When spring rolls around, it gets harder and harder to keep young minds focused on staying inside and finishing up the school year. As warm weather beckons outdoors, it’s tempting to put off schoolwork and head outside! Here is a list of suggestions to carry you through to the end of the year so you can finish your homeschool year strong.
1. Plan an End-of-Year Party
Invite friends and grandparents. Let your children show off how much progress they’ve made over the year, and special projects they’ve worked on. Celebrate their hard work with loved ones.
Or go to a special place such as a museum or amusement park. Do something out of the ordinary to show your children you appreciate the effort they put in all year. By having an event to look forward to, you create an excitement about finishing on time.
2. Begin the Countdown
Count how many days are left in the school year. Then mark them off on the calendar and begin counting down. By creating a definite end date and seeing it get closer and closer, you create a sense of anticipation. Freedom from school is approaching—and tangible.
3. Speed Up
Offer to let your children work ahead in their assignments, so they can finish earlier. Keep working until everything for the year is done. If they finish ahead of time, they have just earned extra summer vacation days!
4. Order New Homeschool Curriculum
By ordering early, you can look through math and phonics workbooks and see how much overlap exists between the beginning of next year and the end of this year. If you find there is a lot of overlap, you might decide to skip those topics at the end of this year's workbooks and wait until next year to cover them.
Ordering early also creates a sense of excitement with a box of new materials to unveil and organize. Having tangible evidence things will be moving on—via Box Day—creates an incentive to finish the year.
5. Cover a Book Over the Summer
You might lighten your daily workload by choosing a Read-Aloud or a workbook to finish over the summer, making your days lighter now. Summers are often filled with hot afternoons, when it’s too hot to play outside. In that case, you have a captive audience for listening to a book or doing a few pages here or there in the workbook. You can also use some books for bedtime stories, do Bible books over the summer breakfast table, or listen to audiobooks on the way to and from swimming lessons.
6. Extend a Subject Through the Summer
Some parents like to keep certain key skills going over the summer such as math and reading. By choosing to spread some work out over the full year, you can lighten your end-of-year spring days so you can be outside more often without sacrificing any of the content.
7. Choose to Homeschool on a Different Timetable
Perhaps you really would rather be out and about, enjoying the sights before the summer crowds begin slowing down the lines and making fun places less fun. You might choose to finish up your year early, and resume sooner than normal in the autumn. Or you might wish to take off April and May and homeschool during the end of July instead.
8. Call It Quits
Remember that you don’t have to finish every assignment or every book. Schools rarely complete more than 80% of their textbooks. Teachers generally pick and choose which lessons from the books they want to cover. Much of the skipped content will be taught in later years.
If you really are having a hard time just getting through the school year, put your curriculum away and decide later if it’s worth coming back to. You may decide that you are simply ready to move onto the next thing.
There’s really no wrong way to homeschool.
- If you’d rather finish up early, you can do that.
- Perhaps if having an end-of-year party motivates your children, then that might be the option for you.
- If life is hard right now and you just wish you had some time off to recuperate, then that might be the right choice for this year.
Sometimes, just having a plan to finish out the year is enough to help get that far. But, finishing the year is hard for many families, and you’re not alone. Remember, homeschooling is a journey not traveled in a single year. If you aren’t able to get everything done you wanted to this year, there’s always next year.