Lately I’ve heard from lots of homeschooling moms who wonder if they should take off the entire month of December because of their busy holiday schedules. They are a bit overwhelmed trying to do school, handle the house and laundry and all of those things that must be done on a regular basis all year round as well as take care of so many holiday-related responsibilities. It is my honest opinion that it’s perfectly fine to take off December if you want or need to do so! There are lots of things that your children can learn during the holidays even without doing regular school work.
First of all, our children need to learn to love and care for others. What better way could we teach them than to let them see us doing those very things? If we are too busy with school to do things with or for others during this holiday season, then we definitely need to make some changes!
I think of it this way: One of my main reasons for homeschooling my children is to teach them to be Christians who make a difference in the world. Sure they need to be well educated. But, as I’ve mentioned before, I’d rather they be good Christians than good students if I had to choose one or the other.
Second, there really are lots of things that our children can continue learning as we do our regular holiday activities. Christmas shopping provides a wonderful opportunity to have our children (especially older kids) practice skills such as making price comparisons and budgeting. These skills are often neglected, and your children will definitely benefit from learning them at a young age! If I’d had some practice at those before I got married, it could have kept my husband and me from making some very unwise financial decision during the first few years of our marriage.
Our children could help with grocery shopping and meal planning. (And this is another area in which they could practice making price comparisons and budgeting!) This is will not only benefit you right now, but it will also be a wonderful skill for them to have when they get married and have their own families one day.
They can help with baking and delivering holiday treats to friends and neighbors. One of my younger daughter’s favorite things to do each year at Christmas is help me make a gingerbread house. She’s not only having fun, but she’s also using her imagination and creativity! It’s great “exercise” for our brains to be creative and artistic. And of course baking and cooking can turn into a great chance to use those math skills!
Third, being with the family and working together on holiday activities, traveling, or taking care of whatever other responsibilities we have is a good time for our children to work with us and their siblings to foster a closer relationship with each other. I’ve been talking to my children lately about the fact that God put each of us in this family for a reason. He wants us to be a team. He wants us to love and support each other. Whether we’re doing holiday cleaning, cooking, buying gifts, decorating the Christmas tree, wrapping presents, or attending church or community Christmas events, we should support each other and work as a team. This is a perfect time to talk about those skills and then practice them!
If you look at it this way, you’re not really taking the month of December off at all. You’re just doing a different kind of teaching and learning, and that’s a good thing!
Do you take December off from formal school? Tell us why you do or don’t take this month off. What other kinds of activities do you keep busy doing instead?
NOTE: photo above from www.freedigitalphotos.net