Homeschooling is a rewarding, but sometimes challenging way to educate your children. And one of the challenging things some homeschooling families face is falling behind. To catch up in homeschool fast, try these 13 tips and get back on track! **This post contains affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases.**
What does it mean to catch up in homeschool?
Catching up means understanding and mastering concepts that were missed during the school year, or catching up on a grade level or subject that the child struggled in.
It is a process that is completed over several days, weeks, or even sometimes, months.
There are two requirements in order to catch up: one is adequate time and second is strong parental support. You’ll need to make time for both!
I’ve fallen behind in homeschool, help!
Here’s the thing, homeschool mom…
Before figuring out “How to catch up in homeschool fast”, you first need to pinpoint, WHY you fell behind!
Common Reasons People Fall Behind in Homeschool
Let’s be real here. We all have days where we just feel lazy! If you don’t, then I’d like to meet you so you can tell me your secret!
Were you having a lot of lazy days, and you didn’t homeschool as much as you should? That can quickly cause you to fall behind!
2. Sickness/ Illnesses/ Deaths/ Stress
Was your child sick a ton during the year and they fell behind on their lessons?
Was there a death in the family that resulted in sleepless nights, sad days, and lack of concentration?
Of course, this isn’t something we can avoid, but it can still cause your child to fall behind in their studies.
3. Taking Too Many Days Off
Did you take too many days off for other things, and didn’t catch back up?
I’ve been there friend! I remember one year we took a lot of random days off. One this week, one the next, a few that week, etc. At the time, it didn’t seem like much, and before I knew it, the end of the year came and my child still had a big chunk of lessons to finish.
4. Learning Difficulties/ Disablities
Does your child have a learning difficulty?
Sometimes the reason the child is behind is due to a learning difficulty. Once you’ve identified that that is the issue, get help and find a way to work with your child in a way that’s beneficial to them and their learning!
5. Your Child is Not Motivated
Is your child not motivated to do their schoolwork? Are they finding it difficult to complete their school work?
If this is the case, you either need:
A.) Some strong discipline in your household
B.) To find a curriculum that your child can enjoy! There are so many wonderful curriculums out there; surely you can find something your child will actually enjoy!
6. Trying To Do All The Things
Do you have this going on tomorrow, and that during the week, and this for work?
Sometimes our homeschooled kids can fall behind because we are trying to do it all, without any help! We stop teaching them because we need to finish this email, phone call, or this project.
Listen, friend, God never called us to be everything to our kids! He has someone out there willing to help. Especially as they get older, this is even more true.
Be discerning, yes, but not so proud that you think every aspect of their education must be done by you.
And the list goes on. There are many reasons why your children can fall behind.
So first, homeschool friend, figure out WHY you guys fell behind.
Once you figure out why you guys fell behind in your homeschool studies, make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes and learn from them!
Now, we can get to the, “How to catch up in homeschool fast”.
How to Catch up In Homeschool Fast- Learn the Right Way to Catch Up Quickly in Homeschool with these 13 Tips!
1. Skip the Review
Typically in a homeschool curriculum, the beginning and the end of the book usually always review concepts. *Check to make sure!*
If this is the case, focus on the new material and the areas that your homeschooled child does not understand, and skip the review that your kid has already mastered. Put your time and energy into the harder to grasp concepts.
In addition, this information will cycle around again, so don’t sweat it!
Comment from a veteran homeschooler:
“My youngest only used a full curriculum workbook from a big box store for K-3, and he never finished a book any of the years! (He’s almost done with college now!) He was able to jump into a full blown curriculum in 4th grade, and did great!”
2. Step away from textbook and workbook learning, and step into real life learning.
For a living science lesson- Maybe a nice walk on the beach collecting seashells would be a better choice for your mental health? What can you learn from the ocean, beach, or sea life that you could tie into a science lesson?
For a living history lesson- Maybe your history lesson for the day could be looking through a scrapbook of the grandparent that has passed, and talking about what things were like when they were little. What war was going on, what illnesses did they have to face, what things cost back then?
For life skills, social studies, or home economic lessons- Have the kids help with the renovation project around the home. Learn how to use tools properly, cut, measure, etc. Most importantly, by being a part of a family project, everyone contributes; everyone is needed!
Have them cook with you! Learn how to read a recipe and follow measurements for baking.
3. How much time have you missed?
Sometimes it’s only a month or two that you have fallen behind.
