As your school year has ended, don't just fade away, perhaps in discouragement over perceived failure to reach all your goals.

If you are not finished with the studies you had planned to do this school year, you are not alone! (Even most school teachers do not finish all their plans.)

So do not panic, feel guilty, or envy those who did finish on schedule.

Talk to the Lord and your husband and consider continuing a few selected studies at a more relaxed pace during the summer.

Help your family focus on the progress you did make this year and the many good times your family has had together.

Don't forget to thank the Lord for the opportunity and freedom to home school, and for the guidance, wisdom, and strength He provides.

Step 1: Record Your Accomplishments

Set aside a day or more to do the necessary task of gathering, filing, and recording the year's schoolwork. The rewards will be that:

  • You can find your records easily.
  • Your children have meaningful memorabilia.
  • You get more space for more books and materials.
  • You might even be able to sell books you don't need anymore for some extra cash to (you guessed it) buy more books!

Gather up all your schoolwork for the year, then sort and dispose of everything appropriately.

Schoolwork

  • Select samples of work for each child in each area of their studies to put in their permanent files.
  • Send some samples to grandparents (with the clear understanding that they are free to toss them after enjoying them for awhile)
  • Give each child a certain amount of space in which to keep what he wants.
  • Throw out the rest.

Books

  • Store some books for younger siblings.
  • Shelve some books for reference.
  • Give some away (to a family who needs them, your support group's library, or a thrift store).
  • Trade some with another family.
  • Sell some at a local used curriculum sale.

Records
You might need to keep a record or a portfolio of your children's studies to comply with your state's laws or an umbrella organization, as well as for your own benefit.

Choose any or all of the following options. Depending on their ages, your children may be able to help you with some.

  • Record the date and student's name after he finishes each concept on your scope and sequence chart or list of educational goals.
  • Use lesson plans as records, checking off and dating each assignment or objective as it is done.
  • Keep track of hours spent by subject if you are required to do so by your state law or wish to for your own information (e.g., for a high school transcript).
  • Copy records of family projects, unit studies, field trips, etc. for each child's individual file as applicable.
  • Keep a journal for each day of a unit study, briefly listing books read or activities done.
  • List all books read by the family or individual students, including the title, author, and publisher. (A brief description of contents and your personal evaluation will make this list more valuable to you and your children in the future.)
  • Place artwork and writing assignments in a notebook or file.
  • Take photos of art, craft, and science projects and activities such as plays, costumes, and field trips. You can use a computer scanner or digital camera to create a CD containing these photos as well as pages of school work, compositions, etc.
  • Put your records in a labeled box for the year or for each child.

Yearbook
Create a yearbook by placing photos, sample work, and other memorabilia in a scrapbook.

Sound Record
Tape record some of your family's answers to the evaluation questions below (especially the positive ones!) as a sound recording of your school year.