Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas School!

December is a crazy time of year, and it can make keeping up with homeschooling very difficult.  Or sometimes we focus on the schooling and get through the month only to realize we missed or skipped some special experiences.  About 10 years ago I read about one family's "Christmas School" where they shift their focus for school during the month of December.   We've been trying to do that for a while now.  What does that look like?  Well, it looks different every year, but generally.....

BOOKS- We have so many sweet and wonderful Christmas books that we love to read.  With all of the hustle and bustle it can be easy to just leave them on the shelf.  Most mornings I'm very intentional about reading at least one of these books.  As we get closer to Christmas We will devote more of our group school time to reading these books.  Most have historical or character value to them making them perfectly acceptable to use as "school."  We often make up a pot of tea to enjoy along with the books.  This also keeps Christmas break from becoming a "free for all" while providing a more relaxing atmosphere since most other formal schooling is set aside during this time.  While many are geared to the younger crowd, I've also been intentional about picking up some "older" books and books that go deeper.

BAKING-  In the week or so before Christmas we get quite a bit of baking done.  Older children choose their favorites; they let me know what needs to be added to the shopping list and do the baking/cooking.  Littles join me or their older siblings to help out.

GAMES-  We have so many games.  Card games, board games, tile games and other activity games.  With the weather so cold this is a great time to be intentional about pulling those games out in the afternoon (or any time that works).  Most games we own hold some educational value making this a great choice both for bonding and keeping up some school.

CRAFTS- The Christmas season seems to bring out the crafty side in many of us.  Kids are the same.  I love to see my children using this more relaxed time to get extra creative.  This year my 7 year old really took off decorating our downstairs with chains and other paper crafts she'd been exploring.  Just having simple items like construction paper, tape, glue, and scissors can go a long way for a kid.  Adding other crafting items is great too.  Then just let them take off!

TOYS- We put away many of the usual toys that are out and replace them with Christmas Toys.  These are mostly Nativity sets, but there are some other seasonal toys as well.  Puzzles, bells, dolls dressed in their Christmas best, and others help the little ones experience the season in a more hands on way.

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