It’s Okay if You Don’t Finish it All / Planning for Next School Year


Books on a shelf and how to plan for school.

As the end of the school year approaches, (or perhaps has already come for you) I just wanted to encourage you that it’s okay if you don’t finish it all!

It’s easy to stress about too much book left at the end of the year, especially when the weather is too pretty not to be outside. (We did school on the deck for the most of the month of April) Keep in mind that most curriculum review at the beginning of the year what they covered at the end of the previous year.

A tip I’ve found helpful is to cut down on the amount of practice you give the child to do each day. I often skip around during the last month of the school year and check which exercises I want to assign to the student. That way, they are learning all the concepts, but not spending a whole page in practice. In doing so, I’ve often found it tends to make more sense to some kids when they move more quickly and see how all the pieces fit together.

Additionally, they are much more motivated to concentrate when the end is in view. Having the end in sight, some of my kids would even forge ahead and do extra pages just to finish up earlier.

Planning for the Next School Year

Now is a great time to evaluate what worked and what you want to do differently next year. Be sure to ask for your child’s input. Their countenance can reveal a lot. If they light up when talking of what subjects they enjoyed, you hit a home run. If they look thoroughly unimpressed and bored or frustrated, you might be checking for a different book or approach for next year. 

I jot down what I plan to purchase for each child next year even if I don’t order it until later in the summer. Often, I go ahead and order now, just so I know it’s taken care of. It’s easy to forget where you left off and what books you need for each child. If I wasn’t pleased with what we used, I’d make a note to look for a better spelling option or whatever the case may be. I’ve found my kids to be helpful by telling me how they best learn a subject.

For instance, one of my sons told me the typical spelling book just didn’t work for him. He’d do the exercises and then forget how to spell the word. What he said worked best was when I let him choose a book he found interesting and I dictated to him a paragraph or two each day. He would have to force his brain to figure out how to spell and he retained it better that way. So, we used a survival book or a book about hunting white tailed deer instead of a regular spelling book.

One of my daughters had been using A Beka for grammar for several years and found it extremely difficult to remember from one year to the next. When I switched her to Easy Grammar, she loved their simple explanations and was able to retain what she learned much better. Each child is different , so don’t be afraid to ask their input when selecting your books.

Another daughter loved science dealing with the human body. So we did Anatomy one year, then Biology, then a First Aid course.

Don’t be afraid to depart from the norm and gear their studies to their passions!


You may have heard me say it before.  Too many parents train their children the same way they train their dogs.  They wait until they mess up, then yell at them.

That’s obviously not a very encouraging or pleasant way to be trained.  What we need to do instead is to prepare our children ahead of time.   Then corrections can be fewer and more gentle.  Everybody will be happier, parents and children alike.  But how do we do that?

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About Marilyn

Marilyn is wife to Rick, Mom to 14 children, Nana to 22 grandchildren (and counting!) and homeschooler for 37 years. She and her husband own Character Concepts which they started for the purpose of helping others raise children with a strong, godly character and Biblical worldview.They have developed character curriculum from preschool through high school, based on what they found worked when teaching their own 14 children over the years. Her passion is to help young moms raise kids of character and enjoy the journey!

7 Replies to “ It’s Okay if You Don’t Finish it All / Planning for Next School Year”

  1. Marilyn, would you mind sharing some additional spelling programs that did work for some of your gang? (Other than the dictation, I mean )
    Thank you!

    • A Reason for Spelling was good for several of my kids. There’s not one I’m totally sold on. Tried lots. Keeping a spelling notebook of words they misspell is very good. Also, I’ve used lists of frequently misspelled words and that worked well.

  2. Such great advice! None of my kids are crazy about grammar, but I’ve found Easy Grammar to work for us as well. I’ve also at times not had them completely finish a book if it was frustrating (to them and me!), and it proved to be a better idea to move onto something else, or get into summer activities that offer a lot of learning also.

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