This is the 9th of the 12 Days of Holiday Organizing series, which is part of the 12 Days of Homeschooling Fun with crafts, meal planning, recipes, holiday-themed study units and more! Today, we talk about how to homeschool through the holidays with fun activities and drop the stress if kids aren’t into it.
I hear from so many parents at this time of year, particularly those who are new to homeschooling, that kids are unhappy, hating on school and just not into it. Can you blame them? Best advice I ever had, and didn’t take until it was obvious, was to unschool through the holidays.
That means basically let them be. Seriously. Let. Them. Be. Every homeschool is as different as every family’s holiday traditions. Do you the way you want. That’s the beauty of homeschooling.
Theme Learning Through the Holidays
Just because you ditch the math, history or another structured curriculum for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to stop “school” altogether. There are some truly worthwhile study units around the holidays.
When I look for holiday activities, I lead with what interests them. They both love a good mystery, so I found this Hawaiian Christmas Mystery from Teaching Without Chairs. It’s a small part of the Christmas Around the World series that is filled with geography lessons, recipes for holiday foods for each country and so much more. There’s something for anyone within the series. We plan to make the Christmas Cake from the Christmas in Japan unit study.
Captivating Compass has a 12 days of Christmas Traditions that delves into the why of mince pie, the mistletoe ball and other interesting tidbits about the holiday. She also has an online course for middle and high school Christmas in Charles Dickens’ Victorian England.
For Preschool and Elementary
Those fine motor skills always need tuning. No Stress Homeschooling has a Christmas Fine Motor Skills Activity pack with mazes, dot-to-dot and other fun games that keep littles busy and learning. Also check out her 12 Days of Christmas Activities that has holiday-themed writing, math and handwriting worksheets.
What Our Holiday Homeschool Looks Like
I like to hear how other people are spending their homeschool through the holidays so I thought I’d share mine.
While we take more breaks than they do in public school throughout the year, we also don’t take the entire summer off. I found if we take too much time off, the twins don’t want to get back into a schedule.
We unschool through the holidays. That means, for us, that they choose what to do (and what not to do) during our 2-hour homeschool day. They continue to complete about 30 minutes of math on Prodigy, their decision. They like the battles and challenges. They play with friends from around the world that they went to school with through second grade and who have moved to far off places. (We’re a military town, so we have friends from Vermont to Germany.)
I put books out and my reader snaps them up. My non-reader prefers the vocabulary and grammar books we have this year and will do those during that time in our holiday homeschool day. They chose to keep “1100 Words You Should Know” in our holiday homeschool. It’s been really fun to learn the roots of words and slip in words like chicanery and preamble in our daily conversations. We’re word geeks.
The self-quarantining we’ve been doing has thrown us all off our schedule. On the days when we need a break, we’ll do a treasure hunt for treats, bake something yummy or do one of the Christmas activities I have stashed for such occasions.