The Homeschool Minute ~ Christmas Traditions

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Christmas Traditions
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,
Enjoy this season. Stop and look at the lights. Drive through the city or town if you can at night with your family and just make it a point to slow down and take it all in. It’s so pretty right now.

Really. Slow down. It will all get done. It always does. You are known for holding it all together. So take some time and just … rest and take it in.

Memories will be what you have in your old age. Make sure they are what they should be. You have to
make time for them

And have a Merry CHRISTmas!
~ gena
P.S. This is the FINAL week to be able to get the big PRINT annual magazine from the printer. The Old Schoolhouse® 2016 version – over 200 pages – with a $12.95 bar code for stores is only $10 which includes shipping since it’ll mail to you directly from the printer plant.
Hurry and grab yours – grab 10 for friends! 🙂

Relational Homeschooling    

Diana Waring

Dear Friends,
I remember reading, as a young mom, how important holiday traditions can be for families–how they can even provide an anchor for kids as they grow into adults, giving a sense of identity and belonging.
I still believe it’s true.
But, there is an unspoken issue that silently raises its ugly head when we talk about all of the wonderful Christmas traditions we can add to our life: the overwhelming feeling that you have to DO MORE, DO BIGGER, DO PERFECTLY!!!
Somehow, when we talk about this subject, the impossible vision of Susie Homemaker, with every hair in place and all of her children in matching, hand-sewn velvet dresses and jackets, all happily sitting around a gorgeously coiffured Christmas tree laden with the perfect gifts which will be opened after the delicious Christmas brunch of homemade cinnamon rolls and a salmon frittata–all with a glorious soundtrack in the background … it just makes you tired, doesn’t it? How do we keep up with that?
Here’s the deal, though. None of that is real. Even if someone takes a picture of this family, two seconds later, kids are arguing or the rolls are burning or something is happening to mar that vision.
So, let’s do real, shall we? What are some Christmas traditions that you can really do, that will delight you and your kids for years to come? What fits YOUR family, with all of your family’s eccentricities and unique qualities? What works with your environment and budget? What do you enjoy, what do your kids enjoy? There are clues in all of this for the kinds of Christmas traditions that will be sustainable and enjoyable. . .
For us, our traditions changed through the years as our kids got older.  When they were young, we hosted a Christmas Eve dinner for friends whose families lived too far away–we called it our “Orphans & Waifs Dinner.” Everyone dressed up, we feasted on great food, and, afterwards, everyone (from young to old) shared something they had prepared for the group. Some read poems or short stories, others played musical instruments, some told tales.
When we moved cross country, we created new traditions–particularly Christmas caroling. Since we had been doing concerts of American folk songs (from the History Through Music titles), singing difficult arrangements of Christmas music in four-part harmony seemed like a lot of fun for us.
Singing together might NOT sound like fun to you! And that’s okay, because each family has its own joys and its own strengths. All you need to do is find the traditions that are fun for your family. And then, dear ones, enjoy them!!
Remember, stay relational.
P.S. Check out today’s vlog––where I talk about my first three years of failure as a homeschool mom and the startling changes that happened as we discovered how to really LOVE learning!


Free eBook!
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The Familyman 

I am Mr. Christmas Tradition!!! When it comes to Christmas traditions, I like lots and often. The only problem with being Mr. Tradition is that it sometimes weighs heavily on my wife. After all, the brunt of carrying out all my traditions falls on her. I don’t mean for it to be that way, but that’s the burden you bear when you’re the most responsible, get’r done person in the family.

I tell her, “I’ll take care of it.” But she knows me and that I sometimes only jump into action a few minutes before the tradition is to begin. That drives a responsible, get’r done person nuts.

I could encourage all you Christmas tradition-loving people to be responsible, but that might not work, so instead I want to encourage you Christmas tradition types to toss a few of your traditions out the window. Do it for those who bear the weight of them.

So, announce that you’re not going to do … Christmas cards, the daily advent calendar, bake cookies for all the neighbors, or set out the 100,000 twinkling lights this year. I know it might hurt a little, but I’m betting it will make your responsible, get’r done spouse feel less weighted down.

Make your new motto, “Just because we do it this year doesn’t mean it’s a new tradition.”

Be real,

If you’ve put off getting your husband his daily calendar, we’re sold out!!! The good news is we’re printing a few more & still offering the calendar without the plastic base it sits on. That way your husband still gets all the content…just no fancy base.
Order it today because quantities are limited.


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If your kids are eager to have a few weeks off during the Christmas holiday but you are not quite so eager to have them sitting around playing video games, come over to the
Christmas Corner on
There are many different activities that can fill their time, and they don’t even have to realize they’re learning. There are Christmas videos for kids (some with worksheets) as well as for parents and families. The whole family can enjoy a gingerbread house lesson in Introduction to Architecture or learn about candy canes and the history of the Christmas tree in Ditch the Desk. If you’re looking to make some gifts for family and friends this year, check out Lesson Ten in the Photography class for photo gifts you can create or “Wonderful Christmas Gift Ideas and Art” in Studio Art for Teens.
For those cozy evenings by the fire or when you just feel like just relaxing with your kids, why not read some Christmas books that are listed in Michelle Miller’s Monthly Reading List or
The Quiltmaker’s Gift, which can be found in Literature Kits? Whatever you do, have a joyful Christmas holiday with your family!
If you aren’t a member, try for thirty days for only $1. Keep it and pay just $7.77/month or $100/year during our Winter Wonderland Sale and lock in that rate for as long as you keep your membership, no matter how many new classes and features we add.
One membership to serves your entire family, regardless of how many children you are homeschooling or their ages. There are
no per-child fees or additional fees for textbooks, and courses are not live, so you can start them at any time. If you or someone you know is interested in teaching a class on our site, please contact Executive Editor Bonnie Rose Hudson at


Christmas Toys Worth Buying
Christmas Toys Worth Buying
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse


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