This post is for letter “C” in the 2016 ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays. To see a full list of posts, click here.
The holidays are quickly approaching and with them bring many extra responsibilities for most of us. We have gifts to buy, decorations to put up, extra family gatherings to attend, cookies to bake, and so on. There is much to organize, much to prepare, and much to do. So, it can be overwhelming to try to keep up the regular homeschool lessons over the holidays.
Fortunately, you don't have to continue regular lessons. In fact, there are many ways that you can homeschool over the holidays without losing your mind trying to juggle it all.
Here are 4 Ways to Homeschool During the Holidays:
1 – Continue as Usual
One way to handle homeschooling during the holidays is to press on. Sure, maybe you will take an extra day off here and there for shopping or baking or making homemade Christmas gifts… but other than that, you continue to do your regular schoolwork with your children.
If you subscribe to this philosophy, it will give you the flexibility to take a day off in the spring when it first gets warm, or to take a mental health day occasionally when you or your kids need one. This option also allows you to take family vacations during the off-season when most children are stuck in school… giving you cheaper rates as well as less crowded vacation destinations!
2 – Modified Lessons
Another way to handle homeschooling during the holidays is to modify your current lessons in order to give your family more time for your additional holiday responsibilities. You might decide to continue with only math, writing, and reading and to drop everything else. Or, you might want to focus on one or two subjects a day. The sky's the limit on this one. This option allows you to keep moving forward in your subjects over the holidays and is a good one for moms who have a tendency to feel “behind” as the year progresses.
3 – Unit Studies
A third way to homeschool over the holidays is to stop the regular lessons and to focus on something completely different. December can be a great time to study Christmas traditions from around the world. Or to teach your kids about all of the symbolism surrounding the holidays. You may also decide to focus on character development as you search for ways for your family to serve others. Or you can take some time to focus on subjects that your kids would really enjoy such as Knights and Princesses in Medieval England, Astronomy, or Exploding Science.
4 – Take a Break
Another option is for you to take a break from homeschool lessons altogether. Public and private schools take several weeks off of school for a Christmas Vacation – and a few weeks after that they'll have Mid-Winter Break, Spring Break, Summer Break and so on… As a homeschooler, should you let your children take this time off of school as well? There are two ways to look at it, and they are both a personal preference.
One way to think of normal school vacations is to acknowledge all of the work that you and your children have been putting in for the past several months and to allow yourselves to take a break. It is good to have time off occasionally to allow your children and yourself some rest. Breaks are also a great time to let your children read books they'd enjoy, for reading classics aloud to them, and for them to pursue activities that interest them.
Breaks are also a great time to let your sons play – don't underestimate the importance of play for children. Especially for boys! They need time for physical activity every day. If you live in an area that receives snow, let them spend some extended time playing outside in it. Before you know it, it'll be spring and they'll have to wait another 9 months for snow – so let them enjoy it while it's here.
To continue or not to continue? It's up to you how you handle schoolwork during the Christmas season. The flexibility of homeschooling is an awesome gift. Whichever method you decide to follow, be sure to enjoy each and every season with your kids! We should never feel compelled to take off every school break – nor should we feel that we can never take a break. Like most of life, we need to try to stay balanced in this area so that we can enjoy the life and the family that we've been given. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Question: How about you? Do you take breaks over the holidays or do you continue on? Does it vary from year to year? Please leave a comment below.
Michelle Caskey has been married to her best friend for 18 years. She is also a homeschool mom to her two wonderful (and tall) sons. Michelle is a Christian, she loves to read, and she loves her chocolate. She enjoys drinking spicy Chai tea in the morning and she has a hard time staying out of the snacks at night. You can find her blogging at www.homeschool-your-boys.com. Her mission is to encourage and inspire parents as they homeschool their boys.
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