Even if you’re a year-round homeschooler, late spring marks the end of lots of regular activities and is a great time to throw an end-of-the-year celebration for your homeschool. Celebrating milestones like the end of the school year can be an important part of keeping joy alive in your homeschool, so pause to appreciate that you’ve made it through the year together. Here are a few of our favorite ways to mark the end of the academic year:
Make a time capsule. Add a few items that sum up the year: a favorite book, a CD with your in-regular-rotation tunes on it, pictures of fun science or history projects, and a favorite artwork or two. Ask your student to write a letter about her year, and add a letter of your own highlighting some of your favorite memories from the year. (Not that you have to think this far ahead, but you could open these boxes together to celebrate your student’s last day of high school.)
Take a camping trip. Unplug literally by heading to the nearest campground and spending the night in the great outdoors. (If you’ve never camped before, many state parks have special newbie camper programs that set you up with gear and on-site assistance. Finishing up your last official readaloud by the campfire and toasting your year’s highlights while star-gazing is definitely a memorable way to celebrate finishing another grade.
Have an end-of-the-year scavenger hunt. Bonus points if you can tie some of your clues to the year’s highlights: Find a plant mentioned in a Robert Frost poem, find a substance with a pH level of 7.0 or higher, find a historical marker that refers to the Civil War, etc. Do a little advance planning to choose your site and clues.
Make the world a better place. Helping others can be a great way to celebrate—consider spending your last month of school collected canned goods for a food kitchen or dog food for an animal shelter and making your donation together on your last day of school. If you’re taking a summer break, consider signing up for a recurring volunteer opportunity during the summer—for example, kids can ride along on Meals on Wheels deliveries or participate with you in park clean-up days.
Freshen up your homeschool space. By the end of the year, half the pencils are stubby, the bookshelves are sloppy, and everything’s just kind of a mess. Celebrate the end of the year by making your space beautiful again: Clean it from top to bottom, consider brushing on a fresh coat of paint, and update chair cushions or throw pillows to make everything feel new and shiny again.
Host a lawn games party. Break out the classics: badminton, croquet, cornhole, water balloons, and bocce ball, and spend the day competing in old-fashioned outdoor games. If you want, keep score and award paper medals to the people who do the best in each category. A day like this is a fun way to officially welcome summer to your homeschool.
Go out for afternoon tea. Something about a classic high tea feels so special, which is what makes it such a lovely way to celebrate the end of another year. Check high-end hotels and tea rooms in your area to find a place that serves high tea, make reservations, and wear your fancy best to nibble and sip your way through the afternoon.
Have a pajama party. Spending the day in your pajamas is the epitome of homeschool life, right? Cozy up in your PJs with a movie marathon (rent the Harry Potter flicks or all the Studio Ghibli films), eat pancakes or waffles for dinner, and enjoy your well-earned day of rest.