Why did you decide to homeschool your children? For many families, one of the most appealing aspects of homeschooling is the flexibility that it affords. While some families choose to homeschool to accommodate their children’s extra-curricular activities (hello, future gymnasts and singing stars!), others opt to homeschool for academic, religious, or social reasons. No matter what your reasoning, it can prove challenging to maintain a homeschool routine during the holidays. In fact, figuring out how to homeschool during the holidays can be more stressful than the school work itself. If you’re worried about fitting it all in during this busy time of year, relax. Here are 5 tips to help you homeschool during the holidays.
5 Tips for Homeschooling During the Holidays
1. Get Out the Calendar
Before you start fretting, take a deep breath and pull out the calendar for the holiday months. Mark off the day before, of, and after the holiday itself. Trust me, you are not going to get work done during those three days, so give yourself permission to just cross them off now. Next, write down the obligations, commitments, and parties that you have already planned. If you need to take the entire day off for those activities, go ahead. The beauty of homeschooling is that no one is going to be upset if you don’t homeschool the day after a family shindig. You might also want to take the entire week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Go crazy and do something homeschool moms tend not to do…give yourself a break!
2. Plan Ahead
Once I have it down to the days that I’ll be homeschooling during the holidays, I plan them out. I get all of the lessons put into our online planner, make sure that the materials are gathered, and focus on the learning and fun. If I’m organized enough (ha!), I actually do this the week before Thanksgiving, so it’s one less thing to worry about.
3. Plan Fun
When I’m planning, I make sure to incorporate some fun holiday lessons and activities. Those memories that are made during the holiday season are priceless. If it takes all day to construct a graham cracker house and decorate it, I’m okay with that. Besides, graham cracker houses are a great opportunity to talk about perimeter and geometry – love those sneaky math lessons!
4. On the Go
Sometimes the holiday season has us going in a lot of different directions – literally. Traveling to see relatives, for example, is wonderful, but if you want to get some homeschooling done during that time, it’s important to plan for it. Make sure that the lessons you have scheduled are ones that can be easily taken along on your travels. Lapbooks with tiny pieces, glue, and scissors might not be the best option during this time. It might be better to stick with activity packets or workbooks instead.
5. Remember What Matters
Yes, homeschooling lessons can be done during the holidays, but don’t forget what the season is all bout. Embrace traditions, make ornaments, spend time baking cookies, snuggle with holiday books, or watch a holiday movie while drinking cocoa. The lessons learned from being together as a family are just as, if not more important than anything found in your homeschool curriculum. In fact, the love you show and the traditions you share with your children are the lessons that will last a lifetime.
This holiday season, enjoy the freedom that homeschool can bring to your family’s schedule. Take the time to love more, smile more, bake and create more, and teach your children the lessons that they will carry with them through their lives. Homeschooling during the holidays might be when the most important lessons of the entire school year are taught.