Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday School

So, when I returned from my little vacation, I talked about my plans for our homeschool. Then, I gave it some thought and wouldn't you know, I've changed my mind.

I am in my third year of homeschooling and I learned a long time ago that we do not get much done in the way of "real school" between about Thanksgiving and New Year's. After learning that, I decided long ago that I would create a school calendar that reflected that fact. I decided long ago that we would not even attempt to "do school" between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

Fast forward to this year. Even though I knew myself and my family, somehow I lost sight of that and fell victim to the pressure to "catch up" because I felt like we were "behind".

So, I made these grand plans to get X amount done between now and Christmas.


Not sure what I was thinking. Please excuse that momentarily lapse in judgement. I've since come to my senses and remembered what I knew to be true.

Who can concentrate on "lessons" when there are Christmas decorations and Christmas music and Christmas stories to read and goodies to bake and gifts to make and wrap and lights to string and lights to go out and look at and live nativities to visit?

I mean, really.

So, my new and improved, revised plan is this: CHRISTMAS SCHOOL in December.

We got our feet just a tad wet with Thanksgiving ~ we read (and narrated) The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh and are focusing this week on getting our groceries for Thursday and cooking.

As for Christmas, my plan is to get started with CHRISTMAS SCHOOL next week (after Thanksgiving has come and gone). Some of the things I have in mind:
  • Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker ~ We are listening to it, reading the story, will watch the DVD and are scheduled to go see the ballet in December.
  • Read Aloud "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
  • Read Christmas Stories 
  • Make gifts, make cards
  • Baking, decorating
  • St. Nicholas (the real one)
  • Jesus
  • Solstice
I'm thinking that we will try to maintain a couple of things (like math and cursive and reading and the OM Fairy Tales), try to alter a couple of things (like copywork from the Christmas stories and our Bible time being focused on the story of Jesus and his birth) and just try to relax and enjoy.

From the library:
  • Country Angel Christmas, Tomie DePaola
  • The Clown of God, Tomie DePaola
  • Jingle, The Christmas Clown, Tomie DePaola
  • Merry Christmas, Strega Nona, Tomie DePaola
  • The Nutcracker, Jane Mason
  • The Nutcracker Ballet, Deborah Hautzig
  • A Visit from Saint Nicholas, and Santa Mouse, too!, Clement Clark Moore
  • The Legend of the Poinsettia, Tomie DePaola
  • In November, Cynthia Rylant
  • The Night Before Christmas, a Visit from Saint Nicholas, Clement Clark Moore
  • Michael Hauge's Family Christmas Treasury
  • A Christmas Treasury, Very Merry Stories and Poems, Kevin Hawkes
  • The Kingfisher Book of Classic Christmas Stories
So, we are finishing up The Wizard of Oz at night and when that is finished we will read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. We are reading The Nutcracker during the day and will read the other stories throughout the next few weeks. Some more I need to look for, I guess, would be The Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

How do you homeschool during the Holiday Season?


  1. I love this. :)

    We take off the entire month of December. (Well- through New Years). No school. That leaves us extra time for:

    *decorating the house
    *playing- especially with cousins/family/friends when they're around for various holiday events
    *read-alouds! (We're going to read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this year, too!) and all the other Christmas books we've collected over the years- we bring them out only for this month and we all love them.
    *baking- goodies for functions and for neighbors and for us
    *making/purchasing/wrapping gifts
    *more freedom in our schedule
    *listening to/dancing around the house to Christmas music

    I am thankful we do this every year. It was too much for me to try to do school on top of all of the festivities-- we just wore ourselves too thin. This way we get to make celebrating our PRIORITY! :)

  2. ABSOLUTELY! To be honest, it may be "high hopes" my saying we'll try to still do math and copywork. In all honesty, we've never managed to do ANY school during the month of December! :-) We've always done just what you say ... ENJOY! We'll see how this year goes. I may just accept the fact and get myself ready to start fresh in January.


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