Friday, May 6, 2011

So How Was Your Year?

Today is our last day of school. I remember when I was a kid loving the last day of school. We turned in our books and had a party. There was lots of free time out on the playground, and we washed our desks. There was a feeling of completion. My kids don't really sense that very much. Sure, the books have been finished up and the days marked off, but we will still do a version of school come Monday morning. It will be low key and take about 20 minutes, but it will be there. I wanted to bring my kids more of a feeling of transition and thought I would start a few traditions. We wrote out all of our summer wishes on a large poster board. Then, I decided to survey my kids on their homeschool experience as we did at the end of last year. We will do this on our last day of school for now on.

Here are the results of my homeschool survey. I interviewed each child privately.

Little Red Ridinghood (7.5 yr)

What Worked ~

  • I like math books with stickers.
  • I love geography.
  • I like tea time with story time and music time.
  • I like our history timeline.
  • I like field trips.
  • I like Explode the Code.
  • I like nature study.
  • I like lapbooking.

What Could Change ~
  •  I want more snacks.
  •  I want more stickers on my (corrected) lessons.
  •  It would be fun to take gymnastics.
  • We could get rid of any out of the home classes that are science, music or art and use the money for gymnastics or swimming classes.
  • Do nature study more often.
  • I want more Five In a Row (FIAR).

Tom Sawyer (9 years)

What Worked ~
  • I love my boy dance and theater class.
  • I like cooking with mom.
  • I like that we are getting school done before leaving the house some days.
  • I really liked history this year (picture books and biographies).
  • I want to keep doing the science class at the museum.
  • I want to continue circle time.

What Could Change ~

  • I do not like speech therapy.  (He graduates in June.)
  • I want to do gymnastics.
  • I want to do more science, especially chemistry.
  • I want to learn how to blow things up in science class.
  • I don't want to do the art museum class anymore.
  • I want to skip music day.
  • I want grades.

Just a funny ... Tom Sawyer told me that he really needed more science if I wanted him to grow up to be a good scientist or demolition artist! (A demolition artist?! NOT.) When Daddy came home, he ran to tell him that Mommy was going to teach him how to blow up things around the house! Oh, my goodness!

Goldilocks (10 years)

What Worked ~

  • I like lapbooking.
  • I like cooking with mommy.
  • I like all field trips.
  • I like science experiments.
  • I like geography.
  • I like tea time and music time.
  • I love our history timeline.
  • I like the days to have a theme.
  • I like FIAR.

What Could Change ~

  • I want to take horseback riding again.
  • I don't want to ever go back to homeschool choir.
  • I want to do cooking based on our history and geography lessons.


If you could  do one of the following which would it be? (They were given the choice of Latin, Spanish or Sign language.)  They all want to do Sign Language.

They were also given the choice of dropping narration or copywork.  They chose to drop copywork, which is fine with me since they need to be writing more independent thoughts anyway.

They were given the choice of learning typing or cursive, and they all chose typing.

My Thoughts ~

I love doing these interviews with the kids and seeing how they feel about things. I learn a lot about how the school year went from their perspective and will put many of their ideas into practice in the coming years. It turned out to be easy for me with their choices, since each one separately made the same choices :-).

But for now ... HELLO SUMMER BREAK!



    1. I think it is really wonderful how you interview the children at the end of the school year. That treats them with such dignity and respect. They know you really care about how they feel about their education and helps them be more willing participants and future leaders. Love, Your Mom

    2. Great idea! I asked my girls today what they enjoyed most this year and they both said they loved the biographies. Who knew?

    3. I need to do this again, but I think we have even less of an end-of-the-year than you do! Won't get to it for another month here.
      It is so interesting to see what each of them say.

    4. I like to evaluate my children each year also. It gives them the sense they have some control over their schooling.