Tips and Tricks to Keep Homeschooling Fun During the Holiday Season
How can you homeschool through the distractions of the holidays? It is possible, but it will take some work, and I’ve got some tips and tricks to keep homeschooling fun during the holiday season!
I’m a “retired” homeschooling mom, which means all of my kids have graduated high school. The holidays look so different now, but I definitely remember the hectic chaos that can ensue during the holidays.
It seems like from mid-October through New Years there is always something going on. Fall festivals, craft fairs, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, holiday parties, cookie exchanges, Christmas day, New Years – so many things to do. And take care of!
Plus there’s school work!
What’s a mom to do?
Tips to keep homeschooling fun during the holiday season:
- Expect little ones to be distracted
- Plan ahead for the things that have to get done
- Ask for help
- Lower your expectations
- Remember that different years bring different challenges (see tip above)
Our kids get distracted (& so do we)
Those bright, shiny decorations and all that candy and yummy food – how in the world can we all not get distracted? Remembering that it happens is part of the battle. And for any kids (or parents) who get overwhelmed with the extra sights and sounds, meltdowns may be more frequent. Awareness of this can help! See next tip for what to do.
You can get a planner or calendar online or write it on a piece of paper, but planning ahead can really help. Write down what is happening, when, and what you have to do or bring. Make grocery lists and add in whatever goodies you have to bake and take. Will you need help for younger kids or kids who need more down time? See the next tip for that!
Ask for help
Your husband, older kids, a mother’s helper, or best friend will help, but we as moms tend not to ask! So, ask for help in preparing for the holidays. Assign gift wrapping to older kids (see “lower expectations” for this one!), ask your husband to drive kids to play practice, hire a babysitter or mother’s helper to keep the kids entertained while you cook or shop. What do you need help with and what can you delegate?
Lower your expectations
This doesn’t mean nothing gets done or that things don’t get done right. This means you may need to slow down! Less homeschooling means more time together – personally one of my favorite things about homeschooling! Gifts don’t have to be wrapped like they came from a department store, and cookies can be cut and baked instead of made from scratch. (I’ve seen store bought cookies at cookie exchanges and guess what? I ate them!)
Is this a hard season?
This season may be emotionally, physically, or financially difficult for you and your family. Deal with where you are; you don’t have to live up to everyone’s expectations or those picture perfect movies. If we are honest about what we’re dealing with, it helps. Our kids adjust, and being open with them helps too.
Tricks to keep homeschooling fun:
- Incorporate homeschooling into everything you do
- Redefine what you will cover
- Lower expectations
- Put schoolwork on hold for a bit
Trick #1 – to keep homeschooling fun during the holiday season
If you’ve homeschooled for long, you know that we are teaching our kiddos all the time. Incorporating homeschooling into everything we do is already part of each day. Cooking – math and science, learning about holidays – history, and attending parties – life and social skills!
Trick #2 – redefine what you will cover
Can you combine topics? Is there a way you can do less of something (math problems, worksheets, etc.)? Look at what you will be covering during this time and see if you can change things around some. Or what busywork you can eliminate.
Trick #3 – realistic expectations
Just like in the tips section, weigh your expectations with reality. What has to get done versus what you want to get done. Prioritize, prioritize! Maybe instead of lowering expectations, we need to think of realistic expectations.
Trick #4 – take a break from schoolwork
Many homeschooling families take a few weeks off around the holidays. It just makes life easier for them. Talk to your spouse and kiddos and see if that could work for your schedule. It might be just the thing to keep homeschooling fun during the holiday season!
Keep the holidays fun
I hope these tips and tricks help you handle the holiday season. I know you’ve heard it before, but it’s true – one day you will look back on this time. What do you want to remember? Sure there will be some chaos (part of having kids), but I think being proactive can help you and your family enjoy the holidays and even have fun!
How do you handle the holidays?
What do you do during the holidays? Do you have any tips or tricks you want to add to what I’ve mentioned? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
Hi, I’m Jen, a “retired” homeschool mom with 13 years of homeschooling under my belt. I love to help homeschoolers and educators of all kinds find great curriculum and learn more about educating our kids! I teach Oral Communication as an adjunct instructor, I’m a freelance writer, and I write and sell curriculum at History at Home at TeachersPayTeachers & Boom Learning. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with family!