Homeschooling through the holidays can be absolutely wonderful or a total dud. At least that’s what I’ve found at our house. Before my husband became a full-time minister and I only had one child to school, we continued on with our homeschooling as normal. We took two weeks off for Christmas and New Years, but that was it. Once he started in full-time ministry, everything changed.
Now that we live over 600 miles from family, we travel during the holidays – either for Thanksgiving or Christmas or sometime in between. This makes homeschooling difficult to do with the younger ones in the house. We typically have 3-day weekends, as we take off on Fridays for them, but that’s about all we can handle. Otherwise chaos ensues and it takes several days to get back on track, so I try not to give us too much time off.
However, this year our travel schedule is a little different and we’re not going down over any holiday, but instead in between holidays. As a ministry family, we have responsibilities at the church both for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So what did we do and how are we working in homeschool with all the traveling and holiday hoopla? It isn’t easy, but we’re making the most of it.
Thanksgiving week we did fun themed papers and crafts about pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. I am a craft-collector-aholic and love to snag those $1-$3 foam crafts for the kids to make. Many times I find them in the Dollar Spot at Target or on sale at Hobby Lobby after the holidays. I store and keep them for the next year and my kids think I’m awesome.
Since our travels will be in between holidays this year, we are going to make our days a little lighter and more fun for the little ones. Crafts, themed printables on top of our phonics and math work should be enough to keep them from getting too restless while keeping a semi normal schedule. But, there are 5 things I’ve learned about homeschooling through the holidays that might help you out as well.
- Do the essentials first. Kids are in the holiday mood just as much as you are, so knock out the essentials first – math, grammar, spelling, etc.
- Make it fun. Once you’ve knocked out the essentials, move on to some fun. Make science projects about the holiday or season. Do crafts and activities related to the holiday/season.
- Smile. I know it sounds silly, but if you’re like me…crafts and such stress you out a little bit with the little ones. You’re constantly thinking about the mess they’re making and how much time its going to take you to clean it up. Stop and SMILE. Embrace the joy and happiness your children are feeling while doing these fun crafts. They are making memories and you are part of those!
- Get Creative. Sometimes you just need to get a little creative to get in all the work. Make the snowstorm part of science and art. Do read-alouds while the kids are working on their crafts. Make snacks thematic, but only after they help make them in the kitchen (math & science)!! There are so many ways to get creative this time of year – use it to your advantage!
- RELAX. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself or your children. Everyone is hyped up and ready for the holidays, so take it in stride. If you don’t finish all your work one day, rework your schedule to fit it in another day. Give the kids and yourself some slack.
Do you homeschool through the holidays? How do you make it work?
The Bloggers of IAHE have shared their top tips for how to homeschool during the holidays.