How to Finish the School Year Strong When You Don’t Actually Finish…Anything.

The markers are out of ink, notebooks look like they've survived a tornado, and you absolutely refuse to buy any more school supplies. That's right. It is almost the end of the school year. And through gritted teeth and the sweat of your brow, you are determined to finish the school year strong.

But how do you finish strong if you feel like this year has been disappointing? What if you didn't meet that super-important goal you set or finish the curriculum books? What if your child isn't as far along as you wanted them to be? Friend, you are not alone. I just described my own homeschool year! Let me tell you what I am telling myself.

Take a Step Back

You know that saying, “You can't see the forest for the trees.”? I find that beneficial here. Indeed, we didn't finish all of our subjects' curriculums. Math and Language Arts, to be exact. This is because my oldest child was diagnosed with dyslexia, and she needed a different teaching method than what we were using.

Now, I know you're going to say, “Emily, that makes total sense. Why would that bother you?”. And yes, of course. But my type-A brain wants life to fit into neat boxes after checking off a tidy to-do list. Can you relate? Often the reason doesn't matter. And whatever it is for you, it's ok to have feelings about it. 

What's important is to look at the big picture and rest in the fact that our children did learn. They did progress. And we gained greater insight into how their brains work. This is valuable stuff, mama, and it's something to celebrate!

Redefine What Finishing Strong Means

Individualized education is the best thing about homeschooling. That means we get to determine where the finish line is for the end of the school year. It means you get to change and adjust the goals you made at the beginning of the year.

It could very well be true that your child didn't master as much as you hoped for. But I am willing to bet they made strides. They know more than they did at the beginning of the year. That is a win!

Celebrate progress no matter how small. We want our children to beam with pride at the end of the year and know that progress over perfection is what matters. Even with small wins, celebrating big efforts instills great pride in kids. And I think we all want our kids to take pride in their work.

Talk About It With Other Homeschool Moms

I don't know about you, but I gain the most remarkable insight when talking to other homeschool moms. They are full of wisdom and encouragement because they are going through (or have been through) many of the same challenges as you. Often, it is conversations with others that give us a new perspective. 

I know how difficult it can be to find community when homeschooling. If that is you, and you are feeling isolated, a great starting step is searching for homeschool groups on social media. There are groups full of women ready and willing to be there for you.

And these women will cheer you on as you finish the school year strong, even when that looks different than you thought it would. 

Look Ahead to Next Year

It feels very disheartening when we feel like we are ending the school year on a downer. What's done is done; there's nothing to do about it now. But a fantastic and invigorating way to take back control is to focus on the next school year.

While everything is fresh, write out what worked and what didn't this year. Determine why you didn't meet your goals or finish a curriculum. Decide how those things could be better in the future. 

Like us, maybe you need to switch up teaching methods, or investigate the exciting world of online education. Perhaps you tried to do too many things and need to edit your daily schedule. For example, I've decided we will alternate history and science instead of trying to do both subjects every day. Looking ahead and making a plan builds anticipation and excitement. And who doesn't want more of that?

So, friend, you are going to finish the school year strong. You'll do it, and I can't wait to hear all about it in the comments below!

More great posts and podcasts on this topic!

Hi, I’m Emily Sewell, the voice behind Intentionally Well Blog. I am passionate about sharing all things homeschooling, homemaking, and motherhood encouragement. I strive to create a space of grace and peace in my little corner of the internet. I am a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom to three kids living in Indianapolis. I love to read novels, drink hot tea, and hike in any and every forest I can find. Check out my Instagram and Facebook page, where I share more of my everyday life.

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