So often this time of year when I’m chatting with other homeschool moms they talk about how behind they are with their curriculum. They are worried, feeling like they need to catch up, and stressing that their kids aren’t where they are “supposed” to be.
First, I understand the pressure. You’ve invested in a curicculm and you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. You want to make sure your child is learning all the things that they need to , that you are covering all the subjects, and that you are not failing when it comes to educating your child. We purchase complete curiculums for that very reason, so that we can be sure that we’ve got it all covered.
But then you reach the middle or end of the school year and you realize the thickness of the remainder of your teacher binder is not proportional to how many days you have left! Panic sets in, and you wonder what in the world you are going to do??
Well I am here to help! First and foremost, deep breath, it’s all going to be just fine.
Why are you behind on your curriculum?
The first thing to take into account is why you are behind in the first place? We fell behind this year after a couple of gnarly germs made their way through my house and took out my me and my son in turns. It seemed like when I was feeling fine he was on the couch with a cough and fever, when he got better I was struck by a nasty sore throat. I am not one who pushes through school work even when we’re sick, I think it makes for work that isn’t done well, irritability, and really unproductive days. Our sick days came right after the holidays so we had several weeks where nothing at all got done.
If you have had a major life event, like a move or a new baby, you’ve likely had to prioritize life over schooling and that is ok! If you have had sickness that put you behind that is ok! Often as homeschoolers, we have things come up that keep us from sticking to our carefully planned schedule. Cut yourself some slack and realize that you can regroup and come up with a plan.
If your not quite sure why you fell behind, maybe you had too many activities, maybe your child was going through a particularly uncooperative phase (I’m looking at you tween son of mine) or it took you awhile to find the groove that works for you. It’s still ok! Life is a huge part of homeschooling, and even if it isn’t something major or something that you can really pin point, I don’t want you to beat yourself up, you too, my friend can re-group and figure this all out.
Embrace the beauty of levels not grades-
One of the reasons we chose BookShark is because it has levels instead of grades. I love the idea of basing my son’s curriculum on his age and ability instead of what grade he is supposed to be in. Here is the beauty of levels if you feel like you’ve fallen behind. You can keep working through this level next year, no one says you have to move on, there is no rule that once your child hits a certain age the material will no longer work for them, you can keep working until you’ve covered everything and then move forward to the next level! So the pressure is lifted, you are working outside the little box of grade level and that is a beautiful thing!
Re-Grouping and making a plan-
Ok so we’ve talked about why you fell behind, taken the pressure off by not being in a certain “grade” now let’s talk about what needs to be done to get back on track.
First take a look at what your goals are, do you want to finish this year? Is there a certain point in the curiculm you’d like to reach? Is there a specific subject you’d like to finish?
Get clear on what would make you feel good about finishing this school year, what is really do-able, and what won’t put a crazy amount of pressure on you. Then look at what you would have to complete each day to get there… will it work?
You may decide that you need to postpone your summer break, or transition to year round school to get it all to work. You may be able to talk to your child and tell them that you need to do a little more each day to reach your goals. You may want to work 5 days a week instead of the scheduled 4 to get a little more work in.
Don’t pressure yourself, take a look at what you have in front of you and be realistic about what you can accomplish.
Keep in mind the beauty of homeschooling
As you come up with your plan, as you figure out your path, I want you to keep in mind that the only rules for your homeschool are the ones that you make.
You don’t have to keep up with school kids, you don’t have to keep up with your friend, you don’t have to march to anyone’s beat but your own. You have the flexibility to take the pressure off and create the atmosphere that you want in you homeschool.
By choosing BookShark as your curriculum of choice you have already set yourself up for flexibility by having levels instead of grades, by choosing to homeschool you have set yourself up to work alongside your child to give them the education that they need not a one size fits all education.
You have decided to homeschool to benefit your family, so don’t let it be a source of stress, just know that you can always adapt and figure out what is going to work best for your family in this season of your life.
So if you have fallen behind on your BookShark curiculm this year don’t you worry, you’ve got this!! Take a breath, and remember that you are a rockstar!!