What do you do when you’re afraid you’re not going to finish your curriculum for the year? A lot of people have a goal of getting so much done by their Christmas break. We’re getting close to that now, and I’m doing my Christmas shopping, finding stocking stuffers, and thinking of all of our holiday activities. So this is when people start to go, “Oh no! We’re not going to finish xyz before our Christmas break! What are we going to do?!” So I have three tips for you guys so that you don’t freak out about not finishing your curriculum.
Check out this entire post in video form here! Not a fan of videos? You can see everything I said down below.
The first one is so important.
Do not let your curriculum rule your homeschool
A lot of curriculums are laid out to where you need to “do this on this day”, and “this is the week you’re on”, and then you start to worry! Not only are we not on day 4 for this week, we’re not even on the right week! How are we ever going to catch up?! What are we going to do?
It is OK!
Even if you are in a state that requires you to do certain subjects, or have a certain amount of hours, or turn in a portfolio, or any of that- You still do not have to be a slave to your curriculum. You can still pick and choose what you want to use with it, what you want to add to it, what you want to take away from it. If you want to use just bits and pieces of it so that you can basically use it as a foundation.
Let’s say history – let’s say you’re doing ancient history but you are totally falling in love with learning about Egypt as opposed to anything else in ancient history. It’s ok to take longer on Egypt and not just skip ahead because that’s what your curriculum says to do. You are allowed to pick and choose what you want to do, what you don’t want to do, what you want to spend more time on, what you want to spend less time on, or even just cut out altogether! All of those tidbits are going to add up to fill that portfolio or to meet whatever requirements are required of you.
The second thing that you can do to help is:
Do year round homeschooling
We recently just switched to doing year round homeschooling and it has relieved so much stress in our lives when it comes to freaking out over not finishing your homeschool curriculum. We already are almost to how many days is recommended in our state. It’s not because we’ve been sitting here doing all this book work. It is because of how I followed number 1 of not having the curriculum completely rule our homeschool. We’re able to have that fun. Our year starts in June or whatever date I want to choose from. I count weekend camping trips, I count going to visit family in other states and going to the zoo or going to the museum or whatever. Those count as school days!
The one thing that I really stick to is their math and how much math they’re finishing throughout the school year. So if we’re starting in June and we’re ending in June, they have an entire 12 months to get through something that’s meant to be done in 9 months. That really takes the pressure off. First of all, if we’re not doing it 4 or 5 days a week, it’s no big deal. Secodly, if we’re having a bad week, it’s no big deal. If they need to take more time to practice a concept, it’s no big deal, we can take that time without worrying about being behind.
Even in states that require you to have so many months of the year… If they require you to have a typical school year schedule – you can still do school in the summer and count it towards your Sept, Oct, Nov school. It isn’t lying, it’s what your kids did! To me, it’s silly that you can only do school Sept through May and not have anything to do in June, July and August. Put it on there, your kids learned, they are getting that education. (I’m of course not telling you to fudge your records, but make sure your kiddos are getting the credit they deserve in whatever way you’re able to legally do so)
That brings me to point number 3:
Make the fun things count
Because they do! They are educational. If your child was in a brick and mortar school and they took a field trip to the zoo, that would count as a school day, right? We wouldn’t be saying, “Oh no, it’s field trip day, it doesn’t count!” Those absolutely count towards your school days. So, if you are having park day with your friends, or you are visiting the aquarium or the zoo, or you are taking a hike, or if you are taking a camping trip, or whatever it is – those count as school days.
Mark them on your attendance sheet as a school day.
We are required to keep attendance in my state. A lot of states are not required to but I feel like most of them do want you to have that. Have those days marked off on your attendance sheet, they count as school!
Same thing with if you’re watching a documentary, that counts as school. If your kids are doing a craft, that counts as school. All of this stuff counts as school, and it should be marked as so. Throw that thing in your portfolio! Even if it is something like watching a documentary, just write down what you watched, how long it is, especially if your kiddo is in middle school or high school, you’re going to want more of a time for how long they were watching it, because you’re going to have more of those hours to get those credits.
Mark that stuff down, throw it in your portfolio, put it in your planner, whatever it is that you do to keep track, if you need to keep track of that stuff, put it in there for those fun activities.
Not finishing your homeschool curriculum? You’ve got this!
I hope this has helped you out with not freaking out about not finishing your curriculum during the year because I know that can be really stressful for a lot of homeschool families. And I really hope it’s encouraging to you and that my tips are able to move some stuff around in your own homeschools so that you’re not stressed out and so that you’re able to enjoy the fun stuff that can go along with homeschool!