Worried About Finishing the School Year?
Worried About Finishing the School Year?
The holidays are long gone, and your homeschool year may be drawing to a close in the next few weeks. Are you excited? Or are you tired or discouraged? Are you wondering if you’re jeopardizing your child’s future by not sending him or her to public or private school? Are you worried about finishing (or not finishing) the school year?
NOTE: I republish this article almost every year. Why? Because every year at about this time, many moms start to worry about finishing the school year. They start to worry that they aren’t going to have time to get through everything they need to finish by the end of May (or whatever other date they’ve set to finish the school year). I truly hope this is an encouragement to you as you finish the school year and get ready to take a break over the summer! And for those who homeschool year round, I hope you find some encouragement too!
So often we homeschooling moms put tremendous pressure on ourselves to make sure our students–our children–learn everything they need to know. We certainly don’t want to leave any gaps in their education, right?
I’m here to tell you to relax! Don’t let homeschooling become a source of stress and pressure. (I know that’s easier said that done. I have to remind myself of this often!!) And if it already causes you stress, now is the time to begin changing your thinking!
You may be wondering how I can suggest such a thing. After all, we’re talking about the futures of our children! Yes, we certainly are. And guess what? God has it under control! Lately I’ve been reminding myself that it is an honor and a privilege to homeschool my children. I truly believe that this is what God called me to do, and I’m happy (ok…most of the time I’m happy) to do it! And if this is what He wants for my children, I must also believe that He can take care of the outcome.
Have you heard the phrase, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called”? It’s true! No matter how hard we work, we will never be good enough, smart enough, prepared enough, or patient enough to homeschool. But the good news is that we aren’t even supposed to be all of those things! We’re just supposed to be willing. God can (and will) handle the rest.
So if you’re dreading the rest of the school year or lamenting the mistakes you’ve made earlier in the year, take heart! Remember that God loves your children even more than you do; He gave them to you because He knew that you would be the best mom for the job.
Are you leaving gaps in your children’s education? Yes! Nobody can teach or learn everything there is to know about everything. Do you mess up sometimes? Absolutely! We all do. But if you will simply remind yourself that you’re doing the job God wants you to do and all you need to do is the best you can do, things will turn out just right. God wants us to lean on Him. If we could do things on our own, we wouldn’t need Him, right? So it’s absolutely perfectly fine that you can’t do it yourself. You’re not supposed to be able to.
I hope you will finish off the school year depending on God to lead you and knowing that He will do just that. And besides being good for you, you’ll be setting a wonderful example for your children!
So on the practical side, what should you do if you don’t think you have time to “get it all done” before the end of the school year? Here are a few suggestions to consider:
1. Go through the remainder of your curriculum and pick out what’s most important.
Make a plan to teach only those concepts/lessons. It’s ok if you don’t teach every single lesson in every single subject. Honest. In fact, the majority of what we learn, we forget. The most important thing is that you expose your children to the information and ideas that you feel are the most important and that you teach your children how to find important information when they need it.
2. Finish your math and English grammar.
Because the material for next year will probably build on what your children have learned this year, you might want to try to finish at least those two subjects–even if you have to do it over the summer.
3. Or pick your curriculum back up at the beginning of your next school year.
If you just can’t stand the idea of leaving some lessons untaught (or if you just can’t finish your math or English grammar by the end of the school year), choose a stopping point for each subject and then pick back up where you left off next school year.
4. Get as far as you can by the end of the school year, and then make a plan to teach the rest over the summer.
Choose one lesson or concept to teach each week over the summer. By doing this, you can finish the curriculum in a more relaxed way without the pressure of cramming everything in before the traditional end of the school year.
5. Adopt a year-round homeschool approach.
By doing this, you can give yourself time off when you need it here and there, but you will still have more time to finish your curriculum each year. If you have a student who needs more time to learn and who doesn’t do well when rushed, this may be perfect for you! Or if you have a student who doesn’t retain what he learns over the summer, this could be your answer. This way of homeschooling also eliminates the need to spend the first few weeks of the new school year reviewing last year’s lessons.
In fact, if you’re interested in a great homeschool calendar/planner, take a look at this post! It may help you with your plans.
I pray that each person who reads this post will have a blessed and happy rest of the school year and that you will allow God to work through you to give you the best school year you’ve ever had! Blessings to you and yours this year!
Do you try to finish your entire curriculum each year? Why or why not? If you do, what are your “secrets” for getting it all done?
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I completely agree about schooling year round. This is our first year doing it, and we love it! We’ve already logged in over 150 days of school (out of the required 180), which is perfect for us (me) because that will give us extra time to work on our math curriculum, but I’ll have the freedom of not having to log it in. (I truly despise doing the logs). While math is our only actual curriculum this year, in prior years I used workbooks, so it was easy to complete the curriculum. If you have big, thick textbooks, it’s perfectly fine not to finish it. If your child understands a concept, skip the drills and move on to the next lesson. And remember, at least the first month of curriculum is all about review, so even if your child didn’t get to it this year, in all likelihood, it’ll be covered next year, too.
Thank you for your comment, Shelly! I’m really glad that year-round homeschooling is working so well for you. And you made a great point about skipping the drills and moving on if your child understand a particular concept.
This article could not have come at a better time. It is exactly what I needed to hear because feeling like I simply am not good enough to be teaching my daughter and that I might be failing her and her educational journey have been weighing heavily on my mind lately!! Thank you so much for the reminder that I have been called by God to do this and he thinks that I am more than capable of doing this. Therefore I absolutely should feel the same. I am going to bookmark this article to re-read whenever I am having self-doubt, frustration or aggravation over homeschooling. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Aprel, what a sweet comment! I’m very glad the post encouraged you! All of us have doubts at times, but God will help us keep on going if we leave it up to Him and trust that He will take care of the outcome. I’m praying that you will feel encouraged and not inadequate. Blessings to you and your daughter.
this is an excellent way of looking at how to homeschool with less stress on all concerned..i especially like #5 about homeschooling year round… I have been doing this with my granddaughter since the first grade.. it works for us.. we take time off when we get sick or have some thing else to do.her parents have weird schedules..we work all through the week also.. there are days during the week when things get crazy or she gets to go with her mom to work at the ranch where she is learning how to train horses ..so we work on the weekends to make up.. since we have been working into doing things this way for years now.. she is a very relaxed learner.. who has learned how to learn… yes there are and will be gaps and I would be less than honest if I said that those gaps don’t drive me nuts… but I, too, have learned that she will not learn everything I teach her and probably forget more… but one thing she will not forget is how to find information on any subject and in as many ways as possible…she will have a good foundation in English, spelling, reading, math, history fine arts.. science and all the rest are there in varying degrees according to her talents, interests and needs as she gets older and looks to the future for her chosen path…she knows how to meet people.. all kinds of people.. she knows how to talk to them even though she tends to be on the shy side.. she has good manners in many situations and knows how to make people comfortable in her presence. she also knows how to take care of herself in most difficult situations….no she has not learned the hard way in public school how to handle bullies but she is really good at standing her ground when confronted with one..so I guess right now at 11 years old she knows what she needs to know and also knows things that are maybe not needed but what her soul craves to know. she will learn more as she goes along whether I teach it or not.. I guess what I am saying here is that there is more to a kid’s education than what is supplied in most curriculums either in school or homeschooled.. it’s those things that are important also.. maybe even more so….
Thanks for your comment, Nancy! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It sounds like you’re doing a great job homeschooling your granddaughter.
Thanks !! I sure needed to hear this. Especially the “equipped” part 🙂 Blessings ~ amy
Wendy, this is excellent advice. I love your five action steps to finish the year.
How many times I’ve panicked at this time of year when my children were younger. Now that my youngest is 17 and I have a few homeschooled children who are college graduates, I speak from experience when I say that God is the one who teaches your children and fills in those gaps! It is so very nice of Him to let us share in the teaching of our (His) children.
Thank you so much, Harriet! I know I often feel overwhelmed at this time of year thinking about everything that must be completed before the end of our homeschool year, and I am much better able to handle it if I have a plan. I appreciate your comment!
Wendy, this article is such a wonderful encouragement and Harriet, your comment just brought tears to this mama’s eyes…”God is the one teaching our children and fills in those gaps.”. SUCH a powerful statement and reminder that indeed, if God has called, He is teaching and equipping. Just today the thought passed through my mind that this was my last year of homeschooling. I would try to talk my husband into private Christian school when he got home from work and then I read this! Blessings y’all! Tina Marie
Last week was the worst week of homeschool for me. Stress was high, I was short, I was convinced that I must be doing it all wrong. I wanted to cry every day, and I am not a cry-er! But I keep praying about it and I always get a sense that God has a plan for us. I hear Him tell me that He is going to refine us all in this journey. Just have to trust. Easier said than done. Thanks for the encouraging message, because I could totally relate and needed the reassurance that it will all turn out OK!
Thanks for posting! I needed to read this article. It calms me to know that I’m not alone, and that I have the great tips you offered.
I’m so glad to have been able to encourage you! You are definitely not alone! 🙂 Thank you for your comment. We do what we do here on the Hip Homeschool Moms site to help and encourage moms like you!
Well, we had a rough year due to personal problems. So my son is supposed to be in 8th grade but we are only about to finish 7th grade. I am so worried because I didn’t want to homeschool him in 10th grade. He wants to play soccer in high school. Do you have any advice? Thank you.
There are at least a couple of options for you. One of them is to do extra work each week until you “catch up” to where you need to be. Another is to simply go through the curriculum and pick out the most important things in each subject and teach those to make it easier to work through the curriculum faster. (I know in public school they never finish a textbook, so there’s no need to worry that you’re short-changing him.) Another (and you may combine this with one of the options above) is to do school year-round to help catch up. I hope this helps!
Thank you so much for this article…I really needed it! This is our first year to homeschool our 15 year old. We both have been dreading the rest of this year. He doesn’t really like the curriculum and neither do I..but we are trying to tough thru it. This article is very encouraging and uplifting for me to know it is ok to skip some things and move on. I am in need of ideas for curriculum. Any suggestions for good high school curriculum?
Lorie, I’m so glad this article helped encourage you! If you’d like ideas for other curriculum you and your son might enjoy more for next year, you might want to consider joining our private Facebook community where you can ask the opinions of lots of other moms who are willing to give advice and information. Go to this link to apply to be added to the group: Hip Homeschool Moms Facebook Community. Also, you might want to look around on the site here (use the search bar on the right) to see if you see any other information that might be helpful to you.