I get the struggle, by the beginning of May you are counting down every day until the last day of school. Honestly, I love teaching school but do you know what I love as well?
Leisurely nature walks stopping to look over every fungi, flower and butterfly.
Reading for the sheer joy of enjoying a story of choice on the freshly cut grass.
Picnics in the park with sandwiches, ants and a side of Art if it hits our fancy. Always bring Art supplies for a picnic!
Long beach days digging in sand, listening to the soothing sound of Lake Michigan waves calm my heart for a season of relaxation.
Campfire nights with S’mores, fireflies and star gazing.
Just being a Mom, not a teacher.
I love Summer. Quite a lot.
Once it’s over though we begin to long once again for that smell of fresh pencils, the pages of planned read alouds prepared for adventures and curriculum carefully chosen to once again ignite new loves of learning in our littles that would be otherwise perhaps, a surprise.
That is September.
This is May.
In May it’s more like, HOW many days left?(Mom)
The house is no longer tidy and desperate for a good purging and cleaning, it’s cluttered mess cluttering my mind.
Sickness has been conquered but left behind weary souls ready for sunshine.
The school supply closet is completely out of beautiful, yellow Dixon Ticonderoga’s but the family is sticking with the glittery pencils remaining because they are there.
It is easy to end a perfectly wonderful school year, without any dignity left, or at least that is how it begins to feel.
You start wondering why you are even homeschooling? Can I even do this? What was I thinking? Everything is a disaster!
Mama, it doesn’t have to be this way.
When I start sensing end of year weariness overtaking me, here are a few things I remember to keep my dignity intact both inside and out.
Last Years Curriculum Crush
Back last spring when you were crushing on curriculum in the Homeschool Convention vendor hall, you were totally in love with it, correct? If you are anything like me you could downright suck your bank account dry in just a solid afternoon of wandering those sales. Just remember that feeling of excitement you had buying those books and see if you can muster it back up again for one more month! Especially with Sonlight Curriculum it is always such a joy to get through each book, we never regret pulling through the last 4-6 weeks of school to finish. How could I possibly be crushing on curriculum for 2017-2018 already but have no desire to finish what we have right before us? I don’t know the answer either, homeschool Mom problems!
Finish Textbooks Without Reading Everything
A bit contrary to my last point but hear me out. We are studying Astronomy this year and at the beginning of the year I read every single paragraph in every chapter. A few months ago I began to realize that my kids were not fully comprehending it all, weren’t super loving it and that we weren’t going to finish if I didn’t get creative. So I started touching on the most important points that they would remember. What I failed to remember is that this textbook is written for kids as old as 6th grade, well my oldest is in 3rd grade! I didn’t need to read everything anyway and they began to love it again. Now we are on track and we will actually FINISH the textbook instead of dropping off the last few chapters at the end. Unlike a read aloud book, they aren’t missing some big piece of the Astronomy story because I left out some details about the name of every moon on Saturn. They got the big picture of the Solar System without leaving off Pluto at the end!
Decide What You Will Finish
All year I use the absolutely awesome Sonlight information guide which lists everything we will do daily for the whole school year. A real lifesaver if you ask me! By the end of April, I take a good old notepad out and write down my own finishing goals. We definitely won’t finish everything but I decide in advance what I think is most important to finish, write it down and get a plan going to make it happen. Maybe we will cut out some science but add more time to memorize math facts. Or Read Aloud at night so there is more time during the day to accomplish other things, you get to decide what is important for your littles. You are the teacher, own your goals and execute them!
That Accomplishment Feeling
Trust me both you and your kiddos will feel so much accomplishment even if you completely finish just a few subjects. We have absolutely never finished a Math curriculum, it’s okay not to finish everything, schools don’t even do that! This year we will only have our Bible, Science & History done start to finish, it is going to feel great to cross that finish line. If you push through, it will give you a great sense of confidence towards next school year that will go a long way. It will put a stride in your step all summer long and even a Homeschool Mama deserves to put a big of swagger in her step.
Care For Yourself
You are in the home stretch! Do what it takes to care for yourself as you finish the task of finishing that has been set before you. Paint your nails, eat the chocolate, drink the coffee, take a nap or take a night out alone. Maybe a date with your husband is the fuel you need to get the last month done right! The pressure of getting school completed is almost over, your solid finish is depending on your solid state of mind.
Your solid start to school in the fall is depending on your solid finish in the spring.
So Mama hold your head high and stay strong,
Together we can survive one more completed year.
And fall back in curriculum love again for next year!