When You’re Behind at the End of the Year
It seems like we just rang in the New Year, but somehow April is already half over. If you homeschool using a traditional school schedule, you’re probably looking forward to summer break in a month or two.
This is the time of year when many of us look at the number of lessons left in our curriculum versus the number of days left in the school year and realize there is NO WAY we’ll be able to finish everything before summer break. Sure, we could attempt to do three lessons per day seven days a week for the next month in order to finish the math workbook on schedule, but that would only make everyone miserable. And the kids would likely retain little from such an intense month of cramming.
Thankfully, as homeschoolers, there’s no need to stress about being “behind” as the end of the school year approaches.
Homeschoolers Can Learn Year-round
Who says that leaning only happens between August and May (or September and June)? As homeschoolers, our children can learn any time of year. Our school never closes. So, if you haven’t finished everything you planned to do this school year, don’t sweat it. Just continue on. Do make sure you take breaks, though, so that you and your children don’t experience burnout. Also, consider a lighter schedule during the summer.
Homeschoolers Can Learn Any Time of Day
Children can learn any time of day, so there’s no reason to limit your learning to only traditional school hours. Are there history read alouds you haven’t been able to get to yet? Just call them “bedtime stories” and read them at night. Are there still a lot of lessons left in your Bible curriculum? Use them as family devotionals in the evening.
You Don’t Have to Finish the Curriculum
Seriously, you don’t. It will be okay. Think back to your own schooling. Do you remember ever finishing every chapter or lesson of a textbook? In my twelve years as a public school student, I’m not sure that ever happened. So, go ahead and cross out half the problems in that long math lesson. Skip the chapter in the history book your children recently watched a documentary about. Don’t worry about finishing all of the lessons on a topic that you know will be extensively reviewed in next year’s textbook.
Avoid End of Year Stress
As you can see, there’s no need for all this end-of-year stress we put on ourselves. Much of it is based on arbitrary schedules and deadlines. Remember, that unless laws in your state or country say otherwise, homeschoolers can learn anytime. So, don’t stress over not being finished by Memorial Day, or whatever date you picked.
To avoid some end of year stress in the future, consider whether your expectations are realistic. Have you been trying to do too much? If so, consider what you could eliminate next year. Also, when you plan future school years, remember to allow extra time for illnesses and family emergencies. This may mean starting your school year earlier to avoid feeling rushed in May. Most importantly, remember that flexibility is a huge benefit of homeschooling. You’re a family, not a school. That means that you don’t have to shut down for summer on a designated date.