Homeschooling during a holiday season can be frustrating and stressful. Planning in advance what your goals are will help you avoid a January depression and thoughts of quitting.
In my early years of homeschooling, I wanted to cram every holiday opportunity into our schedules to make sure my boys had many memories of festive activities. We would go to every party, play date, festival, and event. I have hosted my share of gingerbread house decorating parties, (don’t do it), pilgrim dress up parties and make a holiday gift parties.
We have had just a few families over and up to thirty kids from the co-op at our house for these events. As I look back over the photographs, my boys had some good times with friends. However, it burned me out trying to do all of these things. When January rolled around, I was so exhausted and their routine was non-existent that by month’s end I wanted to quit.
The boys and I sat down recently to look at the calendar and schedule a few events. We began talking about those crazy years. The truth is they don’t remember half of it and the rest was just ok. My question to them was what holiday activities have you enjoyed in the past that made an impression on you? I asked which one they would like to do again.
Their answers surprised me and almost made me feel guilty. They both said they enjoyed the smaller group activities with just a few kids. They could enjoy their time more. Both of them also said that we did so many things that it was blurry to think any of them was a favorite. Family time, making gifts and the Christmas day at a local pioneer settlement was their absolute favorite and they viewed them as a tradition.
I think it was hard for them to admit but they said they felt irritated and out of sorts after the holidays because our days were random and we didn’t have any of our normal routines. They were not complaining that their school work was less, however, that there wasn’t a basic routine in place.
I found this information so valuable that I wanted to pass it on to you. Especially if you are a newer homeschool mom of younger children and you envision not missing out on fun opportunities. I have learned that savoring the few holiday activities we do is far more memorable than packing our weeks with crazy fun.
So how can you look at the holiday season and map out a plan? Here are a few tips to keep your stress levels down and soak up the joy in your children this year:
Shedding the old and resting to begin anew. Nature has a lot for us to learn.