The Panicked Feeling of Being Behind, by Lynne

Every year, about this time in May, I start to feel a little panicked because THERE’S NO WAY WE’RE GOING TO FINISH ALL MY PLANS!!!

I’ve been homeschooling for six years, and I still have the mentality that we must accomplish a certain amount of work in the same time frame as the traditional school year. I’m unsure why this is.  We have regulations in my state, but nothing that requires me to follow the same schedule as the local schools. No one is going to come knocking on my door to see if we covered the entire biology book from September to May.

For the past two years, I’ve really tried to let go of the idea that we have to finish certain curricula in a nine-month timeframe.  We’ve carried math, science, grammar, and history over into the next “school year.”  And nothing bad happened.  In fact, we’ve been able to get a lot more out of each subject by taking our time and not hurrying through just so we could tick a box on our list of accomplishments.

So, why do I still feel that panic?  I think my own traditional schooling has ingrained the traditional school year into my being.  Posts on social media from friends with kids in traditional school add to it as well.  When I start seeing Field Day posts and school trips to the Zoo, I think, “It’s the end of the year!”  Then I realize we are only halfway through that book on African and Middle Eastern history in the Middle Ages, and my brain instinctively screams that “WE ARE BEHIND!”

Behind what?

That’s a good question.

I don’t follow anything at all like the scope and sequence of the local schools, so I just have to remind my brain that everything is fine, and we’ll finish the book when we finish the book. Did I want to finish the math book by May?  Well, yes, I actually did, but does my son thoroughly understand the math by taking it a little more slowly?  Of course, he does.  It’s fine. All in due time.

Not only do I get panicked about the traditional school year, but I also have high school looming over my head.  My soon-to-be-7th and -8th graders do not seem to be fully prepared for high school level work.  Maybe they will be by then; maybe they won’t.  I’m trying very hard not to panic about that, as well.  I tell myself that they’ve come a long way in the last six years, so the next five should show major improvements.  And anyway, there is no law that says a kid has to go to college at age 18.  If they don’t feel ready to graduate from high school, they can spend an extra year or two working on things.  I don’t think it will come to that, but it’s always an option. (Or a secret dream of mine to keep them home longer.  Shhh.  Don’t tell.)

Lynne–Lynne has enjoyed homeschooling her two sons for over 5 years, after their brief stint in the local public school.  Her older son is a humorous fellow with high functioning autism who thrives in a home education environment.  Her younger son is a sensitive soul with a great deal of patience. The boys, Mom, and Dad, along with the two guinea pigs, live in Northeast Ohio.  Lynne holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature.  She is also a Harry Potter fanatic, enjoys line dancing and Zumba, spends hours scrapbooking, and loves organic vegetables.  You can visit her soon-to-be revitalized blog at

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