Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

We Are Behind in Some Subjects. How Do I Get Back on Track?


Catching up, staying on track, or trying to get ahead? The Seton Academic Counselors are waiting for your call or email on all your homeschooling questions.

Now that January is here, I find that I am way behind in certain subjects. What can I do to get back on track?

Remember, Seton has no timeline! However, if the going is very slow it might be time to rethink your strategy.

First, remember that the lesson plans are just a guide. The only thing required for your student to receive grades in each subject is that he turns in the Seton-graded assignments. These are the ones on Part B of the printed Quarter Report Forms, or that are designated “Seton” in the “graded by” column on your MySeton quarter page.

The important thing is that your child is well-prepared to take the quarter or chapter tests. For some, it means doing all the work as laid out in the plans. Some children may be able to scan the written work and do only a few. Others may need you to explain it in other terms and use concrete examples. How you get there is up to you, as long as he will do well on the tests.

I think I have misplaced the answer key to one of my child’s books. Can I get a replacement?

Yes, call or email the counseling or customer service department and we can email it to you. This also applies to missing tests. I advise you not to ask other parents online as they may have a different version than yours and give you outdated information.

This is our first year homeschooling, and my child is having great difficulty with English 7 grammar and sentence diagramming.

We hear this frequently — many schools don’t teach grammar the way they used to, but we find it is a great help to students in becoming better writers. However, if the moms haven’t studied grammar or diagramming before, that makes it even more difficult! The first thing we would suggest is that you try to learn along with your child.

Secondly, be sure you understand the first concept before moving on to the next. Diagramming is like a code or a puzzle, but you need to know the basics before moving on to the next level.

Thirdly, there are many videos in the resources section of your MySeton account under English — take a look at those and see if you can find the answer to your questions there.

If you are still struggling, Seton does have two books that can help. One is the text Rex Barks, and the other is the workbook Diagraming Sentences. Both are available from Setonbooks.com.

Finally, feel free to call one of the English counselors if you are still having trouble understanding the diagrams. They are more than willing to help!

We’ve been going slowly with our daughter in certain subjects to prepare for taking tests. How long do I have before I have to send in grades? Must I wait and send all the subjects together?

When you enroll with Seton, you have a full calendar year to finish the curriculum. The lesson plans are only for 32-36 weeks, so there is extra time built in. We also don’t have any start or end dates for the quarters — that’s entirely up to you!

As far as sending in the materials, if you are uploading assignments through your MySeton account, you can upload as you finish, input the grades when you are ready, and we’ll give you a grade once everything for the quarter is complete in a subject.

If you are mailing things to us, for the elementary grades we prefer that you mail an entire quarter at the same time, but if you are more than a few weeks behind in a course, then mail the ones that are already completed. Be sure that you have the proper quarter report forms (QRFs) attached to your work.

You can also include a note on your checklist that the other subjects will be coming later. For high school, you can send in each completed course separately.

My kindergartener has sped through her handwriting book. Should I order the Grade 1 book or have her practice on the tablet?

It’s up to you, but I wouldn’t worry about it. Handwriting develops by doing any writing, not because of a specific book.

Also, a 5-year-old is developmentally different than a 6 or 7-year-old, so she might not be ready for the next level quite yet. Find some copy work and a good Kindergarten level tablet to write in and let her keep practicing.

My fourth grader is having trouble absorbing all of the information for the history tests. How can I help him study and review for the exams?

You, the parent, are certainly allowed to look at the tests ahead of time and guide your child in what to study. If you are reading together, and come to something that you know will be on the test, stop and say “I think that’s important — let’s remember that.”

You can also go through your child’s book and highlight things that you know will be on the test, so he realizes they are important things to remember. Finally, you could make a study guide for him to look at to help him prepare for the test.

I work full time from home. Is it ok for my 6th and 7th-grade students to follow the lesson plans and work on their own?

As long as you periodically check in with them that the assignments and work are getting done properly, it’s fine. In fact, in high school, our lesson plans are written for the student, rather than the parent, so it’s good preparation for when that day comes.

However, you’ll want to make sure they are staying on your schedule for them, and that they understand the material they are working on. You don’t want to get to the end of the quarter and find that they didn’t understand their math and discover everything is wrong. Or you thought you were done, but then find that they never read their book report book!

And while they certainly can correct their work, for children that young, a parent should probably take a look every so often to make sure they are doing as well as they tell you they’re doing.

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Seton staff and academic counselors provide insight and expertise on topics from Seton’s Pre-K curriculum to the Military and Uniformed Service Academy Prep Program. Great material to improve your homeschooling experience. Explore Seton | SetonHome.org
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