Stay sane and have a little fun as you homeschool through the holidays. These are five ways to make it educational and enjoyable!
All month long, in an attempt to figure out our 2020 Thanksgiving plans, my boys and I have been watching Thanksgiving cooking videos on YouTube.
This will be the very first year that we are celebrating with just the four of us.
Two immunocompromised children, a service dog who is not very good at sanitizing his paws (or entire body for that matter), and a family who doesn’t fly well in the best of circumstances means we are missing our annual, out of state trip to my sister’s house.
Knowing it would be different, I wanted to get my boys involved in some sort of project to occupy their minds, and honestly, take up some of the time.
Having them in charge of every aspect of our Thanksgiving dinner (with my help and support, of course – I’m not that brave) has been a wonderful way to prepare for the holiday season.
The more YouTube videos we watched, the more recipes we gathered. The more recipes we gathered, the more shopping lists we made. The more shopping lists we made, the more budgets we needed to revise.
All of it culminated in our going to the store together, during a very slow time of day. The boys took a cart, their list, and went on their way.
They stayed in budget, chose the best produce, and didn’t miss a thing on the list. Y’all, they even did it without arguing.
Thanksgiving this year, is turning out to be one of the best learning activities we’ve completed together in a long time! It got me thinking, what else can we easily do as we homeschool through the holidays?
5 Fun and Easy Ways To Homeschool Through The Holidays
Here are five ways I think you can homeschool through the holidays, without losing your mind, and have a little fun in the process!
Make Stuff and Give It Away
One year, my oldest made authentic fruit cakes from scratch and we delivered it to our friends throughout the month. This year, my youngest is making homemade marmalade for us to leave on our friends doorsteps.
My friend Colleen, at Raising Lifelong Learners, is taking fresh eggs from her chickens, festively wrapped by her kiddos, to local families.
This is not only a great way to show kindness to others, it keeps our children in the holiday spirit while learning!
Holiday Themed Resources
There’s something about taking a learning activity and giving it a holiday twist, that really works for my boys. Maybe it’s because they know it’s temporary? Regardless, I find it much easier to entice them with a little holiday flair.
Our favorite resource so far this season is the free Holiday Story Spinner from Bardsy.
You spin the virtual wheel and are given a character, world, and theme to use in creating a holiday story.
My youngest is getting to be quite creative with his story telling. Usually, he walks around and tells me the story while I type it for him. Sometimes, we all just make up the story verbally and have a little fun. Either way, it’s a great resource for homeschooling through the holidays.
Add Sensory Activities
We are indoors more and moving less. This means some level of sensory dysregulation for my kiddos, no matter what. Because of this, I created a list of 31 Winter Themed Sensory Activities a few years back, to make it super easy for me to come up with new ideas as we homeschool through the holiday season. You can find the list HERE if you’re interested for family.
Change Up The Homeschool Routine
It has never worked for me to try to maintain the same homeschool learning plan in the stretch of time between Thanksgiving and New Years. Now, I make a different plan, one that works for the holidays and allows me to stay sane!
I am sharing this plan at Simple Homeschool this week if you want to take a peek.
Do The Work Together
I can’t stress enough how wonderful it was to get my boys involved in our holiday meal planning and prep. I think any time we can allow our kiddos to age appropriately engage in the “work” of the holidays, it adds a real life component to our learning and our daily interactions that absolutely “counts” as homeschool time well spent!
The holidays and homeschool do not have to compete with one another. In fact, my experience has been that homeschooling through the holidays is a great way to learn and make memories along the way.
Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.