How to Easily and Quickly Finish Your Homeschool Year
Sometimes you need to finish your homeschool year fast.
Maybe a baby is coming or the family is moving across the country. You don’t have the luxury of meandering through the school year. The reason doesn’t matter.
You need to finish your homeschool year FAST!
How Much Time Do You Have
Before you can finish your homeschool year fast, you need to know how crunched for time you are.
Start by calculating the number of days needed to finish each subject.
Now figure out how many homeschool days are left before you must be done for the year.
What is the difference between the two?
Hopefully, you have the same number of days, or less, to finish each subject as you have homeschool days left in the school year. In this case, stay on track and keep working on the plan. You’re doing just fine.
But what happens when you don’t?
You ran behind in a subject or two. And now you have far more days left in the subject than you do in the year!
Condensing lessons means that you do two lessons in a day rather than one
It’s a great method when you’re dealing with a subject your children easily understand.
For instance, we just covered adjectives. On the first day, we talked about adjectives that help us see such as the black horse or the bright lightning. On the second day, we discussed adjectives that help us hear such as the loud thunder or the singing bird. There’s no reason these two lessons couldn’t be grouped together!
And condensing like lessons allows you to double your pace through the subject.
History and art are easy subjects to condense. Simply plan for a longer school day and double your pace.
But be careful about condensing skill subjects such as math and foreign languages.
Sometimes kids need extra time to master the material.
Documentaries are a fun method of covering history and science topics plus they allow you to finish your homeschool year fast.
This works especially well if you’re covering a large topic such as the Civil War, World War 2, how the pyramids were built, astronomy, or mammals.
My kids got sick with the flu one year when we were about to cover the American Revolution. Rather than trying to double up on their history readings, I found a documentary to watch.
And the kids loved the change of pace!
So pop a big bowl of popcorn and curl up in the living room together. And spend a quiet day watching documentaries.
Or you can save your school hours for subjects you’re condensing and watch history and science documentaries in the evening.
Remember to enjoy long discussions at the dinner table.
Move to a Six-Day Week
Working six days a week is not my favorite method of solving the issue of running behind, but it is effective.
And it’s the best solution for math and languages because it immediately increases the number of lessons you can finish.
If you’ve been using a four-day week, you’ve just added two more lessons a week. If you’ve been using a five-day week, you’ve added one more lesson a week.
Moving to a six-day week is an easy way to finish your homeschool year fast.
Shift Studies into the Summer
In this case, you save some studies for the summer which allows you to finish your homeschool year fast.
Call the school year done when you need to be done and save the last of your studies to complete during the summer. In my house, it usually means the kids have a light load of school work to complete.
Another fun method is to specifically save history or science for the summer.
And then enjoy a history-focused or science-focused summer with your kids.
Take field trips, complete projects and experiments, read books aloud. Plan vacations around historical sites that fit in with your history studies. Spend a day at the science museum.
Your kids won’t remember the year you crammed to finish the year.
They’ll remember the museums, projects, and experiments you enjoyed as a family.
Finish Your Homeschool Year By Stopping
The final option to finish your homeschool year fast is to stop for the summer and pick up again in the fall. When you have a hard and fast deadline coming up such as a baby or move this is the best option.
Get as far as you can without sacrificing mastery and start again the next school year 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. And that’s okay.
Let the kids finish the textbook at their own pace and begin the next book when ready.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
And just because the kids won’t finish the curriculum by summer doesn’t mean you have to skip the rest of the material. Simply pick up again where you left off.
When you need to finish your homeschool year fast, mix and match among these five methods. You may find condensing a few subjects and moving to a six-day week is your best solution. Sometimes watching documentaries and shifting studies to the summer months works best.
Or perhaps simply calling it quits for the year and starting up again in September is your best solution.
As a homeschooler, the option is yours.
How do you finish your homeschool year fast?
- Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace
- The Unhurried Homeschooler
- Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects that Matter Most
These are great tips to help get caught up! Sometimes life just happens and we just behind. This is a great way to encourage us when we do get behind. Thanks!
That’s happened to me quite a few times over the last 15 years. After a while I picked up a few tips. 🙂
Great tips! I think for myself, who is a rule follower, I tend to follow curriculum to the letter. However, that just is not always possible. Learning that it is okay to skip things they already know, to pick and choose what you want to work on or to change the lesson to better meet our time constraints (like watching a video instead of reading about it for days) is ok. Not just okay but really needed. Thanks so much for sharing with others these tips.
As long as we’re meeting our children needs, there’s no reason we can’t pick and choose what to work on. That’s the beauty of homeschooling and giving our kids a personalized education.
May I say, I read somewhere that curriculum, at least the kind that is pre-made, is often NOT meant to be completed necessarily in the school year and often enough the beginning of the next year’s curriculum (or level) in any given subject is review of the last year. So, I would probably think to look ahead a bit to see what the last part of curriculum covers, look at what the next year’s starts out with and see if I could just use review weeks to cover what I didn’t get to cover at year’s end….if that makes any sense. History is definitely one to NOT feel upset about not “finishing.” You could just pick up where you left off…or just read on through the summer, using living books to fill in gaps or opting out of certain units that aren’t integral in the arc of history study. Because, you’ll definitely pick it up again in middle school or high school. For example, one year we were just really moving slowly in Ancient History (first year and I thought we had to READ ALL the suggested books even though they were listed as optional supplements) and I found that we were not going to get to the Greeks by year’s end. The prospect of this bummed me and the kids out. So, we skipped over the chapters about African and Chinese history…and went for early Greeks.
Shannon, I completely agree that elementary history is definitely one to NOT feel upset about finishing. Studying what’s interesting is one of the joys of homeschooling. The ancient Greeks are fascinating!
However I maintain, from hard experience, that not finishing curriculum is a bad habit to get into. For instance Saxon Math, which we use, reviews the previous book at the beginning of the year. And I discovered my kids need that review. The first time they see the new concept they say, “I think I understand.” The second time it’s, “I GET IT!!!” Seeing the concepts for a second time ensures mastery. Finishing the old textbook with a review the next year makes math easier. No more tears!
Rod & Staff English, which we use for grammar, teaches concepts in a similar order every year. You start out with sentences before moving on to nouns and verbs. Prepositions and articles are usually covered at the end of the textbook. When we first started using R&S English, I followed the advice to not worry about finishing curriculum each year. After all, the material would be repeated in the next book! However if you don’t finish the book one year, you probably won’t the next. In the haze of pregnancies and babies, I didn’t realize that. A couple years later I discovered I had kids who could spout of the definition of a noun in their sleep but were hazy on prepositions. *sigh* In retrospect I should have simply picked up where we left off in last year’s book.
Also by the time you’re homeschooling high school teens, the option of picking it up again in middle school or high school is gone. It’s now or never. 🙂
Enjoy studying the Ancient Greeks. They’re a fascinating people to learn about!
Great ideas. We doubled up when my children were young, but when they were in high school, I let them decide which method. They usually picked summer to finish any work that wasn’t complete. When they picked it themselves, it stopped any complaining on their part. My kids really hated doing school work on Saturdays 🙂
I also let my teens decide how they want to catch up. Usually like yours, they avoid Saturdays like the plague, but this year my son ASKED for Saturday assignments! 😮
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