*** Limited-Time: Don’t miss the great deals and freebies you can download today for the 5-day Spring Into Homeschooling event!***
Late winter and early spring are common times for homeschool moms go struggle with fatigue and overwhelm. Add to that the stress of trying to finish the year strong, and it’s a recipe for burnout and tears! Take heart, dear homeschool moms. There’s a better way! Here are 7 tips for finishing the homeschool year successfully. (Some of them may surprise you!)
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Best Tips for Finishing the Homeschool Year Well (will some of these surprise you?)
At this point in the homeschool journey, I’ve been at this for about 11 years. During that time, I’ve learned that less is sometimes more. Making a big, frantic push at the end to make sure you’re finishing the homeschool year doesn’t make for a better education. Instead, it brings tears and frustration to everyone.
If you’re looking at the last stretch of the homeschool year and realize you’re running out of days before curriculum, there are several things you can do to finish well and make the most of your time. Here are 7 tips for how to finish your homeschool year successfully. And I mean “successfully” in terms of academics, relationships, and our sanity!
Simplify Everything (skip it, tweak it, drop it, combine it)
Evaluate the lessons you have left in your curriculum for finishing the homeschool year and adjust things to fit your timeframe. Don’t worry that they won’t do ALL the lessons. Whether it’s public school, private school, tutoring, or homeschooling, teachers rarely do every single lesson because there’s no need to. Your kids aren’t going to suffer. In many cases, they’ll come back to the subjects later in their schooling career and cover them again.
- Scale down or cut out the subjects that you can put off until the next year. Give space in your week for the things that matter most.
- Mark what seems to you to be the most important lessons and skip the rest. (I just did this for our history curriculum this year.)
- For math, cross out questions or skip quizzes, but only if you’re child is doing well on it overall and doesn’t need that extra help. If they DO need it, just keep plugging along and wait for a time when they’re able to do some skipping.
- Replace involved lessons with a documentary or short read-aloud on the subject.
- If you feel like you’ve covered enough of a subject for the year and need some time for other things, go ahead and drop it. You can always start again next year.
- Combine some subjects to save time. For example, if you really don’t want to drop writing, art, or music, have them write about this week’s science lesson or the documentary you watched this week. Do a painting of something they learned during history. Listen to music from the time period you’re studying. You get the idea.
Don’t Finish the Curriculum (hear me out)
Curriculum is meant to be a teaching tool to make your homeschooling easier and more effective, not a checklist you have to complete in order to be successful. If you’re ready to be done, go ahead and be done. Skills-based subjects (math, learning to read, or learning composition) may need to be paused instead, or continued at a lighter pace.
But for everything else, you can just stop. It’s ok. You can start finishing the homeschool year as long as you’ve covered your state requirements and, for high school, have enough to count as a credit. (If not, see #1 and make a plan.)
Switch to Year-Round Homeschooling
Some families find that they had a particularly rough year or decide that they want a more leisurely pace to their homeschool overall. If that’s you, consider a switch now to year-round homeschooling.
That doesn’t mean you homeschool 24/7, 365. (Goodness, I would die.) It means that you spread your learning out all year, with wonderful flexible breaks, lots of buffer for rough days, and a lighter load during the summer.
So this year, for example, you could decide to simplify and finish up a few subjects like science and history over the next month or so. Then continue through the summer with a light load of Bible, math, and notebooking, and enjoying some fun read-alouds and audiobooks together. Read more about year-round homeschooling here.
Do Something Fun to Finish the Homeschool Year
Finish the homeschool year with fun instead of burnout – it’s always a good choice! As part of your simplifying from #1, see if you can combine some things into some fun activities to do with the remaining weeks of the year. Here are some ideas:
- Enjoy an engaging audiobook while in the car or while drawing or playing with Legos.
- Pick out some interesting documentaries to enjoy.
- Plan a few field trips and invite another family.
- Choose some board games relating to lessons you’ve learned this year.
