End of Homeschool Year + Summer Happenings

Signs of summer: day-lilies, hydrangea in bloom, and fresh-picked blueberries!
summer flowers and berries

In our home, we don’t have an “official” LAST DAY of school; we tend to taper off rather than end with a bang. Though we are done as far as legal requirements go, we’re still finishing up a few things (like math) and, of course, doing plenty of unschoolish learning over our summer break.

So far this summer, the kids have built forts in the living room, Kathryn has been having a bit of origami fun, and the kids’ maple sapling nursery is still in full swing.

sheet forts and origami elephants

A wrap-up of all the homeschool wrap-ups I didn’t wrap up:

At the end of May, we did the required standardized testing for both Kathryn and Lindsey. (We use the CAT from Seton Testing.) I was pleased with how both girls did, although I dislike the entire concept of standardized testing.

Lindsey (high school):

I’ve had my first experience with writing up a final high school transcript, and Lindsey is ALMOST finished with the last assigned project requirement to finish her senior year so we can start thinking about a graduation party before the summer is over!

She’s working, babysitting, and enjoying time with friends this summer while she decides what her future plans are. She is still considering cosmetology school, but hasn’t decided when or if that’s definitely what she wants to do.

Kathryn (middle school):

Political views aside, it’s pretty cool to get mail from the President’s office. Kathryn’s mail from The White House included: a letter thanking her for her letter; a large photo of the President; info about The White House; “An Interview With President Obama” (list of frequently asked questions); and our favorite item in the package, a photo and bio of the presidential pet Bo the Portuguese Waterdog.

mail from the White House

In early June, she completed two years of mitzvah classes (at her dad’s messianic synagogue) and aced her cumulative final and her Hebrew final. She’ll have a bat mitzvah celebration next spring.

Before Scout and Jem moved in, we gave Kathryn the option of sharing her room or moving upstairs. At the time, she opted for sharing a room with Scout. That went fine, and I appreciate her generous heart, but when I told her recently that the offer to move upstairs still stood, she took me up on it. It’s a lovely big bonus room that isn’t “technically” considered a bedroom because it doesn’t have a closet, but an armoire and some under-bed drawers solve that problem. I’ll share photos later!

Kathryn participated in local ministry activities at her dad’s synagogue earlier this week, and now she’s on her first overnight mission trip. It’s only about an hour away but is a great introduction for mission trips to come in future years. She has been excitedly anticipating this trip and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

Scout (kindergarten):

Also in late May, Scout finished her year of public kindergarten. That’s a big relief. Already I see improvement in her behavior. It looks as if a slightly extended summer vacation will probably be enough “de-schooling” for her. She’s been on a big drawing kick in recent weeks; the drawing below is one she did of her little toy monkey: pretty good for a 5-year-old, I think!

Scout's drawing

What’s your yearly homeschool schedule?

Do you school year round? I’ve always liked the idea, but our summer schedules (mostly Kathryn’s visitation schedule with her Dad) just don’t allow for it. As I plan for next year, I’m trying to decide how we’ll work our breaks throughout the year. I’m always up for ideas I might not have heard of before!

I’m joining these link-ups:
Homeschool Mother’s Journal at So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?
– Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
– Collage Friday at Home Grown Learners

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Nicole @ Journey to Excellence

Great stuff, Jamie! So excited for Kathryn’s new independence in her own room and Lindsay’s future decisions. My daughter is starting cosmetology school in October. It’s a great profession! We follow the public school schedule because my son is in high school at the public school. But, we do school through the summer in the months of June and July. We do schoolwork from 10:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. each day, Monday through Thursday, doing math, handwriting, reading, and a unit study. I keep track of our hours. A school day for us constitutes 5 hours a day. So,… Read more »


This is the first year that we’ve schooled year round, although without co-op and bookclub, our summer school is much more relaxed and interest-led. I lay out an english worksheet and a math worksheet every morning for my 8 & 6 year olds, and we read our Bible together and they practice reading to me. We’ve done a couple of novel studies and we’ve been working on lapbooks and unit studies for each of their interests right now. I’ve also started to do preschool with my 3 and 2 year olds a couple of days a week this summer. I… Read more »

melissa newell

We school year round technically but are more laid back in the Summer for sure. Next year is our “standardized” testing for Zachary – 4th grade..not looking forward to it 8(

I cant believe a 5 year old drew that – that is awesome!

Enjoy your weekend

Congrats to each of your girls on their accomplishments! I had to laugh a little at Kathryn jumping on your reminder that the offer to move upstairs still stood. I’d want my own room, too. 🙂


I love that Kathryn went on her first overnight Mission Trip – I think this middle grades age is the perfect time for our girls to do this. Anna’s trip was so meaningful to her – I was so thankful to have her back safe and sound, but I know she loved the time away to see a bigger world than her little suburb of Atlanta.

I so enjoy reading about your weeks, and I enjoyed chatting with you about bigger things this week, too. Life is hard sometimes. I admire you.


That is a great drawing!!! Glad you guys had such an awesome week! We are still schooling but with a lighter load. It’s our first going through the summer too. We are going to take a couple weeks off for him to enjoy some downtime then back at it 😉


We don’t homeschool year round. The first year Emma(who was adopted from the foster care system at 7) was with us we did as that is what my then 8 year old son Tyler was used to but it made life terrible for Emma. Now 8 years and 2 kids(Ben adopted in 2008 at 5 and Kelsey adopted in 2012 at 11) later we follow the public school schedule with some modifications, we take December off and not June.(Here public school goes August- May, we go August- November, January- June) We find it is less stressing for our kiddos who… Read more »


We follow the public school calendar for the purpose of report cards (my students are in middle school and high school now) so we have what I call a “modified” summer vacation. Our official last day of school is usually the end of May, then we do take a break but soon are back to doing a subject or two at least a couple days a week. This year we are not going away over the summer at all, so I think we will wind up schooling on a light schedule all the way through, depending on how much we’re… Read more »


scouts drawings are so cute my son’s are similar
here are some of our homeschooling activities