Here we are, turning the corner toward the month of June and the end of another school year. This time of year can be stressful for homeschooling parents, who are painfully aware that time is short and the “to do” list is long. How can we finish the year well, without regret? In two words, clarify and simplify.
Think back to September – what were your priorities when you began this year? Were they realistic? Have you achieved the essence of what you set out to do? Often our priorities change as the year unfolds. So, looking through the lens of the time you have left to work with, what is most important to you in these final weeks? Assignments that are due for your child to receive official grades or to feel a strong sense of accomplishment should be high on the list. Other candidates for your priority list might include key material that sets a foundation for next year’s academics (i.e. math, reading or spelling skills). Don’t hesitate to ask your children for their input as well. Also remember that it is okay to push some things into next year or to take things off the list altogether if your family needs have changed. Once you are down to your highest priorities, drop everything else and focus only on these.
Now that you have clarified your priority list, look at the calendar to see what time you realistically have left to complete these tasks. June is notoriously full of year-end commitments that significantly cut into school time. Wherever possible, cut out “fluff” events to take pressure off of your family at crunch time. To help your kids succeed, keep good structures in place, such as “to do” lists and realistic bed times (a challenge when the days are getting longer!). As we all know, it is harder than ever in June to compete with the summer weather for your children’s attention. Review the week’s events and major school tasks with your children so they know what is coming ahead of time. Set a distinct finish date for school work and plan a special reward or event to mark the year’s end. Having a clear end in sight can provide everyone with a well-needed push to reach the finish line.
Though the days of this school year are dwindling, your family can still enjoy a strong finish to the year with a bit of planning. Keep “clarify and simplify” at the forefront of your mind over the next few weeks, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done!
Your turn: What is the biggest challenge you face in ending the school year well?