The magical holiday season is here. Time is racing by, there is so much to do. You want to savor this time with your children, but you don’t want to “fall behind.” How can you keep homeschooling through the holidays without burning out or missing out on holiday fun? Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum who has some beautiful thoughts on giving your heart this Christmas.
Homeschool Christmas Traditions
Traditions really are just so important, especially while homeschooling through the holidays. My kids have a whole long list of traditions that they are looking forward to this Advent and Christmas. But, when homeschooling during the holiday sometimes we can get caught up in trying to keep up with homeschooling. We want to have a nice holiday, however, we worry that if we take time for traditions our momentum will be lost. Or if we let the kids get really excited, our homeschool is going to be completely off the rails and we’ll never get them back. Now, my one son is Mr. Christmas, he is just in love with everything Christmas. He sings carols all year long, and counts the minutes until we can decorate each year.
He thrives on traditions and is the instigator of many of them. However, his excitement is sometimes over the top. How can he really do school work while singing, setting up lights around his room, and decorating everything he can get his hands on? For many years, I was so focused on “keeping up” and “getting ahead.” I was going to get this homeschool thing right! Christmas is fun, but we have learning to do!
Nose-to-the-Grindstone Homeschooling through the Holidays
So, I have been there. I had such a fear of failing that I couldn’t allow for downtime. Therefore, I would just keep going until we made the Christmas day and then the next day we were back at it. I actually prided myself on the fact that we took no breaks! Then, I realized that yes we got so much school work done but we missed out on the spirit of the season. We missed out on time with family and we missed out on special opportunities that we could have had. Life taught me to take time to enjoy today because we aren’t promised tomorrow. Our children are growing much more quickly than we realize. Traditions and family time is precious. Homeschooling through the holidays does not need to mean all or nothing. Balance is the key!
What Do the Holidays have to do with the Sound Foundations Philosophy?
Sound Foundations homeschooling is first of all about following your children’s passions and igniting their love of learning through their unique and special gifts. So, give your children time to have fun during fun times and seasons, instead of making learning such a chore. Then they will love learning and they will find the special gifts that God has given them to serve the world. These gifts and love of learning are not found in a math workbook or a science textbook. They are found in family traditions and in personal hobbies. It’s the times when they get to explore and be themselves.
So you may be thinking, “Well, I don’t want to completely blow off December and not learn anything!”
But here’s the thing like learning isn’t just in books and curriculum. Keep your children learning and let them be excited about the holiday season. Have them focus a bit on school so that come January it’s so hard to come back to it. Give them some freedom to explore their gifts, within a given subject. Choose a unit study for a change of pace. This outside the box. Learning comes through life and everyday experiences.
Focused Learning Versus Curriculum
Homeschooling through the holidays needs to focus on learning. So, keep them focused, working and productive because productive and focused is much more important than checking off the boxes for your curriculum. That focus and productivity can occur among the crazy decorating and excitement. When your children are just dancing in their seats with excitement and can’t concentrate, put the school books aside.
Allow them to do a private study into something they love, or give them a project (school-based or around the house) that will exercise their brain. Math, science, and language arts are all around us, we just need to take advantage of natural learning opportunities. Your children can enjoy learning while you’re trying to get everything ready. They can read or create while you’re trying to get packages wrapped or to prepare food. They can help with cleaning the house or decorating. Homeschooling through the holidays should be more about home and less about school.
Maybe try something completely new and learn as a family. It’s a wonderful way for you to all come together. Everybody can sit down and learn together. Study the history of Christmas carols, or learn a new skill. Family time is something that as homeschoolers we really need to capitalize on because that is one of the great blessings of homeschooling.
Having that time together and building those memories is the legacy of your homeschool. So I really want to encourage you to take the time to spend with your family and with your extended family. Indulge those traditions and make memories with their children in the short years that they are home. Before you know it, you’re going to blink your eyes and they’re going be gone. It is really not going to matter if you finished all of your math lessons for this year. What is going to matter are the memories that you built and the people that you raised your children to be.
