So, it’s usually right about now that homeschool burnout starts to seep into our classroom. You can sense while we study for SAT’s and work our way through Environmental Science, we’d both rather be planning the Thanksgiving dinner menu or working on our Christmas list. It happens every year. Our focus on studies battles with all the holiday fun we could be having. By now, we have learned a few tips on how to homeschool through the holidays.
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Let The Holiday’s Be Part Of Your Homeschool Curriculum
This season is loaded with opportunities and responsibilities like budgeting, shopping, gift wrapping, baking, volunteering, preparing, and planning. These are all life skills your children can be taught. And I would argue, should be taught.
I tend to reduce class times on our required classes by up to half over the holidays to make time to do the things that need to get done or enjoy the best parts of the holidays. You can do the same.
Let December Be A Month Of Life Skill Lessons
There are so many valuable life skills that often get overlooked. As homeschoolers, we tend to be more focused than most on making sure our children understand the ins and out of running a household. The holidays offer countless opportunities to teach important skills they will utilize for the rest of their lives. Here are a few examples.
- How to budget for Christmas 101: Make it real. Have them earn, spend, balance, and deliver on their gifts, or a big family meal. This is valuable knowledge. Overspending can lead to a lot of trouble for young adults. Teach them now.
- How To Wrap A Gift: This can be really fun. Spend some time looking through Pinterest for unique ways to wrap and then take a day to wrap together. You can even work in some handwriting lessons or calligraphy for tags. Get creative.
- Planning and Preparing A Gathering: From the guest list to the invites to the menu, to the prep, to the cleaning (before and after), to the actual baking; this lesson will teach many important skills. From etiquette to basting, they are all worth knowing.
- Volunteering and Service Opportunities: Encourage them to seek out local opportunities and select the ones they believe your family should be part of. Then have them work up a fact-based pitch to convince your family why you should agree to their chosen charity or activity. Allow them to present it fully. (Slides, charts, a video montage…) Once the opportunities have been selected have your students follow up by scheduling, calling ahead for details, getting directions, etc.
- Love Thy Neighbor: Assign your children the task of coming up with five actionable ways they can help out a friend or neighbor over the holidays and then guide them as they select and work through the project.
Make December Be All About The Arts
The holidays open up opportunities to delve into the arts like no other season. Make this the month that you really take advantage of live performances and in-person (yet socially distanced) events that are focused on the arts. For example:
- Go see a Christmas Symphony.
- See a play like The Christmas Carol.
- Attend The Nutcracker Ballet.
- Visit a Craft Fair or a Festival of Trees.
- Local Museums often present special collections over the holidays.
Bring the Christmas Theme Into Every Subject
Everyone is thinking about it anyway. Why not intentionally include Christmas and the New Year in your subjects. Here are some examples.
Reading: We have read a ton of Christmas Books. I even have a collection of Christmas books reviewed for you right here. If I could just recommend one I would have to recommend What Child Is This. It’s so good. But you can also call your local library and ask them to put together a Christmas Book Bundle for your family!
Math: Baking has a lot of Math in it. For real. If you add in planning and budgeting, it has, even more, to offer academically. Let them make cookies, plan a feast, budget their Christmas list etc.
Social Studies/History: Offer them a Christmas Around the World Unit Study. There are a lot of options out there and T and I have done several. They are always packed with knowledge and so much fun!
Writing: Have your students adopt a senior or a soldier stationed overseas and work on their letter writing skills. Or have them create poetry in different forms from Haiku, to a sonnet. All based on a Christmas theme. I have several Winter Writing Prompts that are perfect for this time of year or you can play a Christmas Themed Roll A Story Dice Game.
Science: There are a lot of Science Experiments with Christmas Themes. Check out these from Raising da Vinci below. Regardless of the age of your student, you can always find hands-on Science Projects that everyone will enjoy doing.
T is doing this STEM project this year. It’s a 3D Christmas Tree Electronic Assemble Kit, Circuit Solder STEM Project.
Don’t Forget Physical Education
While you are planning your holiday curriculum don’t forget Physical Education. T and I will be tubing at Wolf Laurel this year as well as ice skating at The Bristol Motor Speedway. Look for uniquely winter experiences that you can enjoy together and make memories while you stay fit. Schedule them in and call them a field trip.
- Tubing or sledding
- Ice Skating
- Snowball Fights will also get everyone moving.
Don’t Forget Down Time
Homeschooling through the holidays can be really busy so be sure to schedule some downtime. Movie days, pajama days, books in bed. Savor the season. It only comes once a year. And this year has been a doozy.
Do you have fun suggestions for homeschooling through the holidays? If so, we would love to hear all about them. Please share in the comments section below.
Merry Christmas to all,
More Christmas Ideas For Your Family
- Advent Calendar Activity Ideas – Family Activities, Crafts, and Kindness
- How To Make A Christmas Delivery Gratitude Basket
- Top Four Christmas Cookie Recipes
- The Big Christmas Movies Worth Watching List
- The Christmas Name Game – Printable Christmas Game
- Christmas Reading List – Best Christmas Books
Christmas Bible Study for Kids – Study From LukeProduct on sale
Christmas Countdown Advent Ideas Kit$9.99
Winter Bundle Packet for Kids$7.99
My Christmas Kindness Ideas – Printable Checklist for Kids$0.99
Printable Letter To Santa Claus Download Now$1.99
Tiny Tim – Printable Christmas Quote by Dickens$1.99
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