Exciting Homeschool News!

Before I share everything that is going on with me, I wanted to share a few FREE printables that you might find helpful as the school year comes to a close!

First, is a free printable End of Year Homeschool Questionnaire. One is for Students, the other is for Parents. I have used this for many years to really think about what went well. I tried to take some time to reflect how the year went for our family. Plus, I’m always curious to see what the kids think now that the year is over.
End of Year Homeschool Questionnaire

Student Questionnaire: Here’s what I give to the kids to fill out and answer. Since every family is different, you may just want to use this as a start and include your own questions.

These student reflection question pages are FREE to download, just click the link or picture below.

End of Year Questionnaire for Students (free printable)


Parent Reflection Questions:

At the same time there are some end-of-year things that I need to think about as well. Not only is it time to reflect on some of the things that went well (or didn’t), but it’s also time to take stock of what we/I need to do to get ready for next year. I’ll jot down supplies we need, things I need to file, sort through, reorganize and thoughts I have about the units we’ll do when we start back up again and so forth while it’s fresh on my mind.

Every family is different, so you may or may not find this helpful depending on your homeschool style. I thought I would share for anyone interested.

Other questions are for brainstorming activity ideas, projects I’d like to add in, field trips that I want to do, but haven’t gotten to and things like that.

These parent reflection question pages are FREE to download, just click the link or picture below.

End of Year Questionnaire for Parents (free printable)

HomeschoolQuestionnaire-ParentAs your kids come up into new grades, you might want to browse through our free curriculum guides. It’s often helpful to see what other homeschoolers did along their journey.  Hopefully they give you some ideas for next year!

Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum – Grade-by-Grade!  These resource guides are all FREE to download:

If you are wondering in general what science topics/units to cover, this is a free checklist of the units we hoped to cover K-8 Homeschool Science Unit Checklist for Elementary and Middle School (free printable)

Science Homeschool ChecklistYou might also be interested in this post Planning for Next Year (Free Planning Pages) At that post I shared the process I go through as I plan out next year.  These pages are not as much a traditional Homeschool Planner as  Homeschool Vision Planner. If they are of interest you can check them out here:

Free Homeschool PlannerFree Step-by-Step Guide for Planning out your Homeschool Year!

Homeschool Planning Process - Free Homeschool PlannerAnd, of course, we have a free Homeschool Planner and Discovery Journal as well (which is more for planning your days/weeks during the school year.

You’ll find this at this post: Free Homeschool Planner and Discovery Journal.

Free Homeschool Planner

Now on to some news as our family wraps up our homeschool year!
Germany 1

We have some exciting changes coming up in our homeschool next year! I will be teaching homeschool enrichment classes next year – mostly science and history, but also an art class as well! I can’t wait to tell you more, but first let me tell you why!

My middle daughter, DD, just graduated from our homeschool (this year she primarily did dual enrollment classes through out local community college) and she will be heading to university next fall.

Meanwhile, my youngest daughter applied for several state department scholarships to study abroad next year. She was so excited to be selected for two different programs one in Germany and one in Indonesia. In the end, she decided to spend the year in Germany because she has spend many years (since early elementary) studying German in our homeschool. She is so excited!

Below are a couple of pictures we took when DD was studying in Germany last year (DD was also selected to participate in the CBYX state department scholarship program). She had an amazing experience and absolutely loved her host family. We hope ED has an incredible experience too!

If you think your student might be interested in studying abroad during high school, I share more information about the state department scholarships that cover ALL expenses for the year, including the airfare, down below.

As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time this year thinking about what I wanted to do while my kids were off on their own adventures. I looked into a lot of different options including offering some online homeschool classes. Things have a way of working out perfectly! I will be teaching homeschool enrichment classes four days a week; I love hands-on activities and experiments and this will be so fun! I am excited to be teaching earth science… as well as doing other science classes including one on electricity and circuits, a history class (Middle Ages-the Age of Absolutism) and more! I’m so excited!!

So, that’s the biggest news here in our homeschool. I hope you had an incredible homeschool year as well and are looking forward to a restful summer!

Happy Homeschooling!

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to check out our new FREE Homeschool Classroom for Homeschool Parents! You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :) ~Liesl

Homeschool Den Store

Here is more about Study Abroad during High School

If your high schooler loves languages and is excited to experience another culture (and living with another family), here is how your high school student can apply to study abroad for free!

