Remember all those fantastic learning plans you made last summer? Everything you were going to accomplish educationally with your children? The special extras you were going to make sure they experienced?
We all make them. And then most of us face the reality of illness, unexpected emergencies, and learning struggles that hinder or even derail our plans.
So what do you do when the end of the school year is looming and you have more to do than you have time to get it done? Here are three tips.
Decide What Is Truly Important
This may vary from child to child, but take stock of what is truly important. Perhaps one child absolutely has to get through math this year because you fell behind last year. Maybe another child really needs to finish the writing program because you know those skills will be necessary for the curriculum you have planned for next year. If you’ve struggled to do much science each year, maybe this is the year you decide you are going to finish no matter what.
Look at what you have left and choose the items that truly are important.
Decide What To Let Go
On the other end of the list are the items that are not critical that you can simply drop. Not going to make it through all the read alouds you had hoped to cover? Your children will survive. Too many lapbooks planned? Push them to next year. Did you envision an unrealistic number of science projects? Drop the ones that really don’t matter.
If your children are young, it is especially easy to drop things when you get behind and catch them later. Most curriculum cycles through a few times so it won’t be the end of the world if your children don’t learn about plant cells or the effects of the War of 1812 until the next time around.
Build Good Memories
I think when we get behind, our natural inclination is to push, push, push the academics. We are determined that in order to be a good homeschooling parent we have to make our children finish their academics. In the process, we drop the learning experiences that build good memories.
Homeschooling should never be solely about academics. It should also be about building a family culture and positive family memories. Are there field trips you hoped to take? Art projects you know your children would love but constantly put off because they aren’t deemed important enough? They might be the very thing that would help you finish the school year on a positive note. Take the time to build those lasting memories.
It may be the most important thing you do this year.