Will We Finish the School Year On Time?

Many homeschoolers live a lifestyle of learning all through the year and never consider what month it is. They are free to work at their own pace and not be bound by the calendar year.

But other homeschool moms may have very good reasons to be concerned about finishing their school work by June.

Some families have children at home and children in school. They may want all their children to begin and end their summer vacations at the same time.

The constant knocking at the door from the neighborhood child can be frustrating to both you and your son who is supposed to be doing his math.  It may be easier to just take a break when Johnny next door is taking his break.

Most curriculum revolves around the traditional school year.  If you are not studying at the appropriate times, you can be frustrated because a science experiment calls for  autumn  leaves when you are working on Science in the spring!  If you are in this category, the spring can be an important time of reviewing materials to see whether you are on track to complete them by the June break.

If you think you are behind, make changes now and you might just finish on time after all.

Start by eliminating these time stealers:

Too much driving around in the car. This is huge time waster in Atlanta.  The days are broken up by going out, and then there is the extra time spent preparing and dressing children and then settling them down when you come home.    Do most of your errands at night and on weekends. Schedule children's lessons only during convenient days and times.  If you can't get piano lessons at a time you want, then find another teacher.  A mom has to stay home a lot to have enough time to homeschool.

Television, telephones. Turn these off or tape the shows you like so that you can watch them at times that are convenient to you.

Interruptions from others. Be firm and consistent with your friends and relatives. Establish time for them, but your students are the first priority, not your friends.

Eliminate unnecessary school work. Textbooks can have a lot of extra work that is boring and unnecessary.   Remember: you own the book - so make it work for you. You don't have to work for the book.  Look at each of your children's books. Cut out or cross out unnecessary pages.  Get over your desire to finish the book. Teach the chapters and do questions orally to eliminate a lot of student paperwork.

Children are not progressing. You may have to change their curriculum or get extra help.  If your books aren't working, switch them. If you have a child with serious learning difficulties, you may need some help from a tutor.

You won't ever have enough time to teach everything. When you plan the year, be realistic.  There is so much to teach and so little time. You will not be able to cover all the information in the world.  That's O.K.  The Holy Spirit is a much better teacher and He teaches full time and doesn't takes a summer break.  You are His assistant.  Be content with God's plan of time limits and constraints.  Man makes his plans but God directs his paths.  If you are frustrated with how the year has gone, you can rest in the knowledge and hope that if you are obedient to the Lord, all things will work together for you in the long run.

Randi St. Denis is an educator, popular homeschool speaker, and a seasoned homeschooling mom. Randi works as a consultant to public, private, and homeschool families; providing teaching expertise and assistance for all types of children. You can visit her website at ChicagoHomeschoolExpo.com.

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