5 Essential Things to do At the End of Each Homeschool Year

Usually, when the end of our current homeschooling year rolls around, I’m ready to abandon the old and reach for the new. Whether we’re homeschooling through the summer- which we have in years past- or taking a genuine summer break- as we typically do now, the ending of one year’s worth of material and beginning of the next urges me to leave our old year’s work behind and embrace the new.

Because I am an admitted curricula junkie, I usually have the next year’s books purchased already. Because I’m also a planning fanatic, I usually have the next year at least roughly planned out. But even if you aren’t as crazy as I’ am, perhaps you’ve also felt the urge to just leave off schooling when the final chapters of the book are finished. Perhaps you’ve laid your current year’s plans aside and don’t intend to look at them again for a looong time.
I know that the temptation to leave behind last year’s work, take a break, and then look toward the new is often strong. But there are some essential things to do at the end of your school year. If you’ll take time to do these before you move on, you’ll be glad you did. These five things will help your homeschooling path to be a little smoother as you move forward.

How to homeschool- essential tasks for the end of your homeschool year

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Record grades or progress and attendance if necessary.

Depending on the laws of your state- or country- you may have different requirements when it comes to keeping up with grades and attendance of your homeschooled students. In my state- South Carolina- we’re required to have a “record of progress” and 180 days of school.  I don’t keep number grades for my students who are younger than high school, but I do write observational notes about their progress, and I keep a portfolio of their work throughout the year to demonstrate their progress at the year’s end. For my high schoolers who are earning diplomas, I am required to keep actual grades.
Even if keeping grades isn’t required, keeping some kind of record of progress for your own benefit is important. Taking time to sit down at the end of the year and look back over what the kids have learned and how they’ve grown academically can help you as you plan for the year ahead. Where do you need to start? Are there any important skills your child is missing?
Take some time at the end of your current homeschool year to document progress for your own records and to finalize any records of grades or attendance that you are legally required to keep.

Pack up the books, papers and notebooks that you’re keeping and label them.

I have to admit that when we first began homeschooling, I was tempted to keep everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Every worksheet page. Every coloring sheet. Every picture drawn to illustrate the books we were reading. I quickly realized that this wasn’t going to work. 
So, what should you keep at the end of each homeschool year? I recommend keeping a binder that is divided into categories. As you work throughout the year, have your child keep papers related to each subject area in this binder. (This works especially well if you’re using notebooking in your homeschool.) I also keep any consumable workbooks, as well as any printed lesson plans that I have for the year.
I could, perhaps, write an entire post about why it’s important to keep some of this information and these bits and pieces each year, but the main reason you want to have these things stored is to protect yourself. Having these papers, notebooks, and workbooks can help you if you’re ever questioned legally about homeschooling. 
At the end of your current school year, take time to box up these things that you’re keeping and label them with the year. I usually have multiple boxes because I have four children, and I can’t fit all of their work in one box. I take time to label the year and the name of the child or children whose work is included for each box. Without labels and organization these boxes will just become trash in your attic because you’ll never be able to find what you need in them.

Cull your homeschooling books and sell or donate books you won’t use again.

Let’s face it. If your youngest child is in middle school, you probably aren’t using that awesome preschool curriculum again. Maybe you’re saving it in hopes of homeschooled grandchildren. But if you’re like me, bookshelf space is at a premium, and you just can’t keep it all.
Take some time at the end of each school year to look through your homeschool books. If you truly are going to use it again or there’s a good possibility it may come in handy, keep it. But if you know it’s going to sit on your shelf forever and never see the light of day again, donate or sell it.
I like to sell my old homeschool curricula on Amazon. It’s easy to set up. They do, however, get a cut of everything you sell. So if you have a local curricula consignment shop or have a local curricula sale where you can rent a table for the sale day, you may consider that instead. I’ve seen lots of folks just post pictures and prices of books in Facebook groups as well. If I’m not sure that what I have will sell or if I know of someone in need, I’ve just donated curricula and homeschool supplies as well.
However you choose to get rid of those unused homeschooling resources, I recommend that you take time at the end of each school year to cull those books.

Clean out old school and craft supplies to make way for new.

It’s an inevitable fact. By the end of each school year, the crayons are broken. The markers have dried up. The glue sticks are used up or broken off. And half of the pens and pencils we had when the school year began are mysteriously turning up in random places.
At the end of the school year, take time to go through these supplies, clean out, and make way for new. Once you’ve gotten these out of the way, you’ll be able to take advantage of the Back-to-School supply sales. Or you can pick up supplies at one of my favorite places to find frugal deals on school supplies.
I can assure you with the voice of experience that taking time to go through these supplies and clean them out at the end of each school year is much, much easier in the long run. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself wading through bins full of broken crayons, empty glue sticks, and pens that don’t write when you finally get around to cleaning out the school supplies.

Do a thorough school area cleanup.

Whether you school year round and you’re starting your new year after a short break or you take the summer off and start your new school year in the fall, it’s always easier to start back to school in a clean and organized place. Many of us share our “schoolroom” space with the dining room, the living room, the kitchen, or some other room that does double (or triple) duty. Wherever school happens for you, take some time to clean up that space at the end of your current school year.
I like to take time at the end of each year to cull those homeschooling books and clean out those school supplies. But I also like to take time to consider our schooling space in general and make sure it’s cleaned out, rearranged if necessary, and then made ready for use to use as we start a new school year.
If you’ll take time at the end of your current school year to spend some time on your schoolroom or homeschooling area, it will be ready when you’re headed into your new school year and you won’t have to add that to your to-do list for starting back to school.

How to homeschool- essential tasks for the end of your homeschool year

These five things are tasks you don’t want to neglect at the end of your school year. They don’t take long if you’ll make time to do them regularly, at the end of each year. And doing these will help you to stay organized and prepared as you move into a new year after a short break or a summer-long break.
What is your least favorite task to complete when you end your homeschool year?
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