The Only 2 Tips You Need to Thrive Through the Holidays
Homeschooling Through the Holidays
There are many amazing blogs that have great tips for homeschooling through the holidays. I read them too and even though I am "retired" from homeschooling, those holiday blog posts always get me in the spirit.
But when I was thinking about what to share here on the Homeschooling With Unit Studies blog for Homeschool Complete, it occurred to me that we all really only need two things to thrive through the holiday season in our homeschools.
Debra (the Homeschool Complete Curriculum Creator) and I are both veteran home educators as well as former classroom teachers, so between us we have loads of education experience and many holiday seasons.
We want to share the things we have learned to inspire you and make your homeschool days easier.
So here is our "secret" to homeschooling through the holidays and loving it!
1) Let Go
2) Let's Roll
Now at first glance the two phrases may seem contradictory, so let me explain a little about what they mean to me.
First, "Let Go" - really it simply means relax a little.
Relax the schedule, relax the academics, reduce your "schooling" to the core subjects or spend the season unschooling for a set period of time. They will be learning, trust me, because you also include the "Let's Roll" part of our sage homeschool advice!
Second, "Let's Roll" - this means mostly what it sounds like. Get out and do some holiday activities, or stay in with some hot cocoa and make Christmas ornaments. Either way, this time of year is your chance to roll with the fun things!
Tips for Letting GoThe first thing to do when letting go is to remember that the perfect Christmas that you are picturing in your head will only exhaust you if you try to attain it, because it is not realistic. The perfect decorations, tree, children, husband and relatives not only don't exist, but would be boring compared to real life!
Let go of comparing your holiday to the pictures you see on Pinterest and Instagram and enjoy the real-life, unfiltered versions.
Let go of some of the academics. Reduce your schedule to the core subjects so that you can add in some new life experiences, create family traditions, read "A Christmas Carol" together, and add in some hands-on learning.
If you are already really great at "Letting Go", get a little crazy and set aside the workbooks altogether; opting for "rolling" with some real life learning during the holidays.
Ways to Roll
Glitter it up!Let the kids focus on creating crafts, ornaments, or gifts for family members. This is a great chance for them to use their creativity and for you to keep them "unplugged" working on their projects while listening to some Christmas tunes or a great read aloud.
Let the games begin!Add games of all kinds: board games, educational games or silly physical indoor & outdoor games. Games may be fun, but they also help kids learn math skills, creative thinking, logic and other valuable skills.
Cook & Bake up a storm!Holidays are a great time for them to practice this life skill. Family recipes, create traditions that will last a lifetime.
We have special holiday foods that have been passed down to our family from great, great grandparents who came over to the United States from Europe.
If you don't have a secret family recipe, be the one to start the tradition and pass it on to your children.
Cooking and baking will teach them to follow directions, use sequencing skills, math and measuring skills. Plus, you are preparing them for life.
Get out of the house!If you are a homebody and don't do many field trips, this is the time to plan some museum visits, a historical day trip or any fun trip you have put off so they could get through that curriculum!
You have already let go of some of that right? So go ahead and get to the Science museum, the library, the art museum or out for a movie.
If you are on a budget, load them up one night and take them driving to look at the neighborhood Christmas lights. Visit the state park or a free historical venue and invite some friends over to watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn.
There are great things to get out and do and that is how you roll, at least until January!
Resources for a Little Structure
We all have to "let go" at our own comfort levels. Our families are all different and so are some seasons of life. If you are in a place where you need a little structure or you want to save time by having someone else to do the planning for you, you may want to take a look at the Homeschool Complete Christmas Unit Study.
It includes Christmas themed lesson plans from a Biblical perspective for all the subjects (grades K-6). It has plans for holiday craft and activity ideas, fun educational games you can print out, and loads of book ideas for each age group.
It is planned with a four day academic focus, with the fifth day for fun projects and learning. It is intended to last 2 weeks, but it is a flexible plan and can be used with multiple children and for multiple years.
Learn more about this holiday unit study HERE.
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Written By: Merit Kirkpatrick