Homeschooling through the holidays is a unique thing. Sure, it can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! In fact, with some creativity, you can make the holidays one of the BEST times to teach all year! I asked some of my homeschooling, blogging friends to share their best homeschooling tips to survive the holidays. I hope you enjoy their savvy advice. I know I sure did!
Be sure to check out my holiday homeschooling posts as well! You can read my tips there!
Here are Six Tips From Some Fantastic Homeschooling Bloggers:
Remember why you started homeschooling. It surely wasn’t to check off a curriculum to-do list or stay so buried in books that you missed out on experiences. No, more likely it was to embrace those special, impromptu moments that happen when you’re home together and to have more opportunities to disciple your kids. Let the holiday season be one of joy that aligns your purpose in homeschooling instead of a curriculum agenda. Enjoy the hot cocoa conversations, the late-night sharing of dreams by the Christmas lights, and the wonder of worshipping the baby Jesus. Reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic will be there in the new year, but you only have so many holidays together before they’re grown. ~ Lisa GracefulAbandon.
Holidays are a great time to incorporate foreign language into your homeschool, even if you don’t usually study a foreign language. Christmas is an especially fun time because there are so many resources available to choose from. And, because you’d normally do things like listen to Christmas carols, do some Christmas crafts, read some Christmas stories, and watch some Christmas movies, it’s not much extra effort to do them in a foreign language. I made this list to help you get started naturally incorporating foreign language activities into your holiday celebrations. ~ Lisa, High Energy Homeschooling
I’m homeschooling two boys, ages twelve and eighteen. We’ve been homeschooling for a few years. I always schedule their holidays off to coincide with the public school. That way they can hang with their friends and their sister who’s in public school this year. We’re super flexible during that time. We use it to decorate, do holiday shopping, make treats, and watch Christmas movies. My best tip is to be flexible, have fun, and focus on the reason for the season. Take every opportunity to glorify God! ~ Annie, Daily His Disciple
We shift gears to focus on Advent. Though we still complete learning in Math, History, Foreign Language and Grammar, we shift our reading time to be in books about the season and our science co-op takes a break so we can focus more on activities related to the holiday season. We have done various things over the years. We have made a “Jesse Tree” to look at the history of Jesus’ earthly line. This year we are doing a paper chain of blessing. Jesus came to free us from the chain of sin and we are blessed by Him to be a blessing to others, so we are writing twenty-four things we can do to bless others and each day we will pull off a chain – in a countdown towards Christmas – and do that activity. This doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy or require a small support staff to pull off. We can go caroling and bring cookies to the women at the mission or elderly in a nursing home. We can bring supper to a neighbor. We can put a surprise on someone’s porch. We can look around for someone who needs cheering up and spend time with them. The point is to focus on all God blesses us with and then use it to bless others. As you all know, Christmas is a time when kids (all of us) can get focused on what they will get. This practice helps them focus on what they have already received and what they can give from the overflow of their own blessings. I hope you heard perfectionism isn’t a part of this tradition or any other. If you miss a day – or six – just pick it up and go forward. We’re not checking off boxes; we’re shaping hearts and lives. ~ Patty, Hearts Homeward
Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t think you have to be doing those things that you think “all” the other moms are doing. Stay in your lane. Homeschool by faith, asking the Lord what He wants *you* to do this holiday season and what your kids need right now. As for what extra activities to add on during this season, ask your kids what spells “Christmas” to them. You don’t have the time and energy to do “all” the things this season in addition to schooling and everything else. So, to cut down on stress for everyone while still making the season special, festive, and important for your kids, find out what they would most enjoy doing. Is it baking Christmas cookies? Making gingerbread houses? Going to look at Christmas lights? Make a plan to focus on just doing primarily those Christmas activities that truly mean the most to your children and start ahead of time (like, now! 😊) plugging those activities into your December calendar so you can see what will truly work for your family. Also be willing to pare back on the schoolwork load if need be – remember that one of the beauties of homeschooling is that you are the master of your schedule, not the other way around. And, finally, remember the true reason for the season and maybe kill two birds with one stone by having a lot of your homeschool study this time of year be on looking at the history of Jesus’ birth, the geography of Israel, etc. etc.” ~ Rebekah, Hargraves Home and Hearth
Homeschooling through the holidays can be challenging but it doesn’t have to make your homeschool unproductive. We can all get very distracted and sidetracked easily, not just the kids, right? To keep our homeschool fun and engaging during the holidays, we add lots of Christmas related homeschool activities like unit studies, advent activities, crafts, baking, writing cards listening to Christmas music, etc. To make sure our homeschool will still be productive in the midst of all the fun, I created these awesome Christmas Kids’ Checklist that helps my kids be more independent and focused on what needs to get done. Of course, they get rewarded with hot chocolate, cookies and more Christmas fun activities when they accomplish their school work and return their checklists checked at the end of the day. ~ Ana They Call Me Blessed
These ladies have some amazing wisdom and spoke to my heart! They made me realize that the beauty of homeschooling is the ability to be flexible. As homeschoolers, we have the privilege to bend our schedules to make them fit what we want to teach.
Don’t be overwhelmed this holiday season! Instead, use these resources as a mean to do something different and lasting with your kids!