4 Things to Remember When You Feel Behind in HomeschoolLisa Trombley
Before the school year started, you planned out what it would look like. You picked a start date and an end date. You chose your days off for holidays and vacations and scheduled a field trip or two. But now you are starting to panic because it is spring already, and you are nowhere near where you planned to be. You wonder how it is possible that you got so far behind and are trying to figure out what you need to do to catch up.
When you hit that midyear panicking point and see the end of your homeschool year drawing nearer, you may think you need to cram as much as possible into the days you have left to try to get back on schedule. But a frenzied dash for the finish line does not help! All you will accomplish by doubling the work load is frustrating the children and making all of you dread school. Here are a few things you need to remember when you are feeling behind.
Plans Are Estimates
You just cannot plan everything in a homeschool year. Throughout the year, different opportunities such as field trips and community service projects are going to come up that you want to be a part of. These are great learning opportunities that will cause your plans to be put on the back burner. Sometimes your children or you will get sick during the year causing to take a few days off. Assignments that looked on paper like they would take one day in reality take two or more. Your child may struggle in an area you didn’t know he would, causing you to need to spend longer than you had planned.
Standards are Arbitrary
You can’t compare where you are in your homeschool to other homeschool friends or public school friends. Every child is different. Do not allow yourself to feel behind because someone else’s child is reading at a higher level or knows more of their math facts. Look at how much your child has accomplished rather than how much they have yet to learn.
You Can Flex
You are not a slave to your schedule or your curriculum. These are tools designed to help you, not a task master dictating what you need to do and when you need to do it. One of the great benefits of homeschooling is flexibility. You need to feel free to adjust your schedule to suit your family’s needs without becoming stressed or feeling guilty.
Your End Date is Up to You
You do not have to finish by a certain pre planned date. You can extend your school year into the summer if that will work out better for you. You can even choose to end on the day you planned or an earlier date and just not finish some of the work you planned. There is no rule that says you have to finish everything in a single school year. You can pick it up next year or feel accomplished with what you did finish. You do not have to read to the end of every text book.
When you start feeling behind, remember the reasons you chose to homeschool. Remember the desire to create a wonderful learning environment for your children that allows you to be flexible. Remember the fun experiences that you had while out on those field trips. Remember that your schedule is a wonder tool but not a dictator. You will discover that the truth is you are not behind at all. You are right where you need to be.