Homeschool 201: Homeschooling During the Holidays

How do you homeschool through the holiday season?

The holiday season is coming up! It’s busy, and there’s so much that not only has to be done, but that we want to do during this time. How do you fit it in to an already crammed schedule? 

Let’s face it, homeschooling and parenting children means our days are already packed full. Is it any wonder that the holidays can cause a lot of stress? For a homeschooling parent, managing homeschool and holidays can be trickier than typical. Here are some strategies to use this holiday season. 

1. Take a break

We homeschool! That means that our school schedules can be a lot more flexible than the public school schedule. So you can take a longer break during the holiday season, if you want to.  

My family takes the month of December off school every year. We don’t have PA Days, snow days, fire drills, assemblies, or any of the other non-instructional time in our school year, so we aren’t missing any extra time.

Having this break means that it’s easier to enjoy the holidays. We can do the baking, parties, decorating, trips to a Christmas tree farm, sleigh rides, Christmas movies and all the other fun holiday things, without trying to fit it in around our regular life. 

2. Light Schedule

If you aren’t comfortable taking a complete break, or you live in an area where you are required to have a certain number of “school” days, try doing a light schedule. This means that you choose the must-do subjects or topics, and do only those. 

For most people, these would be what’s called the “core subjects”. Families choosing a light schedule over the holidays might do just math and reading, or math and spelling, or just focus on a few end-of-term projects to finish over the holiday season. 

3. Holiday Homeschooling Ideas

Another way you can still have “school” days without getting stressed is to use holiday themed homeschooling projects as your homeschool subjects. Many families will incorporate the holidays into their homeschool, and make holiday traditions a part of their children’s education. 

For example, you might try exploring different cultural traditions at Christmas, as part of your social studies, or learn a different Christmas song for music. You could read Thanksgiving and Christmas themed stories as part of your Language Arts. Or turn your baking projects into math and science units, learning chemistry and fractions. 

Focus on family over academics.

The holidays are special because they aren’t a regular part of our lives. They come once a year, but they aren’t every day. And holiday time is a time for family and friends, and celebrating together. 

While education is important, most of us homeschool for reasons other than academic excellence — or in addition to it. And family is important! Building those memories and relationships during the holidays is just as important as learning the 3Rs. 

How do you homeschool during the holidays? 

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