7 Tips When Homeschooling Isn’t Working

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure policy.

Nothing is worse than waking up one morning and realizing your homeschool isn’t working!

The kids are struggling. They melt down every time you bring out the books. And you have no idea what to do.

So here are 7 tips to help ease the panic when homeschooling isn’t working.

1. Calculate the End Game

What happens if your child only completes a level a year?

You don’t rush ahead or progress any faster. Instead, there’s simply forward momentum at your current pace. Where will your child be at high school graduation?

Will they be ready for precalculus or calculus? You’re doing just fine.

That’s considered the regular entry point for an entering freshman. Obviously, some kids move faster. Don’t worry about them. Worry about your child mastering the material.

2. Work Year Around

Sometimes kids are running behind and progressing one level a year won’t quite catch them up to where you’d like them to be at high school graduation.

This may be a result of learning issues, you’re just starting to homeschool, or there’s an illness in the family.

Don’t berate yourself when homeschooling isn’t working.

Don’t skip ahead.

Just begin working year around. Each year you’ll put in an extra 3 months of study.

With time, you and your child will gradually and painlessly catch up and pull ahead.

3. Use Saturdays

Most homeschoolers only homeschool 4 or 5 days a week. We enjoy our weekends.

However, when homeschooling isn’t working do a bit extra on Saturdays instead of taking Saturdays off. Complete an extra lesson, do a drill.

Completing 6 days a week instead of 5 days a week will slowly pull you ahead as well.

If you’re really in a panic, just think about what diligently working on math or spelling or writing every day would do to your child’s ability. The extra time will gradually add up without skipping important concepts.

After all, mastery is the goal!

4. Supplemental Work

Look for supplemental practice for your child.

Math lessons don’t always drill the facts a child needs to know.

Often science concepts are better understood with another perspective, and spelling is all the better for extra practice.

Use games, computer programs, websites, songs, puzzles, and outside classes to supplement what you’re doing in your homeschool.

Here are a few games to check out:

5. Spits and Spurts

Keep in mind that children often learn in spits and spurts. It often feels like homeschooling isn’t working when your kids learn slowly while they’re trying to understand the basics.

They struggle and need to review the material constantly.

However, once kids master the basics, they speed up.

So keep in mind that just because your kids are progressing at a crawl doesn’t mean they’ll learn at a crawl forever.

Kids grow up, mature, and become diligent scholars.

Be patient when you’re in the middle of a slow learning period.

6. Concentrate on Diligence

As I mentioned early, concentrate on diligence when homeschooling isn’t working.

This means you sit down and do the work.

You don’t spend the time researching new ways to teach spelling or studying how great math teachers taught math. Or even looking for the newest phonics games.

You sit down and do the work.

Because nothing in the world can replace the time spent actually sitting down and teaching your child.

That’s not to say don’t research better methods.

I’m trying to say do it in your free time, not during your homeschool time. It’s tempting to spend the time you’re supposed to be teaching your 3rd grader spelling researching better spelling programs.

But that won’t help your child’s spelling.

Stop, do the work, then finish the research.

Be diligent.

7. Outside Help

When homeschooling isn’t working, sometimes outside help is the best course of action, especially if your maternal instincts are acting up.

There may be a deeper reason why homeschooling isn’t working.

It may also be that the subject in question is one you’re struggling with yourself.

If you hated math in school, you may be teaching it to your kids.

Look for outside help when needed. This may mean talking to doctors about diagnosing a problem, looking for tutors, or search for outside classes.

A good tutor, especially one who loves the subject, can make a world of difference. The same with online courses. An excellent teacher will ignite a passionate love of the subject in your kids.

In the end, the worst mistake you can make is to panic when homeschooling isn’t working.

Instead, make a plan, work the plan, and be diligent about homeschooling.

What do you suggest when homeschooling isn’t working?

homeschool isn't working

Similar Posts


  1. Yes, yes, yes to so many of the things you said here! It’s so important that we allow our kids to learn at their own pace. Unless there is truly some sort of a problem , they WILL catch up!

    1. That’s been the amazing part of homeschooling, Shelly. So many times I worried, but the kids eventually did catch up. I do believe diligence and working towards mastery made the difference. 🙂

Comments are closed.