Friday, February 11, 2011

Falling Behind in Homeschooling and How to Catch Up

So your children are behind in their school work, maybe even a grade level or two. There are a thousand ways this can happen including family illness, vacation, moving, struggling in a particular subject, or the grandparents coming to visit.

The truth is that life happens.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you sit in the “depths of despair”, worried that your child is scarred for life because they are behind in math.

You are not alone. That family that looks like they’ve got it all together…doesn’t.

All children learn at different speeds. It is not unusual for a child to excel in one area and seem to be slow in another subject. They will get it on their time schedule.

Here are a few ideas I just sent to a friend who is struggling in this area:
  • Consider combining subjects when you can. For instance, take note of the geographical location, time in history, and new vocabulary in whatever they are reading (family Bible time or another book you are reading aloud as a family). By having the children write a few sentences about what they just read/heard you are combining the three subjects mentioned above plus handwriting, spelling, and grammar! Sometimes math and science can be applied here, also.
  • Another possibility is to just focus on the basics for now (math, reading, & writing). Chances are they will go through that history or science lesson again in a future grade.
  • Cross out some of the questions on the math worksheet if there is a lot of repetition. It is common for some subjects to do several weeks of review. Consider eliminating this when it is obvious the child has already mastered the concept.
  • I’m not sure if you have school all year long or take a summer break. Some people find that it keeps the rhythm better and eliminates the need for weeks of review when they aim to some do school work nearly every day, taking breaks when they need to for sickness or vacation.
I realize that you might not be comfortable with some of these suggestions, and that’s okay! They do require flexibility and a letting go of the feeling that we “must finish this workbook”. On the other hand, if they want to do an extra page or so in their spare time, go for it!

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