Homeschool Summer Catch Up Time!

Here’s how to do homeschool summer catch up time!

Homeschool Summer Catch Up Time!

Homeschool Summer Catch Up Time!

Sometimes life happens and our homeschool high schoolers do not meet all the goals for the school year. This is real. There are times when:

  • Our family must move during the school year, disrupting plans and processes
  • A family member becomes ill and lots of time is needed for medical or other supports, cutting into study time
  • Wonderful, unexpected opportunities arise that would be foolish not to accept but pushing already-made plans to the side

Lots of things can happen that throw our homeschool high school plans off balance. When your family arrives at the hoped-for end of the school year but the teens are not through with their academics, what do you do?

Two ways to look at catching up on academics

There are a couple of ways to frame catching up.

Year-round homeschooling

The first way to look at catching up on academics is change the framework all together. Many homeschooling families do this with a “year-round homeschool” approach. Year-round homeschoolers do not come to the end of the school year with leftover academics. That’s because they never come to the end of the school year.

They pace academics and breaks/weeks off throughout the year. This works great for them because they have some built-in breathers through the year. (For more on scheduling the homeschool year, check out this post.)

Easy-paced catch up time

In my house, when we neared the end of the school year and we had some coursework that was behind or there were some unmet goals, I would sit with my teens and help them build a schedule for the summer that would give them:

  • Time for relaxation and funs
  • Goals and strategies for completing personal and academic goals

We agreed to completion dates and then made a schedule that fit those needs based on scheduling backwards.

Scheduling Backwards
Click image for full description.

There are lots of ways to catch up during summer. Here are some that have worked for us or homeschool families we have worked with.

Finishing core or required credits that were hard to finish in the school year

Some of my homeschool friends’ teens were not into phys ed, so they saved that for summer and logged hours through the warm season. Summer is a good time to log hours in the sun for Phys Ed.

For teens who do not love Fine Arts, summer also a good time chipping away at a for Fine Arts credit. In our area, high schoolers need a full credit of Fine Arts on the transcript. Some of the teens I worked with would work on one-third credit each summer after ninth, tenth and eleventh grades.

Sometimes my teens would be finishing off lab hours during June. (Here’s a Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode sharing some of the science labs we did.) BTW- for students who will be facing Chemistry next year and DO NOT like math- here’s an asynchronous, fun summer Chemistry math prep course from our friend Kristin Moon.

Sometimes, we need to polish off a textbook. My teens generally would take the first week (or two) of June to create a big study block and plow through.

Teens don't need to miss out on summer fun in order to catch up on academics!

Finishing off the book list

Homeschool high school Language Arts credits include four important topics:

Every teen is different and will have different goals for how many books that need to be read each school year. My teens would use the summer to catch up on any leftover books they needed to read- or to read ahead for the next school year.

In the summer, our teens often read more creatively

  •  Audiobooks
    • A wonderful way for teens to fill time while traveling or while doing chores. (Also, for the whole family love to keep audiobooks going in the car when we travel locally or for longer trips. My teens add these to their booklist.)
  • Read alouds
    • When I had several teens in high school at once, we often did read alouds as a family. That way if they were all finishing the same course together (such as British Literature), they could have fun knocking off required books as a family activity.
  • Graphic Novels
    • A favorite way to get some reluctant teens to read and exhausted-readers to enjoy reading again.
  • Poetry

Time to get caught up with elective credits

Some of my teens were interested in everything so we used summer catch up to give them time to build electives that they could not get finished during the school year. They would spend time each week reading, writing, experiencing or watching videos on their elective topics.

(BTW- How do you log hours for elective credits? Here a post with simple guidelines.)

Want some specific ideas for summertime electives that some of our 7th Sisters’ teens have enjoyed?

Need more amazing ideas for a summer elective credit? Check out the self-paced courses at FundaFunda Academy. Teens will find a variety of choices for summer courses. For instance: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop, Computer Applications, and Beginning Music Theory.

Catching up on leveling-up

Many years my homeschool high schoolers had goals for more rigorous credits for their transcripts. Summer is a great time to catch up on leveling up, since the other academic demands have been met.

They would level up from college-prep to honors by adding leveling-up activities during the summer before we completed the transcript for the year.

These leveling-up activities included:

For more thoughts and tips on homeschooling high school over summer, check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with our friend, Anita Gibson.

Catching up: You all can do this! Have a wonderful summer!


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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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