Friday, May 24, 2013

End of School Year Reflections

You may remember me mentioning around this time last year (or the year before) that I like to finish the school year with a questionnaire for the kids.  It helps them reflect on everything we've done and I like that it's a bit of a time capsule for them to read about later.  It also helps me see where they are at overall so that I can strive to be a better parent and teacher in the coming years.

I want to share with you some of the answers they provided to this year's reflections.*  Parts in parentheses are my personal comments and/or additions.

1.  Name, date, grade completed.
S - 5/24/13, 12th grade
H - 5/23/13 (they all did it today, someone didn't check his calendar), 7th grade
Z - 5/24/13, 5th grade
J - 5/24/13, 3rd grade
O - 5/24/13, 2nd grade

2.  Of the books you read this year, which was your favorite?  Why?
S - Lincoln's Last Days.  I liked it because of the way the author wrote the book -- it's historical, yet it had some fictional (parts) and it is really descriptive.
H - Sea of Trolls, because it was well wrote.  (More grammar lessons to come.)

3.  What was the smartest decision you made this year?
Z - Not throwing too much fits.  (Again with the grammar.  Sheesh.)
O - To stop crying when I get sent to my room.

4.  What are three things you did this year to help your classmates/siblings?
H - Trying to teach J to skateboard, helping O learn to read and helping Z with his school.
J - To be quiet, to not yell at them the whole time and to help O read.

5.  How do you describe me (your teacher/mama) to your friends?
S - A good friend (who) I can trust and someone I look up to for advice.
H - Loves to take pictures.
Z - A good teacher, a nice mom, a good aunt.
J - She's funny, she's caring.
O - My mama is nice, pretty and she works hard.

6.  What is the easiest part of school?
H - Faith journal.
O - Writing my name.

7.  What is the hardest part of school?
H - Being with Z.
 Z - Doing it with H.

8.  What do you wish you had done more of?
 H - Arts and crafts.
Z - Math.
J - Science.
O - Math, because I love it!

9.  Where did you find the most peace and calm this year?
H - The library.
Z - Doing book basket (reading time).
J - Nowhere.

10. You want a 'do-over' with...
 S - Making smarter choices about being safer with personal and family information.
H - Nothing.  The year went how God wanted it.
O - Listening to Mama better.

11. What three words best capture the theme of this past year?  (I found their answers to be pretty telling and I know what things I need to work on over the summer and into next school year.  There have been many challenges over this past year, I concur.)
S - Hard, exciting, graduation.
H - Crappy, scary, sad.
Z - Hard, tiring, mad.
J - Not cool, sometimes funny, sometimes I like it.  (three? words)
O - Whiny, hard, angry.

12. What do you like about yourself?
S - I like that I'm caring and people tell me how kind I am to others and have a really tender heart for everyone.
H - Smart and funny.
Z - I'm good at math.
J - I have a birthmark in my eye.
O - I'm fast (legs) and I'm good at riding my bike.

13. If you could change three things about yourself, what would they be?
S - The level of maintenance I need, my non-ability to draw or paint, how patient I am with others.
J - My hair, my teeth and my pinky toes.
O - Being so whiny, being so short - make myself taller, know how to read.

14. How much money could you use each week?  Why?
H - $10 because of McDonald's (I think he's talking about how the youth group walks over to McDonald's to hang out afterwards and we usually give him money for that, but he wants to pay on his own.)
O - $80 so I can buy water to share with others and some toys.

15. Do you believe men and women are equally smart?  Why or Why not?
H - Yes sometimes, but we (men) are dumb a lot.
J - No because guys are dumb.

16. What is something we did this year that you think you'll remember for the rest of your life?
Z - Mess(ing) with my brothers.
J - Doing these 'end of school year reflections'.
O - Playing with WW in Arizona and going out to dinner with the whole W family there.

17. You are thankful for...
S - That through every dangerous thing or situation I have put myself through, God has put his hand on me and kept me safe....
H - Life.
Z - School.
J - All my friends, God and my family.
H - My family.

18. What is one word that describes your relationship with God this year?
S - Tough.
O - Smart.

19. What are your summer goals?
H - To get a job.
 J - Have sleepovers with friends, go on trips, go to Disneyland.
O - Learn to read and go to Disneyland.

20. Final comments...
S - Graduating high school was awesome and I'm glad I only have to graduate high school once.  Enjoyed this school year and I love my teachers who helped me get things finished.
H - Thank you, Mama, I love you.
Z - Thanks Mom so much, I <3 you.
J - Nope.
O - I am happy.

*My questions/prompts all come from a variety of sources and I don't really keep track of them, I apologize.  But feel free to use this compilation of questions (or even a portion of it) with your own kids if you are so inclined.


  1. Haha.. I love O's answers especially. It's always fun reading kid thoughts. Do they write their answers, type them, or do you interview them and write them down?

  2. It's different for each kid. The older three write their answers on their own question papers. O doesn't read yet, so we do his verbally and I write down his answers. J can read really well, but she likes having a personal secretary take dictation and write the answers for her -- this year, she "hired" S for the job since I was busy helping O.

  3. What a crack-up:

    Final comments...