“Help! The school year is almost over, and my children have not completed their curriculums! What do I do? ” As director of TSCHAA, this is a question I get often. So, what do you do? Well, as a Third Option homeschool educator, you get to decide.
There is nothing in the Third Option law that says your homeschooler must complete a curriculum or even a grade level. You are just required to teach 180 days each year and teach reading/writing, math, science, social studies, and, in grades 7-12, composition and literature, but there are no specific requirements to meet in those subjects.
The beauty of homeschooling is that you can move at your children’s own pace. You may find that they struggle to complete their curriculum one year, and then, the next year, they breeze through it and finish early. They may even complete more than one grade-level/curriculum in a year. You are the parent AND the teacher. You have the power to decide each school year.
When you choose a curriculum to use in your homeschool, you are choosing what you want to complete in that curriculum. Nothing says that you have to teach every item in the curriculum. A curriculum is always a guide. If your children already know topics, you can skip them. If your children need extra time to learn a concept, you can spend as much time on it as you feel necessary.
If you have met the Third Option requirements but have not completed your curriculums, consider the following:
- Will your children enter public school next year and be expected to know certain skills?
- Are your children in high school and earning high school credit for college entry? (You can always extend your year if needed.)
- Are the topics left to learn prerequisites for next year?
- Do you, as the teacher, feel that your child has completed enough to close out the year?
- Do you feel comfortable ending your year without completing the curriculum?
- Are you happy to move at your child’s unique pace?
You may decide that you will put away the unfinished curriculum and start new next year, or you may decide to pick back up with it the next year. You also have the option of working on it during the summer. The choice is yours. That choice is what makes me love homeschooling!