December is such a busy month with so much to do! When our kids were younger we took a break from our usual curriculum and did things related to the holidays. Kids are always so excited and restless during that time, anyway. Just not fighting that battle reduced a lot of stress. Letting the kids be excited and help take part in getting ready helped us to have happy homeschool holidays.
Shake it Off
Some might gasp in horror, thinking my kids got behind or that we set some horrible precedent, but I can assure you that it was okay. Not only did it lighten my load during a busy and (potentially) stressful season, but learning was still taking place. When the new year arrived, we were quite ready to resume our school schedule. I want you to see the learning in the special opportunities that you have during the holiday season so that you can shake off the guilt, embrace your homeschooling freedom, and enjoy.
The things we did varied from year to year, but here are some examples of what December looked like in our homeschool, and some of the learning that I see.
- Attending The Nutcracker, or other special holiday performances. (Performing arts, manners, socialization)
- Performing in dance or music recitals. (Performing arts)
- Operation Christmas Child or Angel Tree – I involved the kids in shopping for others through programs such as these. In fact, one year we received a letter from the little boy who received our shoebox. That was a wonderful surprise! (Serving others, budgeting, comparison shopping)
- Making cards, decorations, gifts, and gift wrap. (Arts & crafts)
- Entering holiday art contests. (Arts & crafts)
- Making our Christmas gift list, and shopping for them. (Thinking of others, budgeting)
- Baking and cooking. (reading, listening, measuring, math, nutrition, life skills)
- Christmas books that were only out during the holiday season. (Reading, listening)
- Get-togethers and parties enabled the kids to spend more time with family and friends. (Socialization, family bonding, manners)
- Caroling with our homeschool group at nursing homes. (Music, socialization, serving others)
- Playing educational games. (Reading, math, good sportsmanship) Betty Daley lists games and the skills they teach in her article, “Learning Can be Fun and Educational.”
- Decorating gingerbread houses or sugar cookies. (Baking, art, architecture)
- Playing in the snow, park days, nature walks. (PE, socialization, natural science)
- Pursuing their own interests. (The sky’s the limit)
This is by no means an exhaustive list. I just wanted to encourage you to enjoy the holiday season, and for you to feel able to switch gears and take a break. Especially if you’ve recently started homeschooling, you may be feeling a little burned out or anxious by now and a break like this will do you and your students a world of good.
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!
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