10 December Homeschooling Tips
Recently, I asked my homeschooling buddies to share their December homeschooling tips. And today, I’m sharing them all with you!
So listen up and follow along with the show notes for some tried-and-true homeschooling advice based on years of experience.
Without further ado, here are ten December homeschooling tips!
Tip #1: Keep It Simple
Here’s what my homeschooling friend Rebecca says:
“Keep things simple and slow during school time – decorate slowly and make gifts and decorations all month. Pick one story for the day or week and do a craft that goes along with the story. Cultivate a practice of inner work for yourself during the kids’ nap time.”
~ Rebecca, homeschooling mother of four
For years, I tried to do our homeschooling lessons and then try to add holiday activities on top of that. When I finally let go of full-blown formal lessons in December, I was able to see more possibilities for integrating holiday preparations WITH homeschooling, rather than keeping them separate. Homeschooling is so much easier and more fun when we let the holiday celebrations, traditions, and routines take center stage at this time of year.
More simple = Less stress.
Tip #2: Make It Hands-On
Hands-on learning is fun, engaging, and makes the lessons more memorable. I encourage homeschooling parents to weave the lively arts into the lessons: storytelling, music, movement, poetry, drama, painting, modeling, and drawing.
But so often, I hear from homeschoolers that it’s hard to find the time for hands-on learning. Well, now’s your chance!
Tip #3: Start with Stories
You might think in terms of choosing a few songs and verses for your warm up time that are related to the season. Then select a book to read that you can pair with an activity like baking, making a holiday gift, or painting.
Just a few examples might be:
- Read the story Sun Bread and bake bread.
- Or read Trees of the Dancing Goats and make tree ornaments.
Super simple and super fun. Stories help to open up your heart. 💗
If you want book ideas, check out my 50+ Wholesome Winter Holiday Books for Children. You’ll find so many family favorites there for all ages.
If you’re tired of searching and searching for craft and homemade gift ideas, look no further than my Handwork + Stories masterclass for the Inspired at Home membership community. Join us for December for 15+ pairings of beautiful stories for the holiday season and hands-on crafting and gift-making tutorials. Join anytime and cancel anytime. You’ll also get access to over 30 homeschooling masterclasses plus a warm and welcoming community of homeschoolers from all over the world and group coaching sessions with me!
Tip #4: Play Games
Games can be so much fun and are actually great for learning all kinds of skills! In our family, we had family game night once a week. Games are great for holidays and vacations as well. Here’s a fun list of our family’s favorites: Best Games for Family Game Night.
Tip #5: Serve Others
December is a wonderful time of year to plan a service project to do as a family. Perhaps it’s collecting Coats for Kids, preparing a meal for a Habitat for Humanity crew, or serving a meal at a soup kitchen. Look for local opportunities to help out families who are less fortunate than your own. Service opportunities really help us connect with our kids and with our communities.
Tip #6: Make Time for Fun
There’s so much fun to be had at this time of year! So again, my advice is to keep it simple. Choose just a few things to do together as a family. And be sure you choose some things YOU enjoy.
Here’s a tip from Dominique:
“Get into the magic of the season in a way that YOU love. Get creative with crafts, decorations, baking, and gift giving. Make sure you enjoy your projects! Otherwise, adjust your plans! It’s your December, too.”
~ Dominique, homeschooling mother of two
Tip #7: Eat Healthy Food
My favorite way to eat healthy during the holidays is to meal plan. And keep things super simple.
I use a wonderful online tool for meal planning called Plan to Eat. You can collect all your recipes in one place and then drag and drop them into a calendar and create a grocery list for shopping.
I always fill up December’s meal plan with healthy dinners that are also family favorites so we can be sure to eat well even when there are extra treats around.
Here’s a great tip from Sarah:
“Sugar may be unavoidable during the holidays, but you can prevent messy mood swings or breakdowns by putting out a plate of carrots and cucumbers right before a meal, serving a fun salad for a starter at dinner, planning high protein meals, or by getting outside and going for a walk or playing for 10 minutes after sugary treats. Check out the hacks from the Glucose Goddess for managing sugar overload during the holidays, for yourself and your kids.”
