Should you homeschool through the holidays? It is one of the greatest things about homeschooling–the choice to choose when we will be having school. If you are blessed with lots of family and holiday festivities to attend, it may be wise to take a step back and enjoy a bit of an extended break. If you are like me, however, the holiday season might mean that your husband has to work extended hours. Since everyone is wrapping up their activities for the holidays, you may find yourself with a little extra time on your hands. Sure, there is plenty to do. But homeschooling through the holidays can make the time more enjoyable and LESS stressful, if you plan accordingly. Here are some tips:
- Don’t try to do business as usual. Take a break from the mundane. You deserve it for making it this far! Plus, it can help you fight the winter blues. Focus instead on the festiveness of the season and have fun. You should still focus on the areas where your child needs the most work (usually reading and math). You can do an abbreviated study in these subjects and then skip ahead to the fun stuff. Or incorporate holiday reading and even holiday math when appropriate. I’ve heard that Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent is a fantastic chapter book for this time of year. We like to start the holiday season by making a paper chain to count the days until Christmas. We make a pattern with the chain and use it for counting as well. Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers are full of festive ideas.
- Choose your favorite Christmas stories or topics. They could be your favorite Christmas stories or cultural studies holidays and traditions around the world. I decided what we were going to focus on this year by dividing our books into categories and seeing what the library had to supplement. Just make sure that you aren’t trying to do too much. Be realistic about how much time you have. Once you have your topics nailed down, don’t forget to check out Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers once again!
- This is the perfect time of year to incorporate music. You can study Christmas carols or practice a little quiet listening. This is the perfect time to study Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker or Handel’s Messiah.
- It’s also the perfect time for Christmas art. You can put the crafts to good use by making them double as Christmas presents for family and friends. We try to have our kids make something for family members each year instead of just buying store-bought gifts from them. It is a special keepsake for the family and the kids are more invested than they would be if we just gave them money to buy something at the store. It’s usually cheaper too!
- Christmas is a great time for science! It sounds strange, I know. There are several Christmas science experiments that you could try with candy canes or other Christmasy items. You could even do Christmas nature studies about pine cones, poinsettias, evergreens, and winter. There is even Frankincense essential oil that you could research and test. There are DIY Christmas gifts that you can make with Frankincense essential oil too.
- Christmas baking counts as Home Economics, math, and science! Let them help you grocery shop and you have an added math lesson. You could do gingerbread house geometry and sugar cookie art as well. No matter what you are cooking, the children are measuring and learning life skills. Plus it helps you get the baking done during school hours!
- Writing is always fun at Christmas. If you don’t do letters to Santa, your children can help write a family Christmas letter. Thank you notes are a big hit after they receive gifts too. Short poems are fun this time of year too. Acrostics with Christmas words are super easy and fun.
- Most importantly, learn the true meaning of Christmas. There are so many things you can do for advent during your Christmas School journey. Pick your favorite advent to follow and start your homeschool day with what is most important.
You have a certain number of school days that you must do each year. Why not make some of them festive? Enjoy the time with your family and make memories that will last. Happy Christmas Schooling!
Do you homeschool through the holidays? If so, what do you like to study?