Finally the tree is back outside, dropping its needles somewhere other than my livingroom. Nothing remains of the cookies but a few crumbs. And the Wiseman have been squeezed back into the box with the nutcracker. Now, what were we doing before all the Christmas chaos hit? Oh – homeschooling, that’s right.
I was shocked to find how quickly the holidays brought our homeschooling routine to a halt. Nobody had told me this would happen! Was this a homeschool fail on my behalf? Plenty of late night blog reading lead me to realize I wasn’t alone. I owe all the bogging homeschool parents out there a big ole “Thank You”. The time you took to share your experiences of Christmas past and present was a tremendous help to us newbies who are hoping to figure out how to navigate Christmas future. Here are my favorite tidbits of advise gathered from others which I will be using this year.
Don’t plan to continue your normal homeschool routines during the month of December. Some parents do no school in December. Others do only reading and math, placing all other curriculums on hold. Either way, December is full of life learning – take advantage of it. Math, reading, social studies, art, science or music. Chances are you can touch on all of these subjects as you decorate the house, wrap gifts, mail cards, bake cookies, plan family events, attend holiday events, participate in charity or whatever else your family may do during the holiday season. It’s okay to give your self a break from homeschool routines during this busy time. Give yourself room to breathe. Allow yourself the flexibility that homeschooling offers.
Do a Christmas unit study. I am so excited about this! Short, sweet, fun but constructive. Learn about one of your own Christmas traditions or learn about somebody else’s. I have a feeling this will add to the excitement of the season for my young learner.
Plan for your Christmas obligations in advance. Now I realize the word obligations seems harsh when we are talking about a season which is suppose to be all about joy, love and giving. However, let’s face it – us mama’s are often the ones making sure family traditions happen and presents get under the tree. But completing all those tasks between Thanksgiving and Christmas may be a bit overwhelming if your kids aren’t being shipped off to school for hours each day.
Last week I thought about what preparing for Christmas consist of for me. I made a list in the back of my planner. Then I chose the things which I would like to do in December in order to truly enjoy the holiday. Things like decorate the house, listen to Christmas music, wrap gifts and snuggle on the couch to read with my daughter made the list. Everything else got distributed to other months. And not just mentally. I actually wrote the other items into my planner so that I can be accountable to my strategy.
October got Christmas cards, which I will drop in the mailbox in December. November got cookies which will freeze until needed. January through June got the majority of the Christmas shopping list – which will mostly be order online and delivered to my doorstep. I love making gifts – so I sorted through the projects I planned for this year and found the ones which can be incorporated into homeschooling – making the most out of an activity I’d be doing anyways. I’ll post more on that later.
This past year, as I raced through the stores the week before Christmas, I thought about how much easier all of this would be if I just enrolled my kiddo in school next year. Ouch. That is why I plan to put forth a truly concerted effort to apply the advise which more experienced homeschool parents so graciously shared this Yuletide. My hopes are high that next Christmas will be different. Next Christmas will be a time when I am extra glad that we’ve chosen to educate at home.