Do you find homeschooling during December to be overwhelming? I’m Wendy, one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. 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 finding it nearly impossible to do school, handle the house and laundry (and all of those things that must be done on a regular basis all year round,) and take care of so many holiday-related responsibilities. My honest opinion? It’s perfectly fine to take off December if you want or need to do so! I’ll even share with you 3 reasons NOT to do school in December.
Keep in mind that choosing not to do school during December doesn’t mean your children won’t be learning! In fact, they’ll be learning lots of important, valuable skills and information that they’ll need as adults for their own families. There are lots of things that your children can learn during the holidays, even without doing regular school work.
#1 Teach them to care for others.
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.
#2 Teach them good money management skills.
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.
Grocery shopping and meal planning help, not only with budgeting, but also with developing the skills needed to keep an organized and smoothly-running home. (And this is another area in which they can 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 as adults.
Baking holiday treats is a great way to develop creativity, show love and care for others, and even work on math skills! Most children love helping with baking and decorating holiday treats! 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. It’s also a wonderful way for our children to learn to love and care for others–whether it’s a family member, friend, or someone who’s sick and needs a little extra cheer this Christmas. And of course it’s an opportunity to work on math skills, too!
#3 Help them strengthen family and sibling relationships.
Being with the family and working together on holiday activities, traveling, house cleaning, 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 closer relationships 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!
If you’d like to read more about options for homeschooling and continuing to learn during December even if you take the month off from “formal” homeschooling, you’ll enjoy this article called ADVENTure School. But be sure to leave a comment on this article first! We’d love to hear from you!
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?