We have formally ended our school year in South Africa.
At the end of each year we ~
1. Conclusion ~
We use notebook files for all our school work. I made a cover page for each subject.
We file all our notebook pages, copywork pages, maths practice pages, poems, creative writing, spelling, geography charts and maps, music appreciation logs, Sketch Tuesday sketches and other art work.
At the end of each term, I remove the completed work and file it in a large file holder for the end of the year.
Now we add the last term’s work and put things in order.
2. Closure ~
We spend about 20 minutes and sort and file these pages.
We look back over the year’s work.
We laugh at funny pictures, remember the fun times and share memories.
The quality of some of their pages amazes the girls! They are really delighted with some art work. They are stunned at how much work they actually did this year.
3. Evaluate ~
As we file everything, I have a paper handy and we play the “FAVOURITES” game.
I ask each child, “What was your favourite part of this … subject/ theme/ activity.”
Then I ask, “Why?” I jot down their answers. This kind of evaluation is fun, informal, truthful and spontaneous.
All the while we still file each subject behind its cover page.
In a short while our files are full!
Our lapbooks are usually not filed. The children keep their lapbooks out because they love to re-read and show them to interested friends and family!
Then each child runs back to the bookshelf to collect their favourite 5 books of the year.
“Only 5?” my youngest asks.
Again I ask, “Which was your favourite-favourite? The very best book? Why?”
I jot their chosen book titles and reasons on my paper.
I ask them, “What did you LEAST enjoy? Why?” The children admit to some tears during a difficult maths lesson or spelling test, but now it doesn’t seem so bad.
Another question I ask, “What was the EASIEST subject?”
Finally I ask, “What would you like MORE of next year?” and they say ~
4. We Celebrate!
- We pose for a few photos.
- We enjoy a special family celebration dinner.
- We sometimes hand out certificates. (Sonlight provides certificates for each subject and I was amazed at how special my children felt receiving their certificate from their dad at the celebration dinner.)
Closure is a very special process. We love to reach our goals. We all like to know that we have made progress; and that we have arrived at our destination. Somehow, it is easier to move forward once things are really complete.
And during the next week I compile my evaluation form for each child. I add my own records to their own evaluations and type it and place it in their file.
I will share a bit more about evaluations next time.
This is also the time for planning for the year ahead. (I’ll share more on this in the coming weeks too.)
Until then,enjoy the last few weeks of this amazing year!