Podcast: Happy Homeschooling through the Holidays
The holidays are coming, and many homeschooling parents know that there are going to be disruptions to the routine of daily life — so they try to figure out how to maintain that routine instead of allowing that routine to change and adapt to the constraints of this time of year.
Some homeschoolers don’t even bother with finding a balance and they take the month off from education, instead dedicating that time to cookies, music, and family. Others try their best to keep up their homeschool routine, even if that means refusing to participate in holiday activities.
I’d like to offer a third way, a potentially better solution that will allow you to have your peppermint cookies and eat them, too.
You can also listen on Apple Podcasts.
Finding your best balance
What are the expectations around the holidays, and how can we reframe the month to balance feeling satisfied with our homeschooling performance without losing out on the joy of the season?
This depends on your answer to this question: How important are the holidays to you?
Not everybody celebrates Christmas, especially to the extent that our culture expects. You may feel pressured to fill this month with activities that ultimately don’t mean that much to you.
If it is meaningful to you, it may be worth considering how much time you need to celebrate. It could be that condensing your holiday celebrations into the last two weeks of the year is a happy medium that allows you to get in more of your typical homeschool routine.
Marrying education and celebration
The holidays give us a million and one ways to cover all educational subjects.
December is a natural time to watch movies and read books, so lean into that. Pick read-alouds that have corresponding movies, and even — dare I say — allow your kids to watch the movies first. This can help invite interest in a book if you’re struggling to get that going.
Crafts, gift wrapping, shopping for gifts, budgeting, and making lists are all helpful, educational activities. If you’re going to teach your kids to use Excel, imagine how much easier it would be when organizing a spreadsheet of the gifts they want for Christmas or how they’re going to allocate their spending on gifts.
You can also use the subject of holidays to study various holiday traditions around the world. Spin a globe, point at a place, and use Google to find out what holiday they might celebrate.
- When does it occur?
- What traditions go along with it?
- What is the history behind it?
Another educational opportunity that relates to the holiday is having kids interview grandparents about their favorite childhood memories around this season.
- Is there a recipe within the family you could make?
- A custom you can adopt?
- Or just a funny story you’ve never heard before?
Giving kids the opportunity to interview grandparents grows their interviewing skills, write down answers in a book of memories, or collect old traditions and create new ones.
These are ways we can make the holidays less about missing out on one aspect or the other and more of a “yes, and” situation.
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