This year has been my toughest homeschool year yet. It is also the year I discovered just how thankful I am to be a homeschool mom. I don’t know how we would have made it through this school year if we didn’t homeschool.
Emma spent the better part of January and February (and a few days in March) sick. As a result, we spent many days at the doctor’s office trying to get her well. Between her sick days and our days at the doctor’s office, we barely did any school during those many weeks. And, all of that came at the tail end of a light month in December due to Nutcracker performances and the holidays.
Needless to say, we are so very far behind where I want us to be at this point in our homeschool year. We are not year-round homeschoolers. I like to have my summers ‘off’ to plan and regroup and have family fun. So, how do we keep going when we’re so far behind in homeschool?
Way Behind in Homeschool
We do what we can when we can. On Emma’s sick days, I tried to have her do ‘something’ off the lesson plan. Some days, she felt well enough to tackle a math lesson before needing to go lie back down. Other days, she felt well enough to do some workbook pages from the couch. There were still other days when she didn’t feel like doing anything off the lesson plans, though. I let her do what she was up to.
We stray from the plans when we need to. On the days when she didn’t feel up to doing any bookwork, I tried to find educational things for her to do. For instance, one day she watched four episodes of lesson plan and narrated something she learned, but I made her narrate with 7th grade quality terms and explanations. On another day, she used her computer to type up a short story, because she finds that relaxing. I find it educational. It’s a win-win! We watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (historical fiction) one afternoon, as well. I did some reading aloud, and she did a lot of reading alone. I totaled up the hours spent doing these activities, and I counted them as two full school days. Who says ‘school’ has to always be on the lesson plan.
We pull back when necessary. Because we were struggling to keep up with our day-to-day assignments, I decided to pull Emma out of her co-op classes. She was taking three classes, all electives, and I just couldn’t see taking her to do electives when we couldn’t get to our core classes. I let her stay in one class so she could stay connected, but now we have the bulk of that day to tackle math and grammar.
We let things go. I also dropped geography from our own studies. It was a ‘just-for-fun’ elective, and I set it aside for next year. That freed up a little time to do extra work, and Emma just finished her reading aloud for the year. Yay!
We keep on going until we’re done. This year, we’re just going to keep on keeping on until we’re done. That means, we took schoolwork with us on Spring Break. It means we’ll be doing school long into the summer for the very first time. I’m not so concerned about finishing each book to the last page, but we are required to teach 900 hours. Since our homeschool day averages 5 hours, I shoot for at least 180 days. Today, we are on 118. We still have a way to go…
We don’t worry about it. Well, I try not to worry about it. I know we’ll finish. I know we’ll cover all of the important stuff. It just won’t be on my anticipated calendar. And, that’s okay.
We are thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling. She would be so behind if she was in public school. I’m so thankful that we aren’t tied to a school calendar. I have the freedom to work around her illnesses and doctor visits. I can be flexible with our schedule so that I can focus on her when she needs me.
What do you do when you find yourself behind in your homeschool lessons?
This post is part of my ABC’s of Homeschooling series! To read the entire series, visit my ABCs of Homeschooling page. I’ll add to this page each day as the posts go live.