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Today we’re putting a nice little bow on the seventh year of our homeschooling journey and packing it away.  It’s been an irregular year, but now with a fresh, new house and a school year that hopefully will not get interrupted 100 times, we (I) are eager to prepare for next year–year eight.  That’s what summer’s all about for me–enjoying the time off school, evaluating our just-finished school year, and making a good plan for the next year.

This post is about that evaluating factor.  I want to share with you a couple of things that worked really well for us and maybe they will work for your school as well.

What Worked for Us this School Year

There’s a few things that worked, a few things that didn’t and a few new to us pieces of curriculum that really helped us.  Here, I’m going to just highlight the good stuff.

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Notebook Assignment Books

This is so simple and worked so great.  We just started using a simple notebook to write assignments in–I would do this before our school week started.  No more asking what to do next! These worked great!

Read about the notebook assignment books here:

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Simple, but impactful unit studies–even just one.

My original plan for this school year was to complete The Story of the World vol. II and learn all about the Middle Ages.  In about February, I decided we were going to stop our history at the Vikings.  We would do a really good, but simple unit study and call it a day with history.  We will pick up Story of the World again in the fall and just stretch our study of the Middle Ages out over two years.  I am totally fine with this.  I am excited that we will have extra time next year because we will be able to finish that 2nd half pretty much in half the year.  OR we can really take our time and stretch it over the whole year.  OR we can use that  extra time to do unit studies on things I always want to but never seem to fit it in–like sports or spies or certain interesting people.

This year, we finished out the year with a study of our new state–Minnesota.  We have learned so much! I will share more on that later.


Switching up Grammar

Grammar is definitely necessary, but switching things up–even switching up from curriculum that works well–is sometimes what you need to get that breath of fresh air at the end of a long school year.  These last several weeks, I have been using my friend Cindy’s Living Literature Grammar and Language Arts.  We have loved using this! Basically you use a regular book and Cindy has pulled lessons from the book.  It covers grammar, capitalization, sentence structure, spelling, and more.  I printed out the pages and kept them in a folder for Jack.  We didn’t finish the whole thing, so we will certainly be using this here and there next year as well. 

Using our Read Alouds as School

So much of our school year this year was about terrific read alouds.  We typically just read.  These great books do make for great conversation but I don’t typically pull lessons or vocabulary out of these.  But for these last few weeks, I wanted to beef things up.  I bought a reader guide for the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and have had the boys learn the vocab words and do other activities pertaining to this book.  There are many titles in this series and I highly recommend!

There were many lessons this year beyond our school books.  We’ve learned a lot.  It’s been a wild ride.  I’m excited for the fresh start of next year.  There’s lots of time to think about next school year, but for now–the rumor is that it’s National Donut Day and there’s a cute donut shop calling our name on this awesome last day of school.  See ya!

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