Help! I Homeschool & We Are Behind! 

homeschool homeschool help Dec 27, 2015
Help! I Homeschool & We Are Behind! 5 Practical Tips to Get Back on Track

Help! I Homeschool & We Are Behind!

5 Practical Tips to Help You Get Back on Track

It never fails. I plan out our homeschool year. I get it all organized. We start off strong -- then life happens! Busyness, sick kids, sick mom, unexpected guests, curriculum that is more time-consuming than I thought, and more! You name it and it happens -- and we get behind!

There are also those years when I get overzealous in my planning and find that we are just not getting to all of the curriculum. I actually showed an example of this in my planning post. This is VERY normal. We go into our homeschool year thinking that we will accomplish so many amazing things, but forget that life happens and our kids aren't robots. They get wiggly, unfocused, and get stuck.

This is often the failing point of many homeschool families. The frustration and feelings of failure take over. Don't even talk about all of the unmet expectations that come crashing down at your feet. Maybe it's your spouse's expectations, family member, friend, the teacher whose class you pulled your kids out of -- or just your own. Failed expectations, and feeling like no matter what you do or try you just can't get it all done, can crush your confidence.

What Got Us Behind This Year?

This year we had a big, fat monkey wrench thrown into our homeschool plans. I ended up needing major surgery. The recovery was long and hard. Any subject that required my help went out the door. I reached a point where I only required my kids to get their co-op work done, and maybe some math.

Know This Is Normal!

Most years we fall behind. Knowing it's going to happen is sometimes half the battle. What I've found is that there are a few things that I can do to get us back on track again. I wanted to share them with you.

Here are a Few Practical Tips to Help You Get Back on Track!

1) Change Things Up and Make It Fun!

Sometimes we just need to shake things up a bit and try something different for a season -- or longer. Honestly, the WORST thing you can do is to keep pushing a curriculum choice on your child that is not a good fit. Often we get stuck on the thought that we "paid" for the curriculum that's not working, so might as well finish it up. That is probably the most painful homeschooling approach to take. You will spend months banging your head against the wall, and your kids will lose their interest in homeschooling. One of my #1 goals in my homeschool is to make learning fun so that my kids develop a love for learning.

You don't always have to ditch the curriculum you are using. You may just need to shake things up a bit and try a new product for a while to see if it's a better fit. 

2. See If There Is Any Way to Combine Subjects!

This is often my "secret sauce" to sanity in my homeschool. Often we are doubling or tripling our efforts when it comes to different subjects. We may be doing lots of writing for science, which could mean that we are completing penmanship, vocabulary, writing, and science all at the same time. Sometimes our read-aloud books can count toward history. This is one reason I'm a big fan of unit studies. Sometimes I design my own, other times I use pre-planned ones. 

3. Skip It!

Guess what? It’s okay to skip things! It really is! Public schools skip things ALL the time. They also rarely finish their textbooks. Do you feel some grace in knowing that? You should. You don’t need to cover everything. Math may be hard to skip around in, but most of your other subjects are totally fine to skip things.

4. Add a “B” Week!

Take a break from moving forward and catch up. We do this all the time. If you’ve seen my Homeschool Organization blog post or YouTube video, then you know I like to take a “B” week. I stop at whatever week we are at, say Week 13, then call it “Week 13B.” We spend that week catching up on the key things we need to get done. I prep my “Week B” by picking the things I don’t want us to miss out on. What about grammar? Well, if we are so far behind that doubling up for a week won't catch us up, then I just skip parts or count on us not finishing the book. Most language arts components are repeated every year. So, if they miss a concept, it’s not the end of the world. They’ll get it again next year (just don’t skip it next year). ;)

5. Do the Worst Thing First!

This is one of my rules in my book M.O.M. {Master Organizers of Mayhem}. I've found that it applies as perfectly in our homeschool as it does in our home. There are often subjects that we just seem to never get to. Okay, I'm going to be really crazy real with you here! Sometimes, I'm just too tired to finish up our day when the day has been dragging on. When my baby goes down for a nap, I'm ready for my break -- not the science lab experiment that I have to find supplies for and that I know is going to create another big mess for me to clean up.

Some years I do better than others in certain subjects. The two subjects that tend to get ditched most regularly are science and writing. This is the reason I try to make sure my kids take these two subjects in our co-op. I need the accountability! However, when we are not taking it in co-op I teach it first thing in the morning when everyone (including me) is fresh! 

Ideas By Subject! 


This year I'm finding that we are not getting as much done in history as I had planned. We had a big build-up to our D.C. Trip this past September-- and then life got busy when we got home. We are still reading from my new favorite history book: The Prayers That Changed History by Tricia Goyer. I love it! Since we are studying US History, we are going to start watching the Drive Through History DVDs that my friend is letting us borrow.


I was a science major! You probably didn't know that about me. I got my degree in Sports Medicine. I guess you could say that I’m a science geek. I am not one who gets queasy at the sight of blood. Medical documentaries don’t gross me out. For goodness sakes, there were nights in college when we were eating pizza while dissecting things. Ha!

That is all to say, that I love science and I love to teach science in our homeschool — however, we don’t always get to science. So, I'm considering trying a few new products to mix things up a bit and make science easier to get to.

Magic School Bus Science Kits — I am really excited about this! These kits look so simple and fun. My kids already love the Magic School House books. I think they will really like these kits.

Rock 'n Learn Science DVDs — I love finding DVDs that my kids can watch that are educational. My kids will usually sit down and watch DVDs -- even if they happen to be learning while they watch.


Due to my surgery, this is one subject that I feel the worst about falling behind in. My poor 7-year-old son is on the verge of reading fluently, but I just haven’t had the time to work with him. Normally, I’d have my older boys do some work with him. However, they’ve had to pick up so much slack around the house and try to get their own work done that they haven’t been getting to any of his language arts work that requires help. Here's a fun game I've actually been hearing good things about. I love educational games about as much as I love educational DVDs.

uKloo — This game looks like so much fun! I'm definitely getting this one! I think my son will love it.

Hooked on Phonics — I've used Hooked on Phonics through the years. I still supplement with it.


As I mentioned earlier, writing is one of our hard-to-get-done subjects. I LOVE all our I.E.W. products! I really do! However, sometimes it's fun to try something new for a bit. These great writing prompts look really great.

101 Story Starters for Little Kids

50 Writing Prompts for Kids


Math is one subject that we usually stay on top of pretty well. But if math is your problem area, then you may want to consider trying either of these great products. I've actually heard amazing reviews from other homeschool moms about Life of Fred.

Life of Fred

Times Tales


Okay, I know this isn't on sale right now and I don't have a coupon code for it. However, I had to tell you one of the best ways for making sure we stay on track with our read-aloud books: Amazon Audible. My kids love listening to books.

What Are You Struggling With?

I hope this helped you to know that you are not alone if you are behind in your homeschool. It really is quite normal. Before you throw in the towel, try a few of my practical tips. My desire is to bless your homeschooling! I'm so excited to be able to team up with Educents to offer you this discount.

So, what subjects are you struggling to get to? What tips have you found to make things more doable? I'd love to hear from you below in the comments!

The "Help! I Homeschool!" Series

This post is part of my "Help! I Homeschool" series! There are more great posts coming that talk through the common homeschool challenges. I hope they all bless you in your homeschooling. Let me know in the comments if there is a challenge you are experiencing in your homeschool that you'd like to see covered! Be sure to check out my other posts:

Help! I Homeschool and My House is a Mess! {You are going to love this one! It's one of my most popular!}
Help! I Homeschool and I Can't Get It All Done!
Help! I Homeschool and I Have Lots of Kids!

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