How do you finish the school year? All Ages and Stages

I began homeschooling our eldest son 22 years ago, literally before he could sit up on his own.

*I know. Pray for that young man, lol.* 

I begin this article with that statement simply to say I have now taught our children without the assistance of the government or other overarching educational entity in literally every stage! That means I have begun and ended "school years." At EVERY age! 

Here we are at another "ending" of the year. The words are quoted because without those entities, the labels don't mean as much, do they? We have the freedom to participate in their scheduling or not. Yet typically, the ebb and flow of school years permeate our society, culture, expectations, and bring about a flow that is welcomed. 

I've hustled through lessons to get a book done "on time," I've abandoned units entirely, and I've declared the next grade completed based on the moon. (Not really, but almost!)

This year, I have only two students left at home, and both are in the scholar level, well into the years of self education and accountability, responsibility, even motivation. They are not dependent on me other than to agree that the next step is ready for them, and they are ready for the next step.

However, this has not always beens the case. When we had all five children in the elementary grades and even preschool toddling years, our school end was a HUGE CELEBRATION. The focus and the educational portion of May was simply organizing a party, putting together games, talking with friends at classes and co-ops, and enjoying all the plays and recitals from Art Shows to Piano Recitals, and even field days that harkened the end of a weekly schedule to follow.

As the five all became older and had fewer "play dates" but just as many field trips, we ended the school year with exactly that - one last BIG field trip. I think five families came together to end the year down at NASA. An "out of this world" end to the school schedule, completed with a special stop at a Lego store in Houston.

Time marched on!

The year we had a high schooler as well as a student still in elementary classes, I remember getting home on a Wednesday after our last day of scheduled class time, plopping onto the couch as my eldest stood over me and asked, "So, what are we doing tomorrow?"
I glanced up and said, "I think we're done!"
Cheers rang out through the house, and second son, Jake immediately ran up to me to ask, "So can we go back to the Alamo? I wanted to look at those miniature models and check out the historical firearms again."
"Yes, of course!" 

And finally, a more recent year we had some family emergencies and trauma of various sorts, I remember saying in mid April.... "Please just keep on doing your math. Take your exams, go to classes, we'll make it through and re-group in June."
And we did!

How are you finishing your school year this year? It's ok to not know! Learning doesn't stop, even when the classes do!


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