Here come the holidays! Are we ready?
I will admit, although this time of year can be a little daunting as an introvert, I absolutely love it. The weather is cold, the days are not as long and the light is not as stark.
If you have read either of my books The Classical Unschooler or Create Your Own Homeschooling Curriculum, you know that we school year-round. Summers here in our part of California can be long and hot, so it helps us to stay within an established routine.
It is in the holidays that we take a breather. A small one.
We continue to homeschool, but we don’t panic if things don’t get done exactly so. So here are some ideas for how you can homeschool through the holidays if you so choose.
Stick to the schedule / template as much as possible
We will be moving house here in a few days, so I happened to think aloud that the children could take some time off schoolwork. I regretted it as soon as I said it, but I need not have worried. When it was time to get their schoolwork done, they followed their regular habit.
There is something to be said for the template. It gets things done, if only out of habit.
Leave room for interruptions
But there are inevitable interruptions and let’s admit it, we like some of these. Who doesn’t look forward to having friends and family visit during this time of year and an entire day of eating?
Of course there are days and weeks when we clear our schedule and leave room to do nothing. And we don’t regret it.
Find alternative ways to teach
The best thing about homeschooling is that we don’t have to do anything the way it has been done in a textbook or a classroom. If there is something to be covered according to your schedule and something else comes up, see if there is an alternative way you can cover it.
Regular chores like shopping, cooking and serving can be excellent ways to learn math and science, not to mention history.
Remember that you don’t need to be a repository of all knowledge either. Researching something that seems interesting can lead you and your kids down some rabbit holes and make learning more interesting. Because it is connected to a memory, they are far more likely to remember it as well.
Watch your diet
This is a personal lesson that I have had to learn over and over. When I don’t eat right, my mood and energy go downhill rather quickly. I become irritable and short tempered. I am a different person – one I don’t want to be. And the older I get the more important this is because the effects seem to be so much more pronounced.
So watch your diet through the holidays as much as you do during the rest of the year. Don’t fall for the “I’ll just make up for it in January” mentality. Because it’s far more than just weight that’s at stake.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!
Homeschooling works because we don’t have to follow a schedule. We can make our own and leave room for fun. Let’s not forget that. Make some wonderful memories this Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Continue to educate, but don’t forget that education and having fun are not mutually exclusive.