We've come into the month of May, that delightful month where the countdown for summer begins! Both teacher and students are excited for what the summer will hold. We are ready!
But we still have about three weeks to go until we will officially "end" our school year.
While most public school students will turn in their textbooks despite having not completed most of their texts, my daughters will complete their textbooks and curricula in full, some by June 1st, and some through the summer in order to finish at a pace that meets their needs.
This was the first year that I made weekly lesson plans for all of the girls' school subjects. They have known all year that in order to "graduate" to the next grade level, they will need to finish their assignments through the end of their curricula and textbooks.
Why do I have them finish their books completely, even though public schooled students rarely finish a text?
Homeschool textbooks and curricula are designed to be used, modified, and adapted by the home educator to fit well for each family. Often, though, if curricula is used in a series, as in Math-U-See being used from kindergarten through Calculus, it would be a hindrance for the student to not complete the previous text.
Public schooled textbooks are generally written so that the first couple of months are a review from the prior school year.
Homeschooled texts aren't generally written in that way.
I've found that homeschool moms regularly beat themselves up if their child doesn't finish a particular text or course of study to completion. Since I was a teacher in the public schools before becoming a mother, I know first-hand that the schools at which I attended and taught did not require any of our textbooks to be used in full during the school year.
So here's my word of encouragement to those of you who are educating your children at home:
Give yourself a break.
Please! And lose the guilt! Just give it away to some unsuspecting customer. ☺
If your children are able to complete their curricula for the school year at home, wonderful. And if they are not going to be able to finish it without stringent focus during the summer, that's okay, too.
I'm not suggesting that families slack off and just lackadaisically meander through the school year with no purpose, no planning, and no learning taking place.
If you and your children are diligent and they learn a lot throughout the school year, but they haven't finished the last chapter or two of their text, take a close look.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Is this last bit of material imperative to my child being successful in their next grade level of curricula?
2. Is the material either too difficult or too easy for my child? If so, maybe some modifications need to be made, or your child might need a summer off to mature and then finish the material when school begins again in autumn.
3. Is my child being lazy with his studies, or just needing something different that will better meet his learning style?
Now...it's time to plan some end-of-year fun activities for my girls! How do you handle curricula that might not be completely finished by the time summer rolls around for your family?
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
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