Finishing strong

As we approach the close of another year of home education, I thought I’d share some ideas to prevent “fade out”–you know, when your school year sort of fizzles out until you one day you just don’t have school anymore. Kids love big finishes, so here are some ways to go out with a bang.

Say a  prayer. This is first on my list because to me it’s the most important. You always need direction from God, especially when you feel dry or tired.

Shake things up. vary your routine and/or your setting. Grab your stuff and head to the park. Or the backyard. Or the museum. Have school in the evening on the trampoline or Sunday afternoon cuddled up in bed together. Who says we home educators can’t take our act on the road?

Take stock. This time of year is a natural time to re-evaluate things. Do you really have to finish that book? Are you behind on something? Review and see what’s really important to finish and what can be left behind, what can continue on and what can be finished. Set new goals just for the end of the year to make your last few weeks your most productive.

Find your passion. If you are feeling a little burned out, try studying something your kids are really excited about. It doesn’t have to be a major unit study, but adding something your kids love to learn about will make the other things a little more palatable.

Be a show off. Hold an open house for friends and family. Let the kids give a presentation on something they learned this year. Fix a few simple snacks. Display notebooks and artwork and let the kids shine.

Take five. Find a way to work in a few days of rest and relaxation. A little time in the sunshine and fresh air (even in your own backyard), then you will all be ready to make that final push.

We have a winner! Some families may like to offer some kind of reward for finishing strong. The rewards can be monetary, material or even privileges. The ideas here are endless, so just let your mind wander.

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