My daughter, DD, participated in CBYX from early August 2022 to June 22, 2023. She took it as a “gap” year, so to speak. Then this year she did dual enrollment at our local community college and applied to colleges. Her year abroad really impacted DD and she is now thinking she will double-major in international relations and German with a minor in statistics.  (DD is such a driven person!!)

My youngest daughter, ED, applied for all four of the scholarships below.  She was accepted to CBYX this spring and will be leaving in August 2024 and will return in June 2025. [That is why I will be offering some science and history classes both online (M/T) and in-person (W/F) here where I live!] She too will come back and continue homeschooling (probably also doing some dual enrollment) and then will apply for college. She was also accepted by the YES Abroad and FLEX Abroad and was also offered a scholarship to spend the year studying in Indonesia. It was a very difficult decision for her to decide which scholarship to accept, but she decided upon Germany. We started studying German as a foreign language in our homeschool when ED was about 7 years old. She is conversationally fluent in German and is excited to improve her German fluency.

By the way, my girls never attended traditional school here in the U.S.

Here are a couple more pictures from Germany:

Below are the four scholarship programs. These are merit-based scholarships. They are all quite difficult to get into (I think I saw that about 2-5% of students who apply are selected.)

CBYX– This is what my two daughters participated/will participate in. This is a joint program between the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag. Students leave in June and attend a six-week language and orientation program with the other American students. Then students head off to all different parts of Germany to live with their host family. Students must have an interest in learning the German language no German language study/knowledge is required to apply, though my kids started studying German in elementary and were semi-fluent by high school.

We didn’t know about these other programs when my middle daughter applied. My youngest also applied to these programs. 

YES Abroad – This program sends students primarily to select countries with significant Muslim populations. This includes countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, Northern Macedonia, Senegal, Turkey, Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

FLEX Abroad – Future Leaders Abroad Program – FLEX Abroad provides a unique fully funded exchange experience for American high school students to build global awareness and intercultural competency. This experience positively impacts students’ personal growth and ensures global mutual understanding through direct interaction with another culture. Some countries where students could spend their year include Kazakhstan, Georgia, Romania, Poland and other places depending on the year.

NSLIY – National Security Language Initiative for Youth – The U.S. Department of State’s NSLI-Y program is part of a U.S. government initiative to foster international cooperation by ensuring that Americans have the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge necessary to effectively communicate. NSLI-Y provides overseas critical language study opportunities to American youth through merit-based scholarships to spark a lifetime interest in critical foreign languages and cultures. Some countries could include: Estonia, China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Latvia, Morocco, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and other locations around the world depending on the year.

To be eligible students must

  • A U.S. citizen
  • Aged 15 to 18 ½ on August 1 of the program departure year
  • A current high school student at the time of application, with a GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Comply with U.S. Department of State eligibility policy for American Outbound Youth Programs (click here to view that policy)

Our Experience Applying to CBYX – the program in Germany

The application process is rigorous, especially for homeschoolers. It was similar to the college application process, so both your child and you will have a lot to do! The initial application was due in October for CBYX and in December for the other three scholarships.

  • My daughter had to write about five essays for CBYX and an addition half-dozen essays for the combined applications for YES-Abroad, FLEX-Abroad and NSLIY
  • She had to submit two letters of recommendation.
  • I had to create a high school transcript. I included a one-page transcript and included a description for each class.
  • Parent description.  I had to write a letter that described in no more than 350 words the following topics
      • How your child communicates with others including peers, parents and authority figures;
      • How your child reacts to discipline and authority;
      • The amount of independence you give your child;
      • How your child handles challenging, uncomfortable or difficult situations;
      • How your childhandles disagreement or disappointment;
      • your child’s reaction to being away from home and ability to adapt to new situations;
      • Your observation of your child’s interest in these exchange programs, study abroad and/or rigorous language study;
      • Why you believe your child is prepared for the challenges that may arise during a rigorous overseas immersion program; and
      • Why you think it is important for your child to participate in an exchange program.
  • We had to send her passport off to be renewed, as hers would expire before the program ended.
  • She needed medical forms filled out, so she needed a physical, TB test, and a signature from her dentist.
  • Students find out if they make it through to the interview phase in late December. For CBYX, my daughter had to fly to Dallas, TX for in-person interviews (in late January, early February).  She also made it through to the interview phase for YES-Abroad and FLEX-Abroad.  For these, she had interviews via Zoom.
  • This is kind of related… ED took the SATs this spring as a sophomore since she will be overseas next year (and probably won’t do a rigorous amount of math since class will be held in German).

That’s about it for now! Feel free to email me if you have any questions!

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