As fall moves into winter, the holiday season heats up. You might be wondering if you should keep homeschooling during the holidays. Can you keep the holiday spirit and still keep learning?
Our calendars fill with activities and food as we move through the final months of the year. The excitement of the new school year has worn off and we are getting bored and tired of doing school.
As much as you might want to a long break from Thanksgiving all the way through Christmas, we also don’t want to be homeschooling into the warm days of summer. Finish the year with confidence with 5 festive tips for homeschooling during the holidays.
Tip #1 If You Are Homeschooling During the Holidays – Limit Sugar
Sadly, our holiday celebrations usually prominently feature an abundance of food and sweets. Between the candy of Halloween, the extra desserts at Thanksgiving, and the Christmas cookies and fudge – there is plenty of sugar to be had for all.
This change in our children’s nutrition has consequences.
Homeschooling with Sugar & Sickness?
All this extra sugar makes us more susceptible to getting sick. Pair that with staying inside more and the stress of traveling and inevitably we are dealing with homeschool sick days.
Stay healthy during the holidays by limiting the sweets and adding in some Vitamin D.
Holiday Homeschooling & Good Behavior
Besides upset tummies, all that extra sugar can bring on extra crankiness and rotten attitudes. The key to homeschooling through the holidays, and keeping your joyful spirit, is limiting the extra treats.
Rarely does sugar make children behave better! You might be a lucky mom whose children don’t seem to be affected, but more children are affected by the shift in their diet. Stress, travel, and the schedule changes of the holidays have a ripple effect on our kids.
The net result – they are less likely to be on their best behavior. Limiting the sugar gives your kids better odds at making good choices. Around family, I’ll take every increase in a possible positive outcome that I can get!
Keeping Homeschooling Focus During the Holidays
When sweets are in the house, my kids can obsess over them.
It makes sense when you realize that as a culture we are addicted to sugar. They are constantly focused on eating. Sadly, they never seem satisfied and will continue to crave more.
Tip #2 Use Travel Time Wisely While Homeschooling During the Holidays
For those of you that live far from family, use those travel days wisely. If you are going to be stuck in a car all day, why not use it as a school day!
The blessing of homeschooling is that you have more flexibility to travel to visit family or just for pleasure. Instead of spending those hours staring at a screen, we use that time for school.
Siblings can help one another if they are stuck. Or, a challenging math problem can become a conversation for the whole car.
If they knock out their school work quickly, then they can move on to something else. If your students aren’t old enough for independent work, then choose a fabulous audiobook for your moving “school day.”
Tip #3 Change Up Your Schedule for Holiday Homeschooling
Does your family participate in a homeschool co-op that takes a break? If not, you can still take a break too. Breaks are a great time to change up your routine and change up your schedule.
If you normally do each subject every day, consider a block schedule. One day could be all about history. Read some books, watch some documentaries, and make a project. The next day could be loaded with science readings and experiments.
This may not be an option for all subjects. Your student might rebel at a day of math. Yet, for other subjects that opportunity to immerse themselves for the day might make the learning go quicker.
Do a themed-unit study instead. Research Christmas traditions from around the world and special Christmas foods. This could cover sociology, history, geography, science and math – all with a festive and fun theme.
Tip #4 If You Are Homeschooling During the Holidays, You Must Scale Back
There are days when there is too much else going on to get all of your school work done. Extra cooking and extra trips to the store interrupt our days. Maybe you have more things going on at church or you have relatives coming for an extended stay.
It is okay to scale back. Public schools don’t always get a full day of learning in and count it as a school day. How many school kids have ever watched a “movie” in class?
Give yourself a break mom. Create a “scaled-down day” winning schedule.
What the absolute essentials that need to be covered to count as a school day? At our house that is math, handwriting, and some book reading.
That trip to the store that counts as a field trip full of socialization and practical life skills. Bust out the board game when relatives are staying and count it as logic skills and strategic thinking learning. The kids will be learning and not even realize it!
#5 Take a Homeschooling Holiday, Really
During the holidays, you need to take a break. Really.
Many times as moms, our workload can increase during the holidays with more cleaning and cooking. There are more activities and traveling. You don’t have to cram it all in.
Set your margins and your boundaries. It is okay to take a break from school for your students’ sakes and yours. Rest helps us renew and actually get more work done.
Need help saying “no” in order to take a break. You’ll love: “3 Types of Moms: Create Homeschool Mom Boundaries with Each Type“
Don’t just take a break from school, but allow yourself to get some real breaks as well. If you are exhausted and tired, it affects your homeschool as well.
Happy Mom, Happy Holidays. Cranky Mom, Cranky Christmas!
Make sure to take some time to do absolutely nothing as well. Take some time to do things you are passionate about that fill your spirit. Don’t let anxiety and overwhelm steal the joy of Christmas from you and your children.
Choose Homeschooling Joy
Homeschooling during the holidays can be wonderful and challenging. When winter creeps in, it can be hard to stay the course. Distractions and challenges are many.
Keep your family focused on the reason for the season – Jesus. Keep your family focused on your reasons for homeschooling too. Use these tips for homeschooling during the holidays to keep your homeschool healthy, happy, and on track.
Don’t forget to set aside extra time to spend with your Bible and in prayer. The best gift you can give your family this time of year is a present mom who is filled with Christ’s joy. Set aside the books, and love on your children because they grow up so fast.
Almost every homeschooling family suffers that post-holiday slump. The fun of winter is over and we are ready for spring.
In the dark of winter, many homeschool moms fail victim to homeschool burnout and want to through in the towel. Be prepared to push through by reading: “7 Simple Ways to Combat Homeschool Burnout.“
The voice behind FaithfulMotherhood.com is Jyn. She is a veteran homeschool mom of three. More than just a pastor’s wife, she holds a Master of Divinity degree and has served in church leadership for over 20 years. Her passion is equipping parents to live out their calling as the number one faith influencer for their children. She longs to see moms empowered by God’s Word and transferring that love to their children through daily Bible study and family devotions.