ve fallen into a rhythm of taking a longer break. They want to go to camps and work summer jobs. Their coursework is mostly tied to our co-op, which is over for the year. It makes sense to take a break. However, even when they were young, the beginning of summer was a great time to reset for the coming season.
Sort Your Stuff
Open your homeschool box (boxes, cart, cabinet, closet, room – whatever you’ve got), and have your kids help gather homeschool-related items from the rest of the house. Designate a place for things that need grading and recording, one for commonly used stuff to put away, one for things to stash long-term, get a box for things to be sold or passed on, and pull out a trash can. Start sorting. Don’t overthink it. If you are overwhelmed, set a timer and work until it goes off. Then take a break. Enlist the help of your children in putting away, stashing, carrying, and tossing.
Grades and Portfolios
Take your pile of work that needs to be graded or recorded, and sort it by kid and subject. In the great state of Oklahoma, we all keep records loosely and in our own way. I always kept a few of the best pieces of my kids’ work from each subject, but not all of it. High school work, in particular, needs to be graded and recorded. You’ll find your way of keeping records. We have more ideas here.
Transcript for High School
If you have a high school student, you’ll want to keep tests or other evidence of course completion (papers, booklist). You’ll catch up on your grading and enter their grades into their transcripts. It won’t take as long as you think it will, and it will be a weight off your shoulders. Plus, when you suddenly need to send a copy of the transcript to the car insurance company for a discount, it will be ready to go.
Inventory School Supplies
Take a few minutes now and survey what you have left of last August’s school supply stash. Will you need to buy pencils but not crayons when the sales start at the end of the summer? Do you need markers or art supplies? Have your kids advanced in math to the point of needing graph paper and a compass for algebra or geometry? Will you need a different calculator? Now is the time to notice what you need, make a list, and plan your purchases so that you can budget for them.
Make a List of Things You’ll Need in the Fall
Also, on the budgeting front, think through the things you’ll need to purchase for next year and plan accordingly. Make your list of books to buy, programs to subscribe to, classes to take, and activities in which your students will participate. You can watch for companies you use to have summer sales and make your purchases at that time instead of having to pay full price.
Now that you’ve completed these four tasks, you can set aside your school brain for a few weeks (or months) while you thoroughly enjoy summer with your family, learning as you go.