Homeschooling Through the Holidays
I have had a lot of conversations with my homeschooling momma friends about what they do for school during the holidays and busy times of the year. It seems that the majority of them have a really tough time keeping the balance between school work and holiday activities.
I have to admit that I am struggling right now in this area! This year, my oldest is in 7th grade, my 2nd in 6th grade and my youngest in Kindergarten learning to read! We are currently living with family members while our new house is being built. We don’t have a school room, and we have all of our things in bags. We have moved from another state to my parents’ house, from my parents’ to my in-laws’, and soon (just after Christmas) to our new home. We have all taken a turn being sick the last few weeks and we are just exhausted!
PLUS…..it is Christmas time!!!
I think as homeschooling mommas, we have to remember that daily learning comes in MANY more forms than text books and paper tests..in fact, in my own opinion, that may be the worst way to learn something! True daily learning comes from engaging with others. It comes from having conversations with people of different opinions and different ages. We can usually find those people in our own family, if not in our very own homes. Daily learning comes from reading novels, experimenting with spices in the kitchen, mixing paint colors and trying new brush strokes. It comes from listening to music–new and old, from going out to play and asking questions about the things you see. It comes from doodling and deep thinking.
My point is, don’t worry about sitting down each day with text books and pencils throughout this busy season, but don’t dismiss learning altogether as you hustle and bustle around. Remember, every opportunity is a learning opportunity, especially for children.
Here are some great ways to include you kids in the holidays that will not only teach them wonderful skills, but will also help you out!
1.) Let your kids plan the menu for your Christmas gathering. Have them include their favorite dishes as well as some traditional items that your family always prepares.
2.) Let them help you cook. Teach them your recipes and how you do things. Teach them to set the table and the mood. Tell them what you do to prepare for company–including decorating and cleaning–and have them help you make a to-do list and complete it.
3.) Have them design Christmas cards for you on the computer. Maybe even have them write a short little poem to put in them. Have them send the cards to family and friends, but you can also send them to soldiers or even take them to nursing home residents.
4.) Let your kids decide on an activity to give back to those less fortunate. Maybe, they want to buy something for an angel on the Salvation Army Tree, or give food to the food bank, or donate coats to the homeless or blankets to the animal shelter. Help them research ideas if they are not old enough to do it themselves. Have them come up with a budget and complete the good deed that they decided on.
5.) Ok, so this one may be a little less “fun” than the others, but have them write a summary over their favorite Christmas movie! They can even compare 2 movies in an essay or, if you have children close in age, have them pick a movie to debate. They can have actual speaking points and you can moderate….wait that’s just an argument with you getting on to them…nevermind…LOL! Maybe, you should give this task BEFORE you give them something more fun like cooking or making cards!
So, the next time you are having that, “We haven’t done any schoolwork since Thanksgiving..” conversation, stop yourself and remember what all your kids have learned! Actually, I have my kids write 3 things they learned at the end of every day, and I am surprised at their answers sometimes. So, there’s another thing you can do…have them make that list everyday! Give yourself a break without taking a break and have a wonderful Christmas season!