The holidays are quickly approaching with the hustle and bustle of the season. Plan to spend 30 days of intentional time with your family begin this year's Holiday Homeschool Countdown. How is this possible without losing your mind? Easy peasy! Use the Holiday Homeschool Countdown Calendar and remember, keep it simple! No complicated, crazy expectations for any day should be allowed to creep into your merry mind. Think of the next month as a four-part series to holiday family fun that will be remembered long after the tinsel is off the tree.
Be Thankful and Spread Gratitude
- Remember Thanksgiving past. Family members can share favorite memories or favorite Thanksgiving locations from previous years. This is a great time for older generations present to share historical, family information. Motivated homeschoolers can jot these memories down as the first page of a Holiday Countdown Journal.
- Pass on a Thanksgiving blessing. This holiday of gratitude is passed, but it is a long weekend for those who are struggling. Reach out to a widow or a single mother with a small grocery or fuel gift card. Put your thinking caps on to come up with the recipient and a blessing sure to bring a smile.
- Create a Holiday Recipe Cookbook. Are there certain dishes on the holiday table every year? Are there recipes that only appear during the holiday season? Send the crew to the kitchen and collect all the recipes used for this annual tradition in years past. Rewrite recipes onto holiday recipe pages or holiday recipe cards that can be bound together for a keepsake that will be passed down for generations. (This is a great time to practice math skills by doubling recipes where needed.)
- Share Sweets for Smiles. Plan to share dessert, cookies, or a pie at a local nursing home. Chances are there are patients at the facility that were shut in for the Thanksgiving weekend and had no visitors. Share sweets and a smile. Musical talent in your household? Bring along your instrument and play a song to brighten the day.
- Write a holiday poem or prayer. The homeschool crew can each write their own or work on it as a team. Record the final draft on cardstock and frame it.
- Support our military with cards this holiday season. Gather card making supplies around the house. Thank a soldier for his or her service during this extra special time of year. Holidays for Heroes directs special delivery to soldiers through local chapters of the Red Cross.
- Start a December Picture Journal. Keep it simple! Assign roles for this project. Decide on an app or online resource to use such as Shutterfly or Chatbook. Assign one person to set up the virtual folder to collect the photos. Make one person responsible for snapping one picture each day through December 25th. Another family member should be in charge of writing a caption or journaling the picture. When this family task is complete, take advantage of after-Christmas sales to publish the book as a keepsake from the holidays.
Plan Intentional Family Time
- Go on a nature walk to collect pinecones, acorns, sticks, and other natural treasures. Record findings in the Holiday Countdown Journal.
- Cover the finds from yesterday's natural walk with peanut butter and birdseed. Hang the treats outside as a seasonal gift to all the critters.
- Plan a family game night. Set a time for this special event and encourage everyone to unplug from all other distractions.
- Build a snowman. If the weather is right, make it a family affair. It doesn't matter if you have snow or not! Use marshmallows, cotton balls, or anything white and fluffy.
- Hold a family holiday dance. Put on festive outfits and play favorite seasonal music. Dance, sing, and be merry!
- Pick a country and learn how the holidays are celebrated there. Enjoy the culture with music and a feast for a family meal planned by all.
- Hold holiday poetry tea time. Take advantage of audio poetry for an even easier plan. Pick up a holiday table cloth and make it a special treat.
Collect the Memories of Homemade Holidays
- Make a batch of Christmas cookies. Use a recipe from the Holiday Recipe Cookbook created a few weeks ago. (Note: Don't eat them all. Save some for tomorrow.
- Invite neighbors over for hot cocoa and cookies. No one around today? No worries. Pack up and head out to the park to share with new friends.
- String popcorn and hang outside on trees or bushes. Place near windows so everyone can watch feathered friends enjoy the treat.
- Play “Pin the Decorations on the Tree.” Using green poster board, cut out a large tree form. Let family members create ornaments from construction paper, glitter, glue, etc. Place two-sided tape on ornaments and take turns putting them on the tree while blindfolded.
- Make paper snowflakes and hang them everywhere! Get out the glitter glue and extra art supplies to be extra creative.
- Find an empty box and make a nativity diorama with materials found around the house. Use pipe cleaners, construction paper, and action figures!
- Create handmade ornaments for family heirlooms. Don't be complicated. Use extra printed photos and let everyone get creative! Be sure to have each artist sign and date their originals.
Stay Immersed in the Reason for the Season
- Read a nativity story. Make special plans for this family time. Read aloud beside a campfire or fireplace to set the scene.
- Watch a Christmas movie. Gather everyone together to make family favorite snacks. Snuggle up and enjoy cozy time together.
- Drive around town to look at light displays. Take advantage of live nativity scenes. Make the night special with a picnic on the go.
- Go online for a scavenger hunt. Find out why Christmas trees, candy canes, and pickles are all symbols of Christmas.
- Research hymns and favorite Christmas carols. Make plans to share the vocals at a local nursing home or a family get together.
- Write and act out a family play about the holiday. Assign different family members to parts. Record a video of the performance and keep it on a storage device.
- Host a Christmas camp-out. Bring the family together for a night of story telling amidst sleeping bags or pallets made beside the lighted tree. Love grows best in small spaces.
Merry Christmas To All
Christmas Eve is a memorable day for family traditions. In our house, each family member receives a gift on this day that includes pajamas, a special snack, and favorite hot beverage mix. The magic of the season is shared with a family read aloud of The Christmas Story.
Merry Christmas to All! Remember a loving family is the greatest gift of all.
Kimberly Travaglino, co-founder of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the creator of Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time in an RV. These Roadschool Moms record a live podcast to present resources that meet the challenges of today's roadschooler. Looking for a roadmap for your next learning adventure? Scroll through the RSM library on iTunes to find more than 150 podcast replays.