4 things to do now you’ll thank yourself for next year

Written by Kara Fleck

In our house, December is a time we set aside our regular schoolwork and dedicate ourselves to seasonal activities and celebrations.

But before you tuck away your homeschool for the calendar year, here are a few things to do that you will be thanking yourself for when you start lessons again:

1. Catch up with that paperwork

I have reading lists for four kids that need updating, assignments that need to be filed away in the appropriate kid’s binder, artwork that needs to be documented and then recycled, and various other record keeping tasks.

I find it harder to keep up with these tasks on the days we have lessons and somehow the weekends just never seem to mesh with this kind of bookkeeping. A dedicated hour or two in December should be enough to catch me back up again.

2. Tidy the bookshelves

If everything goes according to plan this December, I’ve got a date with some bookshelves. I think it would be lovely to play some holiday music, pour something warm, and spend time tidying our home library. Our books have a tendency to pile up, despite all the best intentions for shelving them when we’re done.

Take some time to declutter and pass along any books you no longer want and make room for new additions. Don’t forget to give the desks, cubbies, and any other place you’ve got homeschool materials hanging out a good once-over, too.

Books and school supplies are one of my favorite kinds of messes, so I don’t mind this task. Just think how pleasant it is going to be to have everything settled and fresh when we start lessons again. Plus, I always rediscover old favorites waiting for the next reader in line.

3. Make a wish list

Are there supplies you’ve used up? Things you wish you had in your homeschool? Books you’re eager to add to the shelves? Games you’d like to add to your collection?

Add those items to your holiday wish lists. This mama has asked Santa for a new printer and we’re always on the lookout for games the whole family can play.

Pass those requests along to relatives looking to give to your family. Spend any gift cards and cash presents you receive or keep an eye out for them while you’re doing your seasonal shopping. A few of our favorite stocking stuffers are crayons, markers, and fun pencils.

4. Set up your new calendar

This is a good time to check in with your rhythms and routines. How are things feeling in your homeschool?

Is time crunched? Do you need to revamp routines? Add in some more planning days? Are there gaps you’d like to fill in with some new activities? Do you have deadlines coming up? Testing?

Even if you’ve already planned out your school year, this half-way point is a good time to check in. Is your calendar lining up with your goals and meeting your needs? If yes, fantastic! Continue the course. But if not, now’s the time to make adjustments.

Taking a little bit of time now to organize and tidy our homeschool spaces and schedules will be a welcome gift we can unwrap in the new year.

What are some homeschooling-related tasks that you’d like to complete before the end of the year?

About Kara

Kara is mother of four, a caregiver, and a striped sock knitter. Uncomplicated and unconventional, you can find her sharing simple living tips at K. Elizabeth Fleck.


  1. Great things to do! I’m past the homeschooling years but I remember doing these things during the Christmas season. We also took that time off. One of my favorite things to do were these very steps you list. I didn’t have them neatly lined out like this, but somehow I naturally just did them. I think I am an organizing freak!

  2. This is a great reminder to set aside December to file away paperwork. I SO need to sort through our artwork and other paperwork to decide what to keep and what to toss. Thank you!
    June’s latest post: Our Unconventional Big Family Homeschool Schedule (for when yours stops working)

  3. What a great list of reminders to end the year right! Thanks for sharing this with us! Keep up the great work always and have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

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