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 lots of gift shopping and preparation to get done. How to homeschool amid everything? While it can seem overwhelming, this is truly one of the areas where homeschooling shines brightest. This time of year is the best opportunity for homeschoolers to take advantage of its benefits –mainly, the freedom from a strict schedule!
Now, that’s fine to say in theory, but what about when your schedule gets behind and the lessons build up? Truth be told, 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, and you won’t regret spending those moments together playing, reading, baking, visiting, or creating crafts. Many homeschooling parents take off the entirety of December, or at least most of the month to allow for participating in fun holiday events. Your holiday homeschool schedule is meant for enjoying the little moments and time with family.
Before we get into a few tips from our personal experience with homeschooling through many holiday seasons, let’s chat about a few wonderful holiday homeschooling resources!
10 Magical Holiday Homeschooling Resources
The holidays can be tough for a lot of people. It’s supposed to be a time of joy, cheerfulness, and warmth from family members, but that’s not a reality for everyone. For many, the holidays are stressful. People are in a rush, money is short, and illnesses begin circulating on top of the holiday chaos itself. Whether you are homeschooling children with special needs, you just want to cut down on the stress this year, or you’re looking for ways to keep this holiday season educational, we have several resources for you.
- Real Advice on Helping Special Needs Children Through the Holidays
- Tips to Make the Holidays Enjoyable for Those with Asperger’s Syndrome
- 5 Ways to Embrace the Holidays with Simplicity
- The Holidays are the Perfect Time to Teach Social Skills
- Homeschooling through the Holidays
- STEM — Holiday Science!
- 4 Ways to Inspire Your Writers During the Holidays
- Keep the Learning Going: Holiday Prep is a Family Adventure!
- Holiday Boredom Busters
- STEAM Experiments: Holiday Version!
- Make Memories with Holiday Crafts for Kids
4 Pro Tips for Your Holiday Homeschool Schedule
Homeschooling during the holidays is an excellent example of how homeschooling can be adapted to your lifestyle. Many times, new homeschooling parents feel stressed about keeping up with the schedule regardless of any changes in their daily life. This is especially common if families have recently switched from public school, or simply haven’t adjusted to the boundless opportunities of freedom. If you fall within this mindset, let me calm your fears. It’s okay to slow down, relax, and take a break from the regular book learning. Even if you haven’t made as much progress as you would have liked by January, that is okay, because with homeschooling, there really isn’t a deadline for summer either! So take a deep breath. Enjoy your holidays! Here are our four main tips for relaxing your homeschool schedule during the holidays.
Incorporate Learning as Part of Your Daily Living
One of the best ways to relax your homeschool for the holidays is to look for natural ways to include learning in your daily living! Homeschoolers are practically experts at spotting the educational opportunity in nearly any activity. Consider the places you’ll be visiting or your pending holiday checklist. How can you emphasize their educational aspects? Here are a few of our favorite ideas!
- Field Trips. For example, shop for Christmas trees! Google “Christmas tree farms near me” to get started, and help your children learn about the different kinds of trees and why people would choose certain trees over others. Other ideas: gift shopping for calculating values, the best deal, and tracking money; or learn about geography while traveling to see relatives!
- Baking or Decorating. These are classic holiday activities! Involve your kids in the kitchen to teach them how to bake or cook, or even work on math with measurements and baking science! While the holiday goodies are in the oven, decorate the house together. Nothing makes a home feel more like the holidays than hanging the stockings and putting up the tree.
- Christmas or Winter Unit Studies. Take advantage of the seasonal learning moment by going over a unit study together! You could learn about the history of Christmas, or if you’d rather, consider a unit study on winter and why certain areas of the world experience harsher winters than others.
Relax the Schedule
If you are stressed about keeping up with lessons, truthfully, it’s going to make everyone grouchy this holiday season. We all need a break every once in a while. Take this as a chance to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the break or slower schedule.
- Read Aloud. Reading together in the living room, snuggled under blankets with a crackling fire and hot beverages is one of my all-time favorite ways to enjoy the holidays. Pick a few books this season and enjoy the quality time together!
- Solve puzzles. Puzzles are so much fun to work on as a family! They are a great way to spend a snowy afternoon, and they are addicting. Plus, they develop and improve visual-spatial reasoning!
- Enjoy science experiments OR make holiday crafts together. Though these two may seem unrelated, they’re both projects we can work on together as a family. The holidays are a great time to finally knock out those experiments you’ve been pushing aside this semester! Likewise, it’s a wonderful opportunity for creating unique crafts with your children. Better yet, help your kids make presents for friends and family!
Gameschooling is a fantastic way to help kids learn without the pressure of schoolwork. Games are non-judgmental and don’t revolve around grades or percentages. Children are free to “fail” without the fear of failure, and are consequently setup to try again and succeed. We all learn best when we are having fun anyway! As a final note, learning games are also wonderful gifts for fellow homeschoolers, in case you needed some gift inspiration this holiday season! Here are three engaging games to get you started.
YouTube is a fantastic resource for homeschoolers! With some research, you can find high-quality educational videos available on YouTube. This is a great way to relax your homeschool schedule over the holidays while including educational elements! YouTube is often a great supplemental resource for delight-directed learning as well. On that note, Khan Academy is also a fantastic free resource for educational videos!
There are several ways to explore the learning moments of everyday activities. Homeschooling during the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful or structured, which is another reason we love it! Our homeschool lifestyle enables us to enjoy every moment with our children, to slow down when we need it, to take breaks for holidays and visits with family, and to power through when we get back to the books. Hopefully, you have a few new ideas now for stepping back from the schedule where possible, and enjoying the holidays!
Listen to our Recent Podcast on Ways to Practice Gratitude in our Homeschool!
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