~ Sarah, homeschooling mother of four
Tip #8: Start Anytime
So often, we feel behind. Like we should have started sooner. Like we really blew it (again). No worries, my friend. Start where you are. It’s not too late.
More great wisdom from Sarah:
“You can start an Advent or Solstice countdown anytime! It doesn’t have to be the first Sunday of Advent or December 1st. You get to decide. Start whenever and make up your own rhythm. It will still be magical and your kids will never know that you were “supposed” to count down every Sunday or 25 days. Even if you only have two weeks until Solstice, you get to decide when you’ll light those four candles. If you want to do a daily countdown, you’ll have the most flexibility if you’re setting up your own, such as a path of paper stars for the Mother Mary or Mother Earth to travel one star each day around a spiral. Or a salt dough ring with one candle to light each day. If you want to count down the four weeks of Advent, just pick four days to light your four candles. It can be any day! Do it your way!”
~ Sarah, homeschooling mother of four
Tip #9: Learn While Traveling
If you’re traveling during December to visit family or friends, remember that can be part of the learning. We take in so much while traveling, a sense of place, reading maps, seeing new landscapes.
Here’s a great tip from Alison:
“We usually had to take a big road trip to Arizona during the holidays when the kids were growing up. It was a special, spacious time as we were not tied down by school schedules. During these holiday journeys, we really enjoyed exploring Tucson – lots of hikes and lots of delicious Mexican food. Over the years, we were able to get a real sense of place – to absorb a lot about a region very different from where we lived.”
~ Alison of Hearts for Teachers, homeschooling mother of three
Tip #10: Just Don’t!
Here’s a great tip from Robyn at Waldorfish:
“Would it be fair to say that my top tip for homeschooling in December is to NOT homeschool in December? 😂
At least through Grade 8, it was such a relief to just sink into the holidays and the activities that they bring, instead of resisting it all for a month straight while I tried to force school to keep happening, and then getting really grumpy about it! Homeschooling can = FREEDOM, but only if we let it. Savor all the community events, movies on the couch with cocoa and popcorn, secretly plotting together on family gifts, reading aloud a book together as a family, contributing to/working at local food banks, etc. There’s so much value and learning to be had in all of it!”
~ Robyn of Waldorfish, homeschooling mother of two
BONUS TIP: Take Good Care of YOU
Remember to spend some time alone this season! Take good care of yourself.
Here’s a great tip from Jodie at Living Music:
“We celebrate the Christmas season full of joyful and festive activities. It is the busiest time of year for us, homemakers/home educators, as we hold the key to making this season successful for the entire network of family and friends. It can get stressful for us moms, so take extra care of yourself and start your day early, by yourself, before your kids get up, with the intention to have reverence and joy at the heart of this month. You will be surprised how much energy you have for the entire day when you fill your cup first. May you receive all the goodness that this family life has to offer!”
~ Jodie from Living Music, mother of three
And here’s one more reminder from Joe:
“Homeschooling through the holidays can be a time of wonder, tradition , reflection, and yes stress. My trick is to focus on embracing the joy and building of memories by not overextending yourself or your time. School can not get lost or put up on the shelf next to your elf so use creativity and planning to build lessons that incorporate the spirit of the holidays. For example, baking cookies or building a gingerbread house consists of math, engineering, art, science, and life skills. The end of the year is always a reflective time before the new one starts so ask yourself and your family what has gone well so far and what can we improve in our family life and school year. Document and discuss what has been shared and act upon it but do not dwell on the shortcomings focus on the positive.
And lastly just be kinder to yourself for you have done an amazing job and the best is yet to come!” ~ Joe, homeschooling father of four
And there you have it! Ten December Homeschooling Tips for you! (Plus two Bonus tips.)
I hope these tips help you think about how you want to homeschool through the holidays so that you can find ways to do less and connect more with your children and family.💜
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