What if We Aren’t Finished Doing School?

What if We Aren’t Finished Doing School?

As the summer season approaches, many of us look forward to a reprieve from hitting the books (or museums) for the past several months while we’ve been homeschooling. Some of our friends may talk about this thing called “summer break” that they’re planning on taking somewhere around June. If you’re only halfway through those huge textbook sets you bought at the beginning of the year, you may feel as though you don’t deserve a break. After all, you’re not even halfway finished! My response to that? So what!

Finishing Books Shouldn’t Be The Goal

Not only is “finishing the books” not supposed to be your goal; it’s also not the goal of the local schools—just for some comparison. Publishers create textbooks with a set amount of information in them, yes, but they also create them knowing that at least a third of the material will repeat in future grades. Furthermore, the early chapters of every book are just a review of material from the previous year. For instance, if you look at a math book, you see many chapters you can label as “review” or “will repeat next year” chapters. The few chapters you have left are the ones you should focus on getting through this year. (And it’s perfectly fine if your “year” doesn’t end until August…or doesn’t end at all!)

If you’re the type of mom who just has to finish every page, then consider having your kids complete a page a day during the summer. You’ll definitely be able to eliminate those first chapters in the next book (because your kids won’t need to review) and you’ll get a head start on next year’s books! If your kids end up starting the next year by finishing this year’s books, that’s okay too. Believe me, we’ve spent many years doing just that!

Overall, if you’re not finished with your books this year, I say don’t worry about it—at all. In 20+ years of homeschooling, I’m not sure we ever finished a textbook from cover to cover. That simply wasn’t the goal. Instead, I took things as they came for our family. This meant we might start out using textbooks and finish the year in an online program because that’s just what my children needed that year. “Finishing the book” shouldn’t be your goal—meeting your goals (the ones you set at the beginning of the year) should be your primary concern!

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