Some of my favorite memories in school as a kid were the end of the year celebrations. The smell of summer brims with concerts, open houses and celebrations for the kids and their families. I wanted my kids to have the same experiences and the extended family to feel a part of the magic that home centered education can bring. I also wanted to share the beautiful art work and school notebooks the kids have worked so hard on throughout the year. This was a great way to share more about our approach to homeschooling and the weekly community we are a part of.
We always visit our hometown at the start of summer. Luckily, both sets of grandparents live in the same town as well as some cousins. We invited them over for an art show, presentations and rainbow layered cake! The kids felt very special and were so excited to show off their memory work skills.
I primarily follow a Classical Method of teaching with includes the introduction of facts through “memory work” during the elementary school years. This is the natural age when children are like sponges soaking up knowledge, so the idea is to introduce a wide variety of facts and in multiple subjects without going into too much detail, unless they show interest. The details will come later, when they are better able to understand and properly ask questions regarding the material. We focus on history, Latin, geography, math, English grammar and science. The kids all shared some facts they were taught in each subject as well as showed off some yearbooks I made to show all we had accomplished during the school year.
I made the yearbooks very easily off of Simple Prints, it is a photo-book making app, and you can create them right from your phone. Besides photos, I included curriculum lists, books read, field trips and other enrichment activities we participated in throughout the year. I also created an art book, with photos of all the art they created and included all the science and history projects we made. (Now, I don’t feel so guilty throwing some of them away!!)
I also had awards made for each of the kids in an area I saw growth or a positive character trait I wanted to celebrate. The kids really enjoyed the fanfare made over them for their hard work this year. It is not always easy being different and I am glad for the opportunity to see them shine and be proud of their accomplishments. Much laughter was had and I think the family breathed a sigh of relief that the kids had all in fact learned quite a lot this year!
Do you have any end of the year traditions? Home-educated or not I would love to hear your ideas!