It’s hard for me to believe it, but this week is our final week of homeschool.
We are finished with most of what I wanted to complete before the end of the school year, but there is still tons I wish we had been able to shove in. It seems with homeschooling is you never exactly feel like you are finished. You also never exactly feel like you did enough. When you go back and look at the entire year, though, you usually realize you did a lot more than you thought you did. Still, I often look back and think about how much more I could have taught or included in lessons.
We are tying up some loose ends this week, including writing an essay and a book report for The Boy. Little Miss needs to finish up a few math lessons so we can put part one of this particular level of math behind us and pick up with part two in July, which is when we can start recording school days for the next year. While I do plan to do some math with her starting in July, I don’t plan to start full on school. I want my kids to have a break where they can be kids and have fun during the summer but for Little Miss, I know it is important to keep the continuity going so we don’t have to do too much review at the beginning of next school year.
Also, this week I have to start putting together a portfolio of schoolwork for each of them to present to the evaluator next week. The evaluator will then type up a summary of our work which essentially is a sheet of paper that tells the school district we are in and the state that we did what we were supposed to do as set by the homeschooling law in Pennsylvania.
I have to present that evaluation by June 30th to the local school district office. I also plan to present them with an affidavit that declares our intent to homeschool for the 2022-2023 school year. The affidavit isn’t actually due until August 1, but I usually present the evaluation and the affidavit at the same time. Last year I completely missed the deadline for the evaluation, but the district secretary was very understanding and accepted it anyhow, telling me that as long as I had it in before the next school year started then it was totally fine. Whew. I breathed a sigh of relief when she told me that.
While gathering together material for the portfolio, which includes a sample of all the work we did this year, I also have to have a list of any textbooks we used and any books we read.
For Little Miss we used:
Notgrass’ Our Star Spangled Story for history/social studies
Spectrum Science for science
CTC Math and The Good and the Beautiful for Math
And The Good and the Beautiful for reading/English
Notgrass also included half a credit for English with their course because their curriculum comes with a selection of historical fiction books to be read with the book.
As part of the English part of the Notgrass curriculum we read:
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry
Toliver’s Secret by Esther Wood Brady
Freedom Crossing by Margaret Goff Clark
Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates
The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill (which we hope to finish by next Friday)
These books were read in addition to the books I read to her at night, including the Little House on the Prairie books, the Misty of Chincoteague books, and the Paddington books.
The Boy’s curriculum this year included:
CTC Math for Math
Notgrass for World Geography
Notgrass for Economics
And Apologia Biology for Science
For English, we used a few sources, including Fix It! Grammar, Apologia American Literature and the books which came with the Notgross World Geo curriculum
Books that The Boy read this year included:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Know Why You Believe by Paul Little
Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
And Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
We had four or five more books we were supposed to read as part of his geography course, but we ran out of time, partially because I added To Kill A Mockingbird to our reading on my own and partially because The Boy already had a lot (and I mean A LOT) of text to read in his other subjects.
One thing we didn’t do enough of this year was field trips. We had a couple of trips in the beginning of the year but then we were hit with Covid and then high gas prices, so the field trips were put on the back burner. That didn’t stop the kids from learning things from their grandparents and others and through other activities at home.
What I like about homeschooling is that learning isn’t only done through established curriculum, but from everyday activities. Homeschooling allows for a lot more flexibility than traditional schooling, as I have mentioned here before.
So far we have decided to continue homeschool for next year. If either of the children decide they want to be educated in a different way over the summer then we will revaluate that decision.
If you are a homeschooler how did school go for your kids this year? Let me know in the comments.