Bah humbug! You have to homeschool during the Christmas holiday. Forget how you got here (starting later in the school year, taking that extra week off when you really needed it, planning an exciting spring vacation next year). Now, the month of December you wanted to take off has school in the mix. Guess what? You can get your schoolwork done while enjoying the Christmas holiday.

You may have a long list of lessons that need to get done but be realistic. There are only 31 days in December and you are going to have to give your children at least three of them (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve). Don’t be a Grinch!

Decide what absolutely needs to get done and be purposeful about completing those assignments. HomeLife Academy (HLA) requires four subjects of study through middle school. In high school, that requirement increases. During this month, choose the four most important subjects and keep the pace going for the next few weeks. If you have a child in elementary school, math, reading, penmanship and history would be good subjects to study. For middle school, you could continue the pace in math, literature, history and science. High school may be a little tough to decide, but continuing with math, science, literature/English and a foreign language are good subjects to keep on schedule. With that decided, it is time for Christmas fun.

After each school day, be intentional and include one of the following activities as part of your day. Soon, the Christmas spirit will overshadow the fact school is still in session.

ART
Cards

Make Christmas cards to send out to family and friends. If mailing Christmas cards is a thing of the past in this digital age, bring the sentiment back with handmade cards from your children. Postage is expensive, so make a list of special family and friends who will receive these cards that will be cherished. If Christmas surprises you every year, make New Year’s Day cards that may be sent out any time after Christmas Day.

Since your children are bound to receive gifts this holiday season, making thank you notes is another idea. A creatively decorated card with a picture of them using their gift is a great way to say thank you.

Ornaments
Lights, garland and tinsel make a Christmas tree shine, but handmade ornaments add a loving touch. Salt dough, craft paper and wood rounds are all nice materials to use for making ornaments. Purchase Christmas balls and let your children decorate them. Date the ornaments for a walk down memory lane when you use them for future Christmases.

Handmade Gifts
Handmade gifts are fun to do and allow creative juices to flow. Framed painted or drawn pictures, jewelry, sewn accessories or clothing, and soaps are other ideas of gifts people love to receive. They may take a bit longer to create, but could be a two or more day project after school. Your children may enjoy creating so much they want to continue into the new year making their handmade goods (and possibly selling them).

LIFE SKILLS
Baking is Fun (and Yummy)

Don’t go through the holidays without making something. Baking cookies is easy and the recipes are unlimited. It is also something all family members can do in the kitchen. Bake one batch of cookies each week or let each child choose their own recipe and make a variety of batches for everyone to enjoy. The cookie jar will be overflowing with yumminess.

Save at least one day to make a gingerbread house. Use gingerbread you bake or pick up some graham crackers at the store to build the houses.

Decoration and Hospitality
Turn on the music and decorate the Christmas tree and around the house. Give your children a room or area in the house to decorate and let them give that space their own special touch.
If you have guests coming, let your children help plan the menu for the meal and light snacks to be served before dinner. Don’t be afraid to let them assist with preparing the meal. After all, they will one day entertain holiday guests in their own home.

Prepare cookie bags with the Christmas cookies they make for guests to take home.

MUSIC
Caroling

Use your voices or pull out the instruments and learn Christmas songs. You can take your show on the road and go Christmas caroling in your neighborhood or visit a local nursing home or hospital.

READING
Reading may be one thing you want to include every day. Grab your favorite Christmas books and let one of your children choose the book of the day to read. Make it more exciting and wrap each book like a present. It will be fun opening the gift and reading the book together. Depending on the age of your children, let everyone have a turn at reading a few pages of the book.

Reading from the Bible about the birth of Jesus is one story everyone may enjoy.

MATH
Go Christmas Shopping

Plan a day of Christmas shopping. Before you head out, sit down with your children for them to make a list of the gift recipients. Set a dollar amount, so they can budget their money. If your children earn an allowance or have a job outside of the home, let them use their money towards what they purchase. You may want to add a few dollars to their balance, but learning how to spend only the money they have/or budgeted is a good lesson in money management. Some of the people they want to gift may appreciate a handmade item or baked good (or just a pretty handmade Christmas card), which they can do without spending a lot or any money.

Get the school work done, but also make time to enjoy the Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas from HLA!


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©2019 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.