Homeschooling During the Holidays

When it comes to the holidays every homeschooling family continues in their studies differently. Surprisingly enough, we are that family that normally doesn’t get caught up during the holidays.

The hustle and bustle of shopping, prepping for family arrival, meal prep, decorating, holiday card making, we’ve kind of moved away from the commercialized feel of the holidays. We’ve gone 8 years without a Christmas tree and our Christmas dinner was from KFC this past year. I know we’re pretty horrible when it comes to the Christmas Spirit. As parents we wanted to preserve the real meaning of Christmas keeping it about spirituality and the birth of Jesus Christ. The kids did at least perform in a Christmas Program at our church.

With all that said, we have missed out on some traditional holiday fun like card making, baking, Christmas story reading….and for this reason I believe we’ll do it differently this year. There are so many options to consider in regards to your schedule during the holiday months. You can take our lead as I share with you how we plan to change it up a bit or chose your own. Here’s my take…

You can:

1. Follow the public school schedule:

The public school will usually take 2 weeks off in December. We’ve never really done it this way. We’ve valued the flexibility of being homeschoolers way too much to follow suit. Although, there is consistency in knowing that when the public school kids are out they won’t be knocking on your door to play with your kids during school hours. This sometimes causes a few temper tantrums at my house on teacher workdays and other holidays. Now, I present those kiddos with the opportunity to join us. They started coming around a lot less.

2. School through the month of December:

Homeschooling families have the flexibility of totally ignoring those two weeks off and treating them like regular school days. We’ve done this for years, especially when the husband wasn’t home during the holidays due to military training or deployment. So, we’d use our home school days to keep us busy and occupied. We’d acknowledge Christmas Eve and Christmas but hit the books right after.

3. Have a modified December Schedule

This is the option that I believe most homeschoolers fall under when considering the holidays. I believe this time, instead of pushing through each homeschool day we will do half days. It will look something like two subjects a day. We’ll most likely do math and phonics on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. Then we’ll do History and Science on Tuesday and Thursday. This will literally take 1.5 hours or less each day. Normally we would do all those subjects in a day. But during the whole month of December we will do half days in order to maintain a routine. And if we happen to not get to it, I won’t stress about it either.

We’ll do a modified schedule this way we can take advantage of opportunities to do more holiday spirited activities.  During the holiday time, don’t forget to count some of the more non-traditional “school” activities as learning hours too. Here are some activities we want to add:

  1. Decorate our classroom
  2. A Holiday Unit Study
  3. Read Christmas Stories
  4. Look for more volunteer opportunities
  5. Caroling at nursing homes
  6. Christmas Parties with friends
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