I think this is that moment in time for everyone where you realize the year is halfway over and chances are, you're not going to make it through your curriculum, or all you intended to study this year. This can be a feeling of complete panic. What will you do? Will your child graduate? Will you be in trouble with someone, the state, your mother, the national board of registered homeschoolers?? The good news is you're not in trouble (as I am sure you know). The curriculum police will not come to your door. You will even be able to move your child up at the end of the year.
I wanted to start by sharing a story from my first year of teaching. I was terrified that I had to finish the social studies book. I figured if I didn't, I'd be in big trouble. As goofy as this sounds now. I paced the whole thing out. I had those kids jumping. It was a 4th grade social studies curriculum where they had to learn about all the regions of the United States of America and the states within each region. I got through all the regions and we learned about all 50 states. I was done on time and figured I might be able to keep my job in Georgia. I remember telling the principal that I had accomplished this. She looked at me with sheer amazement. I told my fellow forth grade teachers. They smiled, laughed, and said "We're just doing our best. If we don't get to South Dakota, we really don't think it is a big deal." I would be lying if I told you I was not surprised.
But honestly, all their students were fine in both classes. I am fairly confident that it made little difference in the long run. I pretty much stressed myself out and probably my students for nothing. You see, most teachers do not get through the whole curriculum in each subject every year. There are too many other things that come up along the way, they spend more times on certain parts, and there is simply not enough time. Plus, the secret that I learned from my veteran colleagues was that curriculum are made by people. They are not sent down from heaven and carved in stone like the Ten Commandments. They are suggestions. They are what a group of educators think a child that age should get through in a year. They also give you more work than you can get through to look challenging and not leave you hanging in April. They are made by fallible people. They are really just suggestions.
Next week I will give you some ideas on what to do to sort out what is important. Of course, they will also just be suggestions.