Ah, Christmas. Our family looks forward to this season all year long, but early on in my homeschooling years, I found this time of year stressful and overwhelming. Why?
Because I always took on too much and forgot to enjoy the season for what it is, a time to put aside the to-do lists and school tasks, and instead, focus on Advent, baking cookies and family time. Here’s what works for us and how we make Christmas break homeschooling a rich, meaningful and balanced time year after year.
Let the Schedule Go
Finding balance during Christmas break homeschooling can be a challenge. The most important and hardest part of Christmas break homeschooling for me is letting go of the daily schedule and routine that we follow. My children thrive on predictability and structure. During Christmas break, homeschooling becomes more about family time and flexibility than accomplishing tasks and lessons.
What this looks like for us is throwing out the daily lessons and schedule, and allowing the Christmas season to set our schedule. We stay in our jammies longer, we Christmas shop together, and we do fun, seasonal activities whenever we want. Christmas is about being thankful for the birth of our Lord. What better way to do this than by making Him the center of our world during the month of December.
Take a Break from Lessons
As homeschooling families we have the flexibility to make this season whatever we want it to be! During the holidays, Christmas break homeschooling looks very different than our normal routine. We put aside the lessons and curriculum and take up holiday books, movies, and other traditions. Do we stop learning? No!
Use holiday baking as a way to show math in action. Read by the fire. Watch movies on the meaning of Christmas and other classics. If you must have something tangible to show for your time off, create lap-books or focus on the arts through Christmas music, art and theater.
Focus on Character and Studies
I know that there are many of you who will feel unable to allow this season to be just about Christmas. And, I get it!
If you do want to add something to your “done” column and build your portfolio during this month, why not do it in a way that still keeps Christ at the center? This is a wonderful time of year to focus on character and spiritual studies. Our family reads a daily Advent devotional and completes Jesse Tree activities.
Use this time with your family to dive deeper into God’s word and find rich spiritual blessings within. We do character studies on the Biblical people that are prominent in the story of the birth of Jesus. In years past we have studied King David, Zachariah, John the Baptist, Mary of Magdalene and others. Our children look forward to these special devotions. I enjoy seeing their love for God’s word, and their depth of character, grow!
Christmas break homeschooling shouldn’t be a stressful time, but a time for lessons about the greatest love that we have received, the love of Jesus. Take it from me: this season can be one that strengthens your family and faith in a way that brings blessings into the new year.