Dear Homeschool Mom Who Feels Behind

HS Mom behindIt is that time of year, the time when school is winding down and the end is in sight. Whether you school year round or take the summer off, it can get stressful towards the end of the year. If you are like many homeschoolers, you probably had bumps throughout the year and are not exactly where you had planned on being. Maybe multiplication just didn’t click as fast as you were expecting. Or maybe your little one fell in love with a science topic, leading to rabbit trails and further exploration. Maybe you spent two months learning about Ancient Egypt because there was just so much to learn. (That would be us!) Maybe life happened. A new baby, an illness, a move, anything that might have put a wrench in your schedule. Maybe you just scheduled too much into your day and subjects took longer than you expected. Whatever the reason, you feel behind and are faced with three basic options.

Option 1

Just make up the work. You can easily double up on subjects. Hey, what kid wouldn’t like three or four grammar lessons a day until the end of the school year? You could drop all of the fun subjects and focus, making sure that those core lessons get completed. Better yet, you can skip summer break. Work through the summer until you have finished every single page of work.

While the work could get finished this way, I suspect you will get a lot of complaints from your kids. It won’t be a day in the park for you either! If you feel the need to finish all of those lessons, just take in to consideration the amount of work you will be expecting your child to do. Is it reasonable? Is it necessary? And most importantly, will they really be learning and retaining the information, or will they just go through the motions.

Now if you are behind because of behavior or attitude reasons, that is a different story. Missing part of summer break or having to double up on lessons may be what your child needs to buckle down and get their work down in the future.

Option 2

The second option would be to just skip part of the book. I went to public school as a child, and I don’t remember ever finishing a text book. Honestly we usually didn’t get even half way through any book except for math. I am not saying that leaving more than half a book unfinished is a great idea, just putting things in perspective.

Go through their books and see where you can combine things or eliminate things. Does your child understand the topic? Maybe they don’t need to do all of the book work. Is part of the book review? Does your child need the review? Will skipping the last three weeks of spelling really matter? Everyone’s answers are going to be different based on your unique child. Isn’t that one of the best parts about homeschooling? For subjects like science and history, the topics are going to come up again. If your child doesn’t learn about plants this year, I am sure the topic will come around later. If you are using a spiral based math program or grammar program the topics will come up again as well.

Option 3

The last option you have is carrying the work over. You have two more units in history, but really don’t want to rush. Why not just start at that place in history when you start up school again. Why do we have to start and stop based on the month it is? Will learning about Rome in September be any different from learning about it in May? If you are using a mastery based math or grammar program, this would really be your best bet if you don’t decide to try and finish it before the end of the year.

We have so many choices as homeschoolers, there is no need to stress. Do what works for your family and finish out the year strong! No matter what, know you are doing a great thing for your child!

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