This is a sponsored post. It was written by Beth Ellen Nash.
In my 18+ years working with homeschooling families, I’ve found a tendency for families to take excessive time off from academics from the week before Thanksgiving all the way into January. Sometimes that time off is intentional, but many times it’s accidental and just happens. With the busyness of getting caught up in the day to day of the holidays, daily skill building work isn’t happening the way it should.
Here’s why it can be a problem to just take 4-6 weeks off… For all students, too much time away from academics creates problems in retention, discipline, and even confidence. And then those students who struggle need MORE time and more consistency, not less.
Anytime during the year, break the content into many small, varied chunks, so as not to become overwhelming. It should be at a “just-right level” in each learning strand so the student can experience success and build confidence. The brain needs adequate time to build the neural pathways, especially if overcoming deficits remaining from previous unsuccessful learning.
While we want to embrace the flexibility of homeschooling and enjoy the opportunity to make cookies and snowmen, we still need to tackle the core academic skills. Even if you can’t fit in a full day of academics, at least address those core subjects (math, reading, writing, spelling). This way, the student doesn’t lose too much ground, and neither one of you have to stress about catching up.
So how do you focus on academics during the holiday season? Here are our 6 tips for successfully homeschooling during the craziness of the holidays.
- Have a balance of things the child can do independently so that when Mom or Dad really get busy, the child can still keep making progress. Because when the parent is overburdened by life’s demands, it is easy for the work to just not get done, robbing the child of valuable learning time. And during the holidays, there is no extra time to go around.
- Plan fun holiday activities into your days ahead of time. This way, you already have holiday fun in your schedule, and you don’t have to take away from academic time when you have the urge to bake cookies or build snowmen. Enjoy the extra opportunities the holiday season provides! But don’t kid yourself by calling making cookies math. Just call it what it is, that you are being intentional about making memories together and embracing the wonderful flexibility homeschooling can provide.
- Be gentle on yourself. If you miss a day of academics, don’t beat yourself up. Just do better the next day. One advantage to this is that you’re modeling what happens in real life. Plans change; something unexpected happens, and how you respond teaches your child how to successfully maneuver when life doesn’t go as planned.
- Give you and your family permission to have a day or two of pure goof-off time. You don’t have to plan it for a specific day ahead of time, but just know you have it. For an even more fulfilling family experience, plan that goof-off time with your family, and consider using it as a reward for completing certain academic milestones or consistency of work leading up to your fun day.
- Combine holiday-themed activities and fun with academics. While baking cookies can’t really count as math, there are plenty of ways to incorporate holiday themes into academic work. A simple search on the Internet for “holiday activities for homeschoolers” will provide plenty of ideas.
- Be present with your children during all activities, both academic, fun, family, and holiday activities. Being fully present is the best gift you can give your child as well as yourself. More than likely, being a participant in your child’s academic experience was a big reason you decided to homeschool.
Our mission at Wings to Soar Online Academy is to break chains of failure, inadequacy, and shame associated with dyslexia and other outside-the-box learning needs. We address the whole person, building skills and confidence to thrive and succeed in school and life, not just survive.
In the spirit of the holidays, we are offering a giveaway to one lucky entrant which includes one-year access for one student to whichever combination of Moby Max (includes practice and gap filling for all K-8th subjects), RAZ Plus K-6th online audio supported library, Headsprout Reading, Dyslexia Gold (includes Fluency Builder, Spelling Tutor, and Engaging Eyes). Purchased separately these programs would cost $843! And that’s before you add the value of our usage reports, progress reports, email support, and weekly accountability.
While we can only offer one free Personalized Learning Online Curriculum Package, we wanted all of our entrants to get something. So, all entrants will receive any of our Intervention Specialist’s ten audios from our most popular workshops for FREE that can help provide further direction on your homeschool journey.
- Homeschooling for Outside-the-Box Learning
- Teaching All Kinds of Learners
- Taking Stock of What’s Working and What’s Not
- Spelling Tips and Multisensory Practice Ideas
- Dyslexia Outside-the-Box: A Refreshing Strengths Perspective
- Help and Hope for Dyslexics
- Learning Challenges That Often Go Together
- Phonological and Phonemic Awareness
- I Just Forgot! Attention and Memory
- Thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person
Whether you win the big giveaway package or not, we would love to help create your child’s Path to Success™ Online Personalized Learning Plan. Start by filling out the assessment request form at https://WingsToSoarOnline/free-assessment/. We’d love to partner with you on your child’s Path to Success Journey. To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. All entries will be verified. The giveaway period will close on 12/19/18 at 11:59pm EST. The winner will be announced the following day via email. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
All of us here at Wings to Soar Online Academy wish you and your family a happy, joyous holiday season.
About the author
Beth Ellen Nash is the Intervention Specialist at Wings to Soar Online Academy, where they focus on empowering outside-the-box learners through online Path to Success™ Personalized Learning Plans starting with helping you find your child’s “just-right level” through their free Just-Right Level™ Assessments.