Are you having one of those years when it’s crisis after crisis, and you’re running into a hard deadline for finishing the school year? You’re terrified you can’t possibly catch up.
Take a deep breath. Here are 5 options for when you’re running behind and can’t see the light.
When You’re Running Behind Schedule
First figure out how for you are behind. Calculate the number of days left in the school year and the number of days needed to finish the textbook or curriculum.
What is the difference between the two?
Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. If we stay on track, we’ll just be able to finish on time. Otherwise it’s time to pick from the solutions below.
Math is notoriously difficult to condense, so don’t even try. But grammar lessons are easier. You may find there are lessons the kids can spout off in their sleep. Don’t skip those lessons, they’re great lessons to combine.
History, and science can also be condensed by covering the material at double speed. This means doubling up the reading for a time and cutting down the written work.
For instance in Tapestry of Grace you might assign only the accountability or thinking questions rather than assigning both.
If you’re using a textbook, only assign half the questions or discuss the questions rather than having your child write the answers.
Don’t try to double up on everything, but one or two subjects is often doable for a short time period.
History and science topics can, in a pinch, often be covered adequately through a documentary. Curl up with a big bowl of popcorn and take a day to watch a documentary on the history or science topic.
This works really well for large topics you cover over several weeks, such as the Civil War, World War 2, Egypt, Astronomy, or mammals. Netflix, Amazon, and your library usually have a great selection to browse.
Watch the documentaries in the evening. This will free up ‘official school hours’ for other subjects while still covering the needed material in history and science.
Remember to enjoy long discussions at the dinner table. These discussions will round out your studies nicely.
This is not my favorite method of solving the issue of running behind, but it’s effective. And it’s the best solution for math and Latin.
Add Saturday to your homeschool week.
It increases the number of lessons you can finish. Just think, each month you’re able to complete 4 more lessons. That’s almost an entire week!
Adding Saturdays is an easy way to speed up a subject or two.
Work into the Summer
This is probably my least favorite option because my children adore their summer vacations. But it works best with the younger crowd, 10 year olds on down, who love parental time and attention and don’t care about summer break.
Older teens, who are well aware of college and test deadlines coming up fast, are also motivated to work through summer.They’re also self-motivated enough to make up for time lost during the school year due to factors out of their control.
Kids who count on summer break for time to complete personal projects will be very unhappy. Some of my kids have spent the summer writing, sewing, or programming.
They rightly complain when their project time disappears.
Stop and Take Up Where You Left Off Next School Year
Finally there’s to option of simply stopping for the summer and picking up again in the fall. When you have a hard and fast deadline coming up, it’s the best solution.
For instance having a baby, moving, family vacation of a lifetime? Just get as far as you can without sacrificing mastery and start again the next school year where you left off.
There’s no reason you can’t just stop schooling for a month or two, enjoy a vacation, and pick back up right where you left off.
The textbooks may not all finish at the same time in June. They may finish in August, September, October, or even later. Let the kids finish the textbook at their own pace and begin the next book when ready.
Festina Lente wins the race.
Just because the kids won’t finish the curriculum by summer doesn’t mean you have to skip the rest of the material.
Condense, do a quick overview, homeschool on Saturdays, or simply pick up where you left off the next school year. If all else fails, consider homeschooling year around!
What do you do when you’re running behind schedule?