Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
If you went to traditional school growing up, you probably remember the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation. They involved excited restless bodies, counting down the days and minutes until holiday time (& a break from school) arrived.
Teachers recall trying to control the wiggly masses and attempting to keep learning levels high. It seems like yesterday to me–the blessed relief I felt at no more school for two whole weeks!
Homeschooling families don’t deal with this exact situation, but we still struggle with similar issues. When our children begin having trouble paying attention–gazing longingly at the holiday decorations, what should we do?
A Few Options
1. You can, of course, choose to structure your days more or less like a traditional school. You have days “on” for school and you have days “off.” So you keep pressing on until you reach the end of your school days, even if it takes an extra dose of discipline from yourself or your little ones.
2. I heard a speaker at a homeschooling conference suggest that families follow the three months on/one month off calendar in their homeschools. This means you’d school for September, October, and November, leaving the entire month of December off from official studies.
3. Those who consider themselves unschoolers or interest-led learners specialize in integrating life and education, and what better time to do so than during the holiday season. Everything from budgeting for presents, addressing holiday cards, and baking cookies offers a myriad of natural learning opportunities.
These are just three of the endless options open to homeschoolers when the holidays begin peeking around the corner, which leads us to our question for the day.
How do you structure your learning time during the holiday season? What have you found works best to allow you to enjoy the uniqueness of this time of year, while also continuing the learning in your homeschool?