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Catching up over the summer

Is your child “behind”? By which I mean, “Is there still curriculum you haven’t covered yet for the current school year?”

If this is your situation, take a breath. You’re not alone! I’m going to explain how to handle this common problem.

Life hands us all kinds of interruptions, from family medical emergencies to beautiful days too nice to stay inside. However, we have the whole summer before us. Here are some things to consider:

    • Schools often don’t finish the entire book. If you cast your mind back to your own school experience, often the year ended with some chapters undone. This wasn’t the end of the world, because the next school year always started with a month of review.
    • Homeschool doesn’t have to be completed during the “school” year. You have 90 days of summer (more, if you count Saturdays). The kids can still get lots of afternoon outdoors play even if you spend the mornings catching up.
    • You’re in it for the long haul. Will your child be able to read and write well by the end of 12th grade? If so, he or she will surpass a large percentage of “schooled” children right there.
    • If you’re really behind, ruthlessly prune any time-wasting (even if “fun”) activities. Also cut back on the number of math problems, if necessary. Try doing only odd-numbered problems. This way you can often do 2 or 3 days of work in one.
    • Though I hesitate to endorse products, and nobody is paying me for this, the Summer Bridges workbook series is a quick way to catch up on the basics over the summer. These inexpensive workbooks are available at discount through various publishers, and provide a way to review an entire school years’ work in the summer months. You can also use them to focus on what hasn’t been taught yet.

There still will be time to catch fireflies and go swimming. That’s educational, too!

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