Writing a Year End Report

It's that time of year!  The time of year when I report on all we have done for an entire school year to our umbrella school.

For our family, along with finishing our 180 days, we must create a portfolio and write a year end report for each child. 

I do not dread writing a year end report, except maybe trying to figure out how to encapsulate all the learning each child did in one year to less to a few pages.  However, for the most part, writing a year end report is a wonderful time of sweet reflection and evaluation.  Through the writing process, I am amazed by how much the children learned, but I also find areas which they need help.  For those problem areas, I take our summer break time to evaluate the problem, pray about how to address it, develop a plan, and implement a correction.  Which means, once in awhile, we spend a bit of summertime doing school.

The past few weeks, I have been enveloped in the process of completing each child's portfolio and writing year end reports.  Earlier this week, I outlined how our family builds a portfolio, but today I wanted to focus specifically on writing a year end report.

What is a year end report? 

A year end report is a summary of your child's academic growth from one school year. 

Do I have to write a year end report?

The answer to this question depends on your individual state's requirements, your school's requirements {if you belong to an umbrella school}, and your own personal preference.  Obviously if your state law or your umbrella school require a year end report, then you must comply.  If neither do, then the choice is up to you.  Even if our umbrella school did not require one, I would still write one.  A year end report is a fabulous summary of academic activities and growth for one year.

How do I write a year end report?

A year end report is easy to write if you have kept some organization throughout the year.  I have outlined the procedure I use below.  Of course, year end reports can vary in format and length.  This is just my experience.

  1. Decide on the format for a year end report.  It is easier to fill in specific information into a pre-planned form.  Our umbrella school requires a specific form which basically includes three sections: the student's information, a curriculum listing and evaluation {by far the longest section}, and a promotion statement.
  2. Begin with the easier information.  I complete the student's information section first.  It includes student's name, parents' names, student's date of birth and age, student's grade level, current school year, days of attendance and days of enrollment.
  3. Next, I work on the curriculum and evaluation section.  I decide which subjects are most important and list them accordingly.  Our children have the following subjects listed on their year end reports: Bible, Language Arts, Math, History / Geography, Science, Latin, Aesthetics, and Physical Education / Health. 
  4. Under each subject, I begin to list all the curriculum used throughout the year.  Then, I list any additional resources, field trips, and supplements.  These all appear in a list form.  This is an example from one daughter's Bible section {CHURCH'S NAME is where I include the specific church's name, but for privacy issues it is not included in the example below}:

         Who Is God? And Can I Really Know Him? by John Hay & David Webb
         Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here? by John Hay & David Webb
          The Westminster Shorter Catechism, questions 57-85
          Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, by Starr Meade, pp. 192-280
          The Westminster Shorter Catechism Songs, Volume 3, by Holly Dutton
    Additional Programs:
          Sunday School at CHURCH’S NAME, weekly attendance
         AWANA club at CHURCH’S NAME, September 2011-May 2012
                TNT – completed book for year 3
         Vacation Bible School “Main Street” at CHURCH’S NAME, July 18-22, 2011

  5. After all the curriculum, resources, field trips, supplements, and additional programs have been listed for each individual subject, then I begin writing an evaluation for each subject.  This does not have to be a lengthy process.  My evaluations are typically one paragraph in length.  I include a brief outline of how we used the curriculum, resources, programs, etc. and what the child's progress was.  Any remarkable successes, difficulties, or challenges are included in the evaluation portion. 
  6. Once the curriculum and evaluation portions are completed, I simply have to write a promotion statement.  This is literally one sentence declaring a grade completed and promotion of the student to the next grade.
  7. Finally, I set the report aside for a day or so.  Once a day or more has passed, I read through the year end report and make any necessary changes.  I check for cohesiveness, ease of understanding, grammar/spelling mistakes, and proper format.  Generally, I review each report three times, which is probably a few times too many.  However, I want to be sure it is an accurate reflection on the school year and the child's progress. 

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