Are you on track to finish your homeschool curriculum by your end-of-the-year target date? Or are you further behind than you had planned? If the latter, you could probably use some tricks for wrapping up your homeschool curriculum in time for summer.
As I write this, we are on Week 28 of History / Bible / Literature E and Sonlight 100. I keep counting the weeks on the calendar just to make sure we’ll be finished by the second week in June to the day. For this box-checking Type A Mom, that’s cutting it close! In the past, we’ve finished our 36-week Sonlight curriculum by the end of May, but this year we took some weeks off when we welcomed a new baby in December. I’m motivated to finish by June 14th so we can
- fully embrace a summer rest
- enjoy summer activities
- get our homeschool portfolios together
- meet with our homeschool evaluator
- submit our report to the school district by the end of June
(Just writing that list makes my heart race!)
I need to remind myself regularly that I don’t have to check every box.
Sonlight Curriculum is less a law to be followed and more a country to be explored. It intentionally provides much more than we could ever tackle in one year so that we are immersed by goodness, truth, and beauty on every side.
My children and I have the freedom to read, learn, and explore at a pace that benefits us and suits our circumstances. That’s why I love Sonlight!
It’s okay if we don’t neatly check off Week 36 by 5 p.m. on June 14th. At the same time, we have a couple of strategies that could help us to finish the curriculum in a timely fashion or be at peace with what we have accomplished during the school year. We can choose from among many tried-and-true options when we come to June with leftover curriculum.
Option #1: Fulfill Your State’s Homeschool Requirements and Enjoy Your Summer Vacation
Did you know that we don’t have to complete the 36-week curriculum in 36 weeks? Actually, we don’t have to complete the curriculum at all. Of course, most of us want to complete each HBL because they are packed with fascinating books, projects, discussion questions, and lessons. The truth is that we don’t have to check all of the boxes.
We do need to adhere to our state’s homeschool requirements though. Here in Pennsylvania where I live, we must log 180 days or 990 hours of school work. The home educator decides what constitutes a full homeschool day’s work. If my child has logged the required number of days in earnest work, we’ve successfully completed a homeschool year. At that point, I am legally free to close the books right where we are and put my feet up for a couple of months. (If you have questions about your state’s homeschool requirements, consult your state’s homeschool law.)
Option #2: Keep Going Until You Have Finished the Entire Curriculum
Some families just keep going with the HBL until it is complete even if that means going into the summer months. They say that there is still plenty of summer fun, and they feel good about getting as much as possible out of the curriculum.
Option #3: Double Up
If you want your child to complete the 36-week curriculum, but don’t have enough weeks in the school year, consider doubling up some of the subjects. For example, each day read two days' worth of History, Bible, and Literature and finish in half the time. Or double up math lessons, doing one in the morning and one in the evening. Instead of doing science twice a week, do it every afternoon.
Option #4: Add Saturday Mornings as School Days
In a few hours on Saturday mornings, you may be able to read several days’ worth of history, do an extra math lesson, or read through an entire week’s worth of Bible. Adding Saturdays is a simple way to get ahead in plenty of time to wrap up your homeschool curriculum for the summer!
Option #5: Use Audio Books
While you are reading aloud the current week’s assignments, begin listening to the next reader on audio book. Then you’ll have extra time to double-up on lessons or read ahead in another book.
Option #6: Stop Where You Are and Pick Up Again In the Fall
Just because you wrap up the school year doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the unfinished curriculum. When the new school year rolls around, simply pick up where you ended in June. Begin the next Sonlight HBL whenever you are ready. Many families report completing two HBL’s every three years. Others intentionally take twice the amount of time to work through one HBL over two years. Feel free to make the curriculum work for your child and your family’s situation.
Option #7: Save the Read-Alouds for Summer Reading
Consider skipping the Read-Alouds for now and focusing the remaining school year on finishing the math, history, language arts, and Bible portions of the curriculum. Make time in the summer to double-back and enjoy those Read-Alouds at a more leisurely pace.
Option #8: Fit in Extra Work Throughout the Summer
Speaking of summer, consider portioning the incomplete curriculum items throughout the summer.
- Use a Read-Aloud as a bedtime story.
- Read the Bible lessons over breakfast.
- Listen to an audio book on your vacation.
- Do a few science experiments when it’s too hot to go outside.
- Assign a packet for the summer with three journal prompts, three math pages per week, and three Readers. Kids get the packets on the last day of school and do them at their leisure throughout the summer.