My boys will be thrilled that I am reminding you that there are only 12 days until Christmas.
But there aren't.
There are actually almost 24.75 days until Christmas.
But who's counting?
We love the Christmas countdown so much, that we have to guard against becoming so obsessed with "counting down" that we miss the actual Christmas season. Sure, if you stand on your head and cross your eyes you can see baby Jesus in the manger, but that's not good enough.
We are busily carrying out our Holiday Traditions and humming wonderful worship songs to celebrate the birth of Christ and going through our Jesse Tree Readings.
Typically by December first, we have:
- Decorated our home inside and out for Christmas (actually, we do that before Thanksgiving)
- Baked 2 Turkeys
- Prepared all excess leftovers into freezer meals to both enjoy and bless others
- Completed our Christmas shopping
- Baked too many desserts
- Created advent countdowns
- Donated a pile of food
- Began our Advent Study
- Sat with friends and prayed
- Learned about Snow and division
- Restacked our wood pile to prepare for crazy rain, wind, or snow.
Not a long list of school assignments and projects.
I have been homeschooling now for a long time.
Every year, until recently, I rejoice that the holidays are here and then find myself fighting off the feelings of guilt that we are not doing as much traditional school work as the world might think is necessary...
Do you struggle with maintaining a consistent pace in your homeschooling?
Do you find yourself fighting off feelings of guilt and condemnation because you believe "others" may feel you should be doing more?
For you new homeschoolers, do not lose heart!
Here are a few secrets to Homeschooling through the Holidays (or any season for that matter):
Remember that you are the ones in control of your children's education. There are times where you need to work through the writing process and help your child produce a beautifully written 5 paragraph essay. There are also times where the best education your child can receive is to join you as you lay aside "school" to meet the needs of someone in your sphere of influence, or to enjoy a life-skills experience together. You get to decide when these things happen.
Purpose to live your life "Out loud" in a way that causes your children to want the kind of life you lead. Circumstances, finances, and living conditions might not be ideal in your mind, but the way you live your life is critical.
Purpose to seek peace, love, joy, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control in your every day schooling.
Have your holiday celebrations, traditions, and routines take center stage. Be creative as you pull out "school" lessons from Christmas carols and volunteering.
Use the bustle of the holidays to allow you to reevaluate how you are schooling. Something magical happens when life derails our plans. We can see clearly what is working and what is failing.
Remember homeschooling is like long distance running, not the 100 yard dash. Allow the holiday rush to give you permission to slow down and focus in on that certain project your kids are working on right now. Remove the due dates in your mind and on your calendar and enjoy the learning process with your kids.
But most of all, Stop squinting: move Jesus to front and center stage.
The New Year will bring a burst of excitement with it and will likely renew your teaching energy. For now, look around you and enjoy your children and the teachable moments that surround you!
Here is a peek at what we are studying:
This snowman pack was designed by our youngest son