What to Do When Your Homeschool Year Has Been Derailed


The 2015-16 homeschool year did not go as planned. 

Usually, I get our curriculum laid out and purchased in February/March and begin our year on April 1.

That's not what happened this year. 

The short version of this story is that bipolar depression plagued my youngest for many months, making it nearly impossible for her to function. 

In addition to that, my year was a financial flop. I had no money for curriculum.

So what does one do when the school year feels like a complete wash?

What to Do When Your Homeschool Year
Has Been Derailed

{This post may contain affiliate links.}

When nothing is going according to plan in your homeschool, it's stressful. But you have to do something, right? You can't just let the kids miss an entire year. 

So what do you do?

Fall back on other methods of homeschooling.

The first 10 years of our homeschool journey were spent unschooling. 

Even now, using the Charlotte Mason method, we're are very unschool-ish in our ways. I use the principles of CM, but still allow my kids to pursue their own topics of interest.

Falling back on unschooling or even eclectic homeschool methods is one way to handle a year gone wrong.

Look for free homeschool curriculum.

In the case of financial struggles, you'll find yourself looking for free curriculum. Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool and Easy Peasy All-in-One High School are great for this. 

That's what we did.

Not long after I mentioned to Jimmie that I was struggling with affording homeschool curriculum, she put together terrific list of free homeschool curricula in her post What if I Had No Money for Curriculum?.

Also, check out Jamerrill's post on this topic.

Get back to the basics of education.

While I'm all about art and nature studies around here, considering those core subjects, sometimes getting back to the basic of basics is necessary.

History, math, science - what do your kids need to do? Get back to that. 

Maybe you could take this time, as I have, to identify and fill in gaps.

Take advantage of local resources.

  • Are you a part of a homeschool group? 
  • Are there inexpensive classes being held at the local science center or zoo?
  • What free field trips could you arrange.
  • What about free museums?
  • How about your local 4-H club or county conservation group?
If you take a little time to look around, you can find fun educational opportunities all around you.

Dive into books!

Books are the foundation of a Charlotte Mason or other literature-based education. Literature works for all homeschool styles and methods.

Just break out your library card, find some good book lists and start reading. 

Experience is always a best teacher. 

By reading with your kids (and having them read on their own), you're giving them an opportunity to travel to other places, experience other times, and meet other people.

Keep it simple.

Try these cross-curriculum unit studies. They're inexpensive and cover everything from science to art. 

Most importantly, don't beat yourself up.

Life happens and there's not always a way to change it (see my issues at the start of this post). You have to work with it. Feeling guilty will only prevent you from moving forward. 

Do a little each day. Be grateful you have this unique time with your kids. 

And just keep moving along! 

Click here for more mid-year assessment posts 
from homeschool moms like you!

Need more homeschool assistance? 

Subscribe here to receive homeschool encouragement in your inbox each week!


  1. Thanks so much for these awesome tips! When things get boring, both me and the kids get bored. It helps to change things up a bit. We just had to do this - and it has been working great!

    It keeps things interesting.

    Thanks so much for sharing these awesome tips, Michelle!

  2. Derailed is exactly how it feels !


Join the conversation!

Latest Instagrams

© The Heart of Michelle. Design by FCD.