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How to create a stress-free homeschool this December

 

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

This is the time of year when my kids appreciate the fact that we started school in early July. We have been off since last week and will be off until after New Year’s.  We do this so that we can slow down and enjoy the Christmas season with less stress.

Many homeschooling families stick to their regular schedule throughout December because their kids do better with a consistent routine.

However, I know a lot of families are either taking some time off or are drastically scaling back their academic schedule.  If you fall into the latter group, you may be looking for ideas on how to create stress-free learning opportunities this month.

Before I offer my suggestions, let me first offer a disclaimer for families like mine so that you can carry on your December plans, guilt-free as well as stress-free. We start school in early July so that we can take December off. It is a scheduled school break for us.

That means there is lots of video game playing, TV watching, staying up late, and sleeping in. We sometimes bake together or do fun art projects (the girl, not the boy), but that’s the extent of December school for us.

If that describes your family, you may now resume watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, playing Words with Friends, or playing Just Dance with your kids and enjoy your time off. Do not feel an ounce of guilt from the following suggestions.

Now, for those of you who are still doing school, but want to scale back your academic schedule for December, may I suggest the following:
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The 10 commandments of a family road trip

The 10 commandments of a family road trip
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

My personal love of road trips stems from childhood–when Dad and I would hop into his rusty Toyota Celica, often without a destination in mind, and hit the open road most weekends. Though we never went far, I loved those hours spent in the car together.

But as a parent myself–with three children less than two years apart in age–my own growing family stayed away from road trips for quite some time, only venturing for a two day drive to see relatives in North Carolina now and then.

Our first experience planning, executing, and living through a lengthy family road trip came this past summer on our Little House road trip through the Midwest–nine days in the van together, eight nights sharing one hotel room.
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Cultivating a heart of service in our children

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Written by Alecia Baptiste of AleciaBaptiste.com.

Somehow serving and helping others has always been a part of who I am.

It just seems to be woven into my DNA. I’m the kind of person who sees injustice, a hurt or need and something wells up from deep inside me. I just have to do something!

Even as a kid, I’d watch the commercials about the kids in Ethiopia who were starving. For the price of one cup of coffee a day, we could feed a child.

One day while watching one of those commercials, I decided that I wanted to help at least one needy child.

Well, with many years behind me and four children later, my heart of service has become a part of the DNA of our home, and we’ve found many ways to impact those in need.

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5 fantasy worlds your kids will love

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The following is a guest post by Corinne Jacob of Alternate Tutelage.

I started reading Harry Potter at around the time the third book was released; it was the first one I read, and remains my favorite to this day.

By the time the seventh book was out, my entire family was hooked.

We waited eagerly for its release and bought our copy almost the day it was out, my father getting to it first. My younger brother started on it the minute he got back from school, while I could only begin reading once I got home from college.

There was only one copy of the book, and none of us was willing to wait for the others to finish with the seven hundred-plus pages. The solution?

All of us read it at once. Each of us twisted into weird contortions holding open the chapter we were on, trying not to disturb our fellow readers who were on different chapters.

The L-shaped sofa helped.
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Homeschooling growth through community

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The following is a guest post by Kassandra Brown of ParentCoaching.org.

“A big wind blows…”

My daughter is in the middle of a 30-person circle, holding one arm out as she turns slowly to look at all of us.

“On all of those….”

She smiles and pauses dramatically.

“Who have … boots!” she shouts triumphantly.

Chaos erupts as everyone scrambles for a new seat. Some folks are slower than others looking at each other and saying “I’m not wearing boots but I do have them,” before they, too, get up.

We’re in the midst of our community’s “Meet and Greet,” an evening event where we play icebreakers with the 13 strangers-about-to-become-friends who’ll be staying with us for the next week or two.

My daughter and I agreed to host the event and I’m delighted to see her participating so fully.

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