We end each school year with celebrating each child’s successes over the past year, both academic and non-academic. We like to have a little celebration ceremony, complete with trophies and ribbons for the children to cheer them on for the things they have done. Just recently, we finished our school year (a little late, yes, but we school year round, more on that elsewhere, I promise) so we had our ceremony. We picked up cake, ordered pizza and of course the requisite trophies and ribbons. Once everything had been arranged, family was invited to attend the festivities. The children put on their fancy clothes, which they like to do. They received ribbons for projects they have done throughout the year for book reports (they made dioramas, which I like to call, book-reports-in-a-box), poetry, science fair projects, painting/drawings, and 3d models. All of the above projects were loaded into a surveymonkey and the link was sent to friends and family to vote on to determine winners. Everything was kept anonymous, until after the results were collected. The kids participated in physical fitness events and were scored against other homeschool students for prizes (medals) and also competed against their siblings for bowling and fishing trophies. They also received some for their grades, but that’s not competition based as they can earn the same level as one another. Overall, everyone seemed to be thrilled with what they received.
At least at our house…
We woke up this morning and my Facebook feed was filled with gleeful pictures of friends’ children posing in their new clothes, some holding little chalkboard signs posting what grade level they were starting in school today. I told my son that one of his friends he used to attend public school with is starting third grade today. He smiled. He just finished third grade at home a couple of days ago. We homeschool year round. We have found that that is what works best for our family.
Even when I have tried to give my children breaks, they know they have new curriculum, shiny and new, waiting. They beg to be allowed on their computers. Their homeschool friends come over with homework and they ask to be allowed to join in. That’s what homeschoolers do. They school. Life is learning.
My older son watched the pictures in my feed of kids going off to school and did a little happy dance. “And we’re on break mom.” He hasn’t touched his homework yet. He’s the oldest. He’ll likely milk his break the longest, but even he has been looking forward to getting to start his co-op classes and hanging out with other homeschool children. Just the other day he was complaining, “you mean I have to wait a whole 27 days before class, mom.” And we don’t even know what the classes are going to be yet!
In the meantime, I enjoy having my kids home. I enjoy having parks, stores, museums and all the others places we go pretty much kids free now that public schoolers have vacated them. Our summer break has begun.