How to Successfully Homeschool During the Holidays
By the time you’re reading this, it will be October already! This year has been nutty, and I can’t believe it’s almost over. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been thinking about the holidays, and quite honestly, they can be a bit stressful. Why? Quite simply, I think it’s because we try to do TOO much, and it usually backfires. So, what’s a homeschooling family to do during the holidays?
First, I plan for the holidays all year long. I decided that not only do my kids need a break from schoolwork during that time of year, but so do I! Yes, that’s right. Mama needs a break to just enjoy the holiday season without even thinking about lesson plans or record keeping. It’s a time for me to also get caught up on anything I’ve gotten behind on like cleaning, record keeping, and regain any joy I’ve lost in the past few months. Yeah, I know. This probably doesn’t affect anyone else, hehe. I also sometimes use this time to do a Declutter. This reduces my stress level and makes the house more comfortable.
Secondly, in the weeks leading up to each holiday, I tweak our lessons to encompass the specific holiday. For example, the whole month of November we do tons of activities and learning all around Thanksgiving! I love THANKSGIVING, and this is a great opportunity to combine multiple subjects in one super fun study. We watch movies, learn history, read books, act out plays, and more. Some movies you might consider are The Mouse and the Mayflower and Drive Thru History. If you are a SchoolhouseTeachers.com member, there is a whole section of videos just for each holiday. We love this resource!
Thirdly, I get the kids involved in planning our holiday festivities. They get to help plan the menu, and each child gets to cook one dish themselves. It’s great life skill practice, and they love doing it! For example, one child will pick out the recipe for an apple pie, and they make it from start to finish. Of course, I help in any area they need, but they can say they made it themselves. It really increases their confidence. We follow a YouTube video series from Jase Townsend & Sons which shows entire holiday meals made the way they would have been when the Pilgrims made them. This is a fantastic history lesson which all our children love!
Lastly, I try to make the holidays fun and full of good memories. When I was in school, right around the holidays was stressful because we knew tests would be coming. In our homeschool, we don’t test (It’s not required.), and I try to reduce stress so they have happy thoughts surrounding these special times. We make cookies, deliver treats to family and friends, and go caroling, if able. Hot chocolate and campfires make up many of our fall and winter weekends.
Remember, you are a specialized home discipleship and learning center. You DON’T need to copy what public school does. Take your time this year and just relax and enjoy these times and seasons with your kids! You’re making memories, and those last a lot longer than any material object or completed worksheet!
Jenny is a wife to her amazing husband of 17 years and stay-at-home momma to 4 kids. She blogs at https://www.inconvenientfamily.com where she is learning that blessings aren’t always convenient.