This post is part of the 2018 Homeschooling Through the Holidays series.
The holidays are right around the corner, which is exciting as a homeschooling family. Homeschooling gives an opportunity to keep traditions alive and focus on teaching our kids. One of the most important things we can teach our kids are life skills. A life skill is something that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life, and what better way to teach them than through organic learning?
Study Different Cultures and Traditions
We all have our own traditions, which is so much fun. However, what if we took the time to learn about other cultures and traditions? Every day our kids are going to come into contact with people who have different experiences. In our home, we celebrate both American and British holidays, and other families think that’s interesting. Why not take some time to interview other families who celbrate their own unique traditions and learn more about them? Need some other oher ideas?
- Read books on how people around the world celebrate Christmas and other holidays
- Spend a day baking a dish from another country in honor of the upcoming holidays
Let Your Kids Into the Kitchen!
A life skill that carries throughout every child’s life is cooking. While you’re trying to homeschool through the holidays, why not cook with your kids? When you cook with your children, it forces you to let your guard down. You teach your kids and they have fun along the way. When the holiday season hits, it is as though the cooking never stops. Coming from a large family, I have many fond memories of cooking with my grandmother or helping my sisters around the kitchen. Stories are a great way to bridge generation gaps and to pass down traditions. Growing up, I always knew that I would hear something interesting about a older relative’s young years while learning a favorite family recipe or a new cooking tip at the same time.
Try to Focus on the Important Stuff
Let’s face it, during the holidays, we as homeschoolers are pulled in every direction. While it’s vital to teach our children traditions and life skills, we also need to give them time to focus on what matters.
- Give your children downtime so they can spend time reading.
- Allow your children to make homemade decorations and give them their own space to decorate in the home. Making decorations is also a great way to work on fine motor skills!
- Allow your children to have time to enjoy the day without having to be somewhere every second of every day.
- Cut out the day to day activities over the holidays (focus more on family time and traditions you’re building as a family).
Focus On What Your Kids are Learning
Homeschooling can be hard when day to day life gets in the way. Big family dinners, having to go here, having to go there, and everything else that goes along with the holidays. Don’t be concerned though because you don’t think your kids are learning, take a step back.
Your kids are learning. They are still reading, writing, and doing math. Sure, school may not look like it did at the start of the school year, but your kids are still learning and growing, even if it’s the holiday season.
A huge life skill to teach your kids is to slow down and enjoy the journey. It’s not always about what you can squeeze into your day, but about stopping to savor the season!
Homeschooling through the holidays is such an important part of homeschooling. Our kids are getting an inside look at how we respond to holidays and stress, and if that’s not enough, here are some highlights of other things they’re learning:
- Budgeting for Christmas gifts
- Cooking and baking for the upcoming holidays
- Slowing down from our regular activities, but still reading and doing small school tasks
- Getting into the kitchen to learn something new because cooking is life
- Taking the time to enjoy each other’s company
- Learning about other people’s traditions and cultures because it helps us add to our own
Homeschooling through the holidays can be approached as being stressful, or you can focus on family traditions and building skills at the same time. You’ll come out of the season refreshed and feeling productive.Take a deep breath, stay calm, and enjoy the ride!
Author Bio: Andrew and Sara Elizabeth are the creators of Skill Trek, a comprehensive life-skills curriculum that prepares children and teens for the playground, the workplace and everything in between. Parenting both typically developing and special needs children, they created Skill Trek to be customizable and flexible meeting each child where he or she is developmentally. To learn more and keep up with the latest, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagra