How Do You Fit Homeschooling Into the Holidays?Laurie
The month of December is filled with activities and possibly stress, too. Shopping, gift wrapping, baking, visiting family, sending cards, decorating, family photos, and all of the other preparations that come with the joyous Christmas season sometimes interfere with the best laid homeschool plans. However, part of the joy of homeschooling is the flexibility of teaching our children on our own schedule.
Remember that in addition to teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, we are also teaching our kids to have a happy and prosperous life. They need to learn to handle the good stress that comes with the busy holiday season. What better way to do it than to start at home with real life?
Here’s how you can get through your holidays with minimal stress without missing out on homeschool hours.
We all know that the holidays can cause stress although usually it’s a stress caused by positive things. Cleaning for out-of-town visitors, finding the perfect gift, keeping the cat out of the Christmas tree are the types of things which can make us worry. To help reduce your own stress, consider drawing the kids into the bustle of the season, doling out age-appropriate responsibilities and encouraging suggestions and advice which you might not have thought of yourself.
Each year, I dread the month of December because it always derails my happy homeschool progress. We begin full force in September, and we’re all excited to learn. By December, the kids and I are ready for a break. Inevitably, preparing for Christmas becomes a month-long vacation that makes resuming school in January a difficult task.
However, I discovered that if we continue schooling in December, returning to our regularly scheduled lessons in January is not such a headache.
Here are some ways to add learning into your month:
- Language Arts: Ask the kids to address the envelopes for the Christmas cards. It’s good practice in handwriting and an important skill of its own.
- Math: The old adage “Measure twice, cut once” applies to wrapping presents. Children can estimate how much paper they think will be needed to wrap a box and use a measuring tape to find the true length. Lessons can extend to shapes, symmetry, and surface area. Google wrapping presents math lesson for more ideas.
- Science: The kitchen is the heart of the home and often the center of our science lessons. Red Star Yeast has a fabulous site for teaching the science of yeast, for example.
- Bible: While the Christmas season is rife with opportunities for teaching about Jesus’s birth, you can also use your bread baking experiments as an opportunity to discuss unleavened bread, so often mentioned in the Bible.
- History: You can always delve into the history of the season: the Biblical story of the nativity and our traditions of decorating a Christmas tree, singing carols, and hanging mistletoe.
By incorporating lessons into your everyday activities during the month of December, you can continue with your children’s learning using an adjusted homeschool plan. In addition to teaching them important lessons about school subjects, you’ll also be showing them how to cope with the happy stress of the season.
How do you manage the busy Christmas season without derailing your homeschool plans?