I used to give up somewhere around December 8th or so.
The Thanksgiving rush seemed to drift into a chaotic mix of Christmas decor, more complicated meal plans, and way too much wrapping paper.
When my children were younger, it was easier to just stop homeschooling until after the New Year.
But as my boys have gotten older, their need for consistency and structure has increased. They rely on more than just my presence for stability (I miss those younger years!), Now, they do best when we keep our daily routine for as long into December as possible.
It works for them.
Not always so much for me.
By December, I’m tired. I’m ready to cozy up with hot chocolate and read. I prefer to wrap presents at 3 PM instead of 8 PM. I want to Christmas shop during the day, on a Tuesday, when my introverted self can avoid the people-y-ness of the holiday season.
In order to make this time of year work for all of us, I have come up with a few tips and tricks that not only help me hold on to a shred of my sanity, but also keep my boys on track until Christmas Eve.
How To Stay Sane and Still Homeschool Through The Holidays
Incorporate Project Based Learning
For some reason, planning one big project per child in the month of December is easier than trying to stick to a schedule of our usual subject rotation. My youngest is setting up a blog all about Harry Potter and my oldest is working on an audio set-up for his computer. Both “count” as learning, and give me a little extra time to get things done while they happily focus on their own interests.
I did all my shopping online again this year. I want to go and explore a few local shops and even maybe hit the mall once during the season, but that is just not my reality right now. Because I am trying to treat my role in our homeschool like a job, I need to protect most of our daytime hours for “work.”
So, I accept my own self-imposed limitations for the season and move on.
Make It Fun
Although my boys still crave routine and structure, they are just as excited as I am about the holiday season. This time of year is perfect for incorporating fun activities into our schooling (just like one would in an actual classroom at school). We do even more hands-on learning than usual, and also incorporate movement and sensory activities into our days as much as possible.
Wind Down Slowly
The closer we get to December 24th, the more we begin to relax the routine. By the last week, we will almost exclusively use our school time for Christmas related activities.
Here is what we have planned:
Baking Christmas Cookies
Cutting out and hanging snowflakes
Watching a classic Christmas movie and discussing the different characters
Drive around with hot chocolate, look at Christmas decorations and listen to audio books
Christmas Code Breaking (a la “Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine” and A Christmas Story on for 24 hours)
If your kids are anything like mine, say the words “code breaking” and they’re in!
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