How to Homeschool Through the Holidays
I know that the month of December can be a crazy time for homeschoolers. Heck, it almost feels like the holiday season runs from Halloween at the end of October through New Year’s at the beginning of January!
So what’s a homeschooler to do?
Well I’m so glad you’re here, because today, I’m going to share with you how to homeschool through the holidays. Specifically, three ways to keep your homeschooling so simple that you still have time for baking cookies, getting outdoors, and getting your own needs met along the way.
In last week’s episode of the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, I talked about How to Keep the Holidays Simple and Delightful.
And this week, I want to go more specifically into homeschooling and lessons during the holiday season. What does that even look?
How to Homeschool Through the Holidays: 3 Tips
All the extra fun of holiday travel, hosting a holiday meal, cooking for relatives, shopping, decorating, attending special events, baking, sewing, preparing, or making handmade gifts….can throw us for a loop as homeschoolers!
Our daily life and rhythm can get changed up during the holidays.
That’s why I want to share with you three very practical and grounding tips to help you navigate this season with grace and peace and as little stress as possible.
Tip One: Don’t Compartmentalize
Don’t compartmentalize your homeschooling lessons and then try to add holiday activities on top of that.
The very best homeschooling advice I got about the holidays was from my mentor, Barbara Dewey. She said, “Don’t try to do a full main lesson block during the month of December.” It took me years to integrate this advice. Years of pushing through with lessons because I didn’t want to fall behind and feeling like a failure when I did.
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.
Tip Two: Simplify Your Home & Schedule
Simplify your home environment and your schedule ahead of time.
It’s a great time to start thinking about how you might simplify your life ahead of the holidays! So that when the holiday season arrives, you feel like there’s space in your life and a little extra breathing room to invite the joys of the season in.
This might include decluttering or a purge of toys and books in your living space. Need some motivation? Set a timer!
Simplifying your mealtimes and creating a 3-week rotating meal plan so you know what’s for dinner far in advance can really help, too. Find what works for you.
And don’t neglect to make some space for yourself, to replenish and renew your own energy during the holiday season. Look at your calendar and pencil it in!
Tip Three: Simplify Your Homeschooling Rhythm
Simplify your homeschooling rhythm to set yourself up for success.
We talk a lot about rhythm around here. And if you’re not familiar with this term, think of a daily flow of activities that provides a framework for your day. So that you can bring some consistency to your days and have an idea of the order of your activities each day.
So what might it look like if we create a simplified homeschool rhythm for the holiday season?
I suggest you scale back your lesson rhythm to just three simple components:
- warm up time
- a story
- a hands-on activity
These three activities can be done in an hour to an hour and a half leaving time for a little skills practice if needed (say in math or reading or writing) and then lots of time for other holiday fun.
So simple. Less stress.
You might think in terms of choosing a few songs and verses for the 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.
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.
“The magic of rhythm is in the process not in the particulars.” ~Kim John Payne, Simplicity Parenting
There you have it. Three ways you can begin NOW to prepare for a peaceful holiday season and how to homeschool through the holidays.
Above all else, I encourage you to start thinking ahead of time about how to homeschool through the holidays so that you can find ways to do less and connect more with your children and family.
Choose One Idea!
You’ve probably heard me say this before, “think in threes, pick one.” So now that I’ve offered you three ideas, I want you to choose one idea and make it your own.
Here’s how: Sometime in the next 24-48 hours, make a plan to bring it into your life. Whether you choose simplifying your rhythm or lessons, decluttering or simplifying your home and family life…pick ONE thing! And give it a go.
Resources for Homeschooling Through the Holidays
If you want to learn more about using rhythm in your homeschool, go have a listen to Episode#3, Relax Into Your Homeschool Rhythm.
And if you haven’t downloaded my free guide on crafting your daily rhythm, you can find it here: Save Your Homeschooling Day: 3 Steps to Rescue Your Rhythm for a Simple Happy Homeschool .
Want to dive into these ideas with a wonderful community of other homeschoolers? Come join me inside Inspired at Home. This membership offers classes, coaching, and community to guide and support you as you homeschool.
During the month of November our focus is Simplicity Holidays. And then in December, we have Handwork + Stories and a special masterclass on Rituals and Reflections for Advent and Solstice. Check out all the details and come join us inside Inspired at Home. We’d love to have you!
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