Episode 73 Advice for Homeschooling During the Holidays
By: Jamie Gaddy and Homeschool.com
With the holidays upon us, many of us feel more stressed than usual. There are numerous holiday events, relatives to see, places to visit, and gift shopping and preparation to get done. Most of us wonder about holiday homeschooling. How to homeschool amid everything?
The holidays are a great time to take off from structured homeschooling. Don’t sweat the books. They will be waiting for you when the holidays are over!
This looks different for each family, but changing up your homeschool routine to be more flexible and fit your holiday preparation can be fun and exciting. I know with my half dozen kids, any kind of change always perked them up. All of a sudden they were interested in what was going on!
Holiday Homeschooling Ideas
So as we get started let’s talk about schedules.
For many homeschooling moms and dads, planners are their lifeblood. Whether you need to plan the week, month, or even your daily schedules, a sense of organization is key. If you’re like me, my planner is especially vital during the holidays for any semblance of productivity, there are so many moving parts in our family if we didn’t have a schedule to let everyone know where/what/when we’d be lost!
If you’re stressing over your schedule for this coming holiday season, try to step back, pause, and take a deep breath.
First Steps to a Big Change
One of the first things that I find particularly helpful when I’m in a stressful situation, or simply beginning each day (with potential to be stressful) is prayer. If you’re listening to this podcast then you’re looking for something. Maybe it’s wisdom or advice. One of the best places to find wisdom is in prayer.
After all of these years of homeschooling during the holidays, I’ve realized that sometimes the most important thing we can do for our children is to take time with them. The holidays are all about creating wonderful memories and sweet traditions. Take some time to consider what is most important in your family this season.
Once I’ve determined what my focus will be during the holidays, I turn to my schedule. Since there are so many people in our household, even when we aren’t formally doing a lot of homeschooling or any homeschooling at all – – we still need a schedule so that everyone is on the same page. I find this especially important during the holidays. Each of us has a lot of “extra” during this time and a schedule of some sort helps everyone. Be creative, flexible, and fun. As I’ve already mentioned change always gets the kids interested… Here are a few of my creative suggestions for holiday homeschooling.
Practical Ideas for Changing Things Up
- Focus on reading! Take time this holiday season to sit and read with your children. Use holiday weeks to read as many books as you can!
- Consider a holiday unit study. Utilize the holidays as a chance to learn more about their origin and traditions! On the other hand, you could learn more about the wintertime, change in seasons, and make a unit study out of it!
- Make the most out of your field trips. If you have one or two field trips scheduled this month, dig into them and learn everything you can. Take a trip to the library for related books, dive into Google searches, and look for complimentary YouTube videos!
- Similarly, make holiday festivities into learning moments or field trips! You can make lots of holiday activities on educational field trips. Of course, you want to keep them fun, though. For example, when you go Christmas tree shopping, learn about the different types of trees! Christmas caroling: learn about the origins. Sledding: bring in science and figure out how to make your sled go even faster. There are numerous ways to incorporate learning into holiday activities!
- Add in craft days. Your kids will learn how to make adorable crafts while creating gifts or decorations, and most importantly, memories!
- Consider skipping quizzes during the holidays. If you’d prefer to keep up a more consistent schedule during December, consider skipping quizzes or tests. This will help relieve some of the pressure during schoolwork and help it feel more fun!
- Catch up on science projects. Have you been pushing through science lessons and procrastinating on those recommended projects? The holidays are a great time to pause the lessons and catch up on all those experiments!
- Encourage creative writing as a holiday gift. This is such a precious idea, and it doubles as a good way to keep your kids’ writing skills sharp during the holidays. Encourage your children to work on a creative writing project to give as a Christmas present this season!
- Study one subject per week. If you’d like to keep up the book learning during the holidays, consider perhaps working on one subject at a time each week. This will help relax your schedule!
- Make festive memories instead. One of the best holiday homeschool schedules is the one without structured lessons! Perhaps take this time to spend time together and see where the day goes without homeschooling on the daily schedule.
- Just Don’t. You heard me right go ahead and just take a break! Many homeschooling parents take off the entirety of December, or at least most of the month to allow for participating in fun holiday events. Homeschooling is meant to serve you and your family. If you let it or your schedule rule you then things are backward. Don’t worry – taking a few weeks off during the holidays isn’t going to ruin your child’s year.
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About the Series
Where'd my instruction manual go??? I know we've all wondered that about parenting and homeschooling! Join us as we chat about the big stuff and everything in-between! Helping homeschoolers with practical teaching tips to find all they need to Homeschool and Love it!!