- Have a themed party from one of your past lessons and get the kids in on planning it (great for review)!
- Have them do some writing assignments as video recordings or plays instead.
- Pick up a unit study to together in place of the other subjects (except math).
- Get in the kitchen and explore different cuisines while practicing math and life skills.
The trick with these, of course, is to use them to REPLACE at least some of your current lessons as you start finishing the homeschool year. You and your kids will both enjoy it more and still learn so much!
Plan and End-of-Year Celebration
Choose a date that you’re going finish the homeschool year (even if it’s not all “done”) and have your kids help you plan an end-of-year celebration. This can add some excitement and energy to these last few months of the year and motivate everyone to wrap things up! Here are some great ideas for end-of-year celebrations.
- Have a field day with some other families and enjoy outdoor games.
- Go to a fun party restaurant for a special play time.
- Enjoy a picnic at a park and bring some little gifts and treats to share.
- Go on a special field trip and bring Dad along.
- Host an ice cream social with some friends.
Here are more ideas to check out!
Record the Wins
End-of-year reflections are always a good idea for moms. Start now by recording all the wonderful work and great memories you’ve already done. This can be especially helpful in these times when you’re feeling like you haven’t done enough or the end of the year is looming.
The Rhythms and Routines homeschool planner has this built-in with a monthly mother’s journal and space for recording what you’ve accomplished. But if you don’t already have that, no worries! Take out a journal and start writing it all down.
- What milestones did each child hit?
- What successes did you experience?
- Record your field trips, special days, or particularly memorable lessons.
- What “aha” moments did you or your students have?
- What did you each enjoy most about the school year?
Look back at your calendar and have your kids help you remember things, too. Then write a prayer of thanksgiving for all that the Lord has taught you and your kids this year, your time together as a family, and His many other blessings. ❤️
Start Planning for Next Year
It’s a funny joke that goes around this time of year: homeschool moms find it more fun to plan next year’s curriculum that to finish this year’s. 😆 It’s true! And it turns out that it’s a great time to start, so no guilt here.
If you’re ready to start finishing the homeschool year, go ahead and begin reflecting on those wins you recorded AND what you’d like to do differently next year. Take some notes about tweaks you want to make to your routine or jot down reminders to simplify from the get-go.
This is also a wonderful time to start homeschool planning and determine the subjects and curriculum resources you want to use next year. Curriculum providers know this, too, so sales are already starting! Go ahead and research, plan, and shop if you want. I like to have my basic subject and resource list for each kid done by April and then watch for deals or shop the vendor hall at our local homeschool conference.
Remember that homeschooling is a flexible, tailor-made education for your children. It’s a whole-family affair that takes into account academic, relationship, social, and emotional needs. The schedule, curriculum, and materials you use are tools to help you do that well. Bend them to your needs, friends!
I hope these tips have helped relieve some of that pressure we homeschool moms always put on ourselves and give you some great ideas to finish the homeschool year successfully and confidently. ❤️
Spring Into Homeschooling – Fantastic Giveaways, Deals, & Freebies!
To help you finish your homeschool year successfully and add some FUN to your spring, I’m hosting a 5-day Spring Into Homeschooling event!
- Download the PDF below for discounts and freebies from wonderful homeschool companies! (Available March 27th)
- Watch the blog for four big giveaways of some of my favorite resources! (March 28 – 31)
- Join the Homeschool Successfully FB group for more flash freebies and giveaways!
Download Deals & Freebies for the Spring Into Homeschooling Event!
A big THANK YOU to the following vendors for providing great discounts, freebies, and giveaways for this event!
- Math Mammoth
- The Reading Game
- Common Sense Press
- Christian Light Education
- Sarah’s Strings by Practice monkeys
- 7 Sisters Homeschool
- Proverbial Homemaker
- Compass Classroom
- Music in Our Homeschool
- Thinking Kids Press
- Uncle Rick Audios from Character Concepts