Figure out how many pages or lessons you are behind and divide that by the number of days you have until you want your child to catch up.
Do that many pages or lessons!
4. Get help from others when you need it most
We’re busy moms, dads, housewives, neighbors, family members… the list goes on!
If the reason you have fallen behind in your homeschooling is due to your busy schedule, then…
Have someone come help you with your homeschool!
As homeschool moms, we wear many hats. So, there is nothing wrong with having a friend, neighbor, family member, or even a tutor can help your child with their homeschool.
5. Double, triple and quaduple up!
I’ve done this before.
One year, my son didn’t fully grasp all the math concepts in his third-grade math book (highly recommend this math curriculum, btw!) as I wanted him to. So for fourth grade, I had him redo all of the third-grade math book, plus his new fourth-grade math book in his 4th grade school year.
To accomplish this, we had days where we doubled up, tripled up, and quadrupled up, depending on the lesson and my child’s attention span.
At the end of the school year, he finished both his 3rd grade and 4th-grade math books in one school year, all by doing extra lessons each homeschool day!
6. What’s required by your local law?
Dear Homeschooling Parent-
If your child is greatly falling behind schedule…
Find out what’s actually required by your state for your homeschooled student each year.
Whether it be a minimum of hours, certain subjects that NEED to be taught, etc., and only meet those minimum requirements.
Do nothing else that homeschool year until they’re caught up!
7. Use audiobooks, podcasts, documentaries, etc.!
Audiobooks, podcasts, documentaries, etc. can save your life when it comes to homeschooling.
My children love listening to the Angela O’Dell Real Cool History Podcast for kids, and we typically listen to it while eating lunch.
They’re learning their history, while technically having their lunch break. Thus, utilizing our “free time” for some more learning.
There are many audiobooks and podcasts that you can use for various homeschool subjects in your school year that will appeal to elementary school, middle school, and high school students.
8. Test your child
By having your child take a state testing exam, you can look over their results to see which areas your child excels above and beyond, and which subjects they fall behind in.
If your child is in 7th grade, and they are behind in their math and language arts books, BUT on their state testing exam, they scored above average in language arts, but below grade level in math. Focus only on the math since they are already scoring higher in their language arts, anyway!
9. School Year Round
For some, homeschooling year-round works. For some, it might not.
If your child is really falling behind, consider schooling year-round instead of taking a 3-month summer break! That way you can catch up.
This goes the same for taking long winter and spring breaks also!
10. Don’t put too much on your plate
As homeschooling parents, we know that the world of homeschooling possibilities are endless, and we can get sucked into wanting to try all the things!
You want to add in art once a week, and music lessons, foreign language, and, and, and!
If your homeschool student is falling behind, consider only focusing on the basic subjects required by the law in your state or country.
You can add in the fun stuff once they’re caught up and can get on a good schedule.
11. Reward them!
Sometimes our kiddos just need a bit of encouragement.
If they are behind in their studies, offer incentives for doing multiple lessons each day! Sometimes this can be a great push to knock out a lot of school work in one day.
12. Create a schedule!
More times than not, your child fell behind in homeschool because you didn’t stick to some sort of schedule.
And by schedule, I don’t mean:
8 a.m- Math
9 a.m- Science
No. I don’t mean that kind of schedule.
I am talking about a “catching up schedule” that you create to catch up in homeschool fast. You’ll need to figure this out on your own, though!
This could be something like, “My child needs to do 2 math lessons a day to catch up by summer”, or “my child needs to read 7 pages a day to finish this book by next week”.
Figure out what you need to do, create a schedule and stick to it!
13. Lastly. Breathe!
One of the many blessings of homeschooling is that it’s not like public school.
If your child is behind in public school, they get held back a grade.
If your child is behind in homeschool, you have the grace to take it slow and catch up on your own time!
There will be seasons of life where you need to take it slow and re-group. It’s okay. School years where a major life change has occurred, like a death of a family member, an unexpected illness, a major move, or even a home renovation can be times to lean into those events, learn what we can, and take it slow.
Burnout is real! We are our own worst critics most of the time.
During these times extend grace to yourself and your kids. especially for an older student who might find it harder on their emotions than, say, a 5-year-old.
Remember, you are also teaching them about life. There are seasons of reaping, and seasons of sowing. Skip grinding hard on math facts and enjoy the years you have with your children.