Now for a Giveaway to Help You Homeschool through the Holidays:
This Christmas season, I wanted to do something to bless and thank you for being part of my online community. I really am thankful for you!
As my way of saying thank you, I’ve come together with several of my homeschool blogger friends to offer an incredible giveaway worth over $1400!*
That’s right – over $1400 worth of homeschool resources and other goodies! We’re working with some of the top homeschool companies around. All you have to do is enter below! The giveaway period is December 4 through 12 AM CST, December 22.
Because we want to be a blessing to all of our readers, everyone who enters will receive a digital swag bag full of discounts and resources from several of your favorite homeschool blogs. Enjoy!
It is your responsibility to read the terms and conditions upon entering. Entering the giveaway signs you up for the following newsletters: In All You Do, Life Beyond the Lesson Plan, Heart and Soul Homeschooling, Homeschool on the Range, Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland, Yellow House Book Rental, My Joy-Filled Life, Clarissa R. West, The Multi-Taskin’ Mom, Faith & Good Works, The Fervent Mama, Simple Living Creative Learning, Peace Creek on the Prairie, Brookdale House, The Art Kit, Making Room 4 One More, Sound Foundation Homeschool, Beyond the Stick Figure, Many Seasons of Motherhood, Everyday Graces Homeschool, Apologia, All About Learning Press, Sonlight, Media Angels, The Adventurous Mailbox, BJ’s Homeschool, Truthquest History, ChalkPastel.com, Abby Banks, and iWrite Bible.
Enter in the form below! Each entry increases your odds of winning, and you’re sure to find some new bloggers and companies to follow!
You Could Win All This!
Apologia – What We Believe Series, worth $125
All About Learning Press – Gift Card for $100
Sonlight – Book package including the following titles: A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi, The Light at Tern Rock, The Family Under the Bridge, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Year Down Yonder. Package is worth $75.93.
Grapevine Bible Studies – Old Testament Master Teacher Book & Zondervan Compact Bible Dictionary, worth $76
Peace Creek Crafts ‘N Designs – $30 eGift Card
MT Designs Boutique – $30 Gift Card
Media Angels, Inc. – Creation Bundle, worth $69
The Adventurous Mailbox – Premium Digital Package, worth $64
BJ’s Homeschool – Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd edition & Gift card to Barnes and Noble worth $18
Everyday Graces Homeschool – The Homeschool Garden Morning Time membership worth $222
TruthQuest History – American History for Young Students III (1865-2000), worth $30
A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks – Choice of Products from Store, worth $50
The Wolfe Pack – Holiday Fact and Fun Packs Bundle, worth $46
ChalkPastel.com – You ARE an Artist Clubhouse annual membership, worth $200
The Fervent Mama – Handwriting Curriculum
Abby Banks – Podcast Launch for Teens, worth $57
Yellow House Book Rental – three Life of Fred Elementary or Intermediate Series math books (5-month rental)
Beyond the Stick Figure – Intro to Drawing Course, worth $45
Sound Foundations Homeschool – Happy Homeschool Secrets, worth $37
The Art Kit – 5 Printables worth $30
In All You Do – Northern European Geography study. worth $40
The Multi Taskin Mom – $30 Shop Credit
iWrite Bible – Old Testament Scripture Writing Devotional, worth $30
In addition, all entrants will receive a Digital Swag Bag at the end of the Giveaway that includes:
Peace Creek on the Prairie – 35% off coupon
All About Learning Press – FREE downloadable reading and spelling activity pack
The Fervent Mama – 30% off coupon
4 One More – 30% off Podcast Launch for Teens
The Art Kit – 30% off coupon
Life Beyond the Lesson Plan – 30% off coupon
Everyday Graces Homeschool – 10% off coupon
Beyond the Stick Figure – 25% off coupon
In All You Do – 30% off coupon
We hope this giveaway is a blessing to you!