In our homeschool, we have made it a tradition in the past that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we stop our regular school schedule and lessons, and we focus on fun seasonal subjects. We take extra time to learn about the birth of Jesus and his gift of salvation. We go to seasonal concerts, read books out loud as a family, watch movies together, and just do things that create fun holiday memories.
In years past, we have done sewing, crafts like candle making, soap making, bracelets, crocheting, etc. We also have a family cookie-baking tradition that we all take part in. We’ve also done special units in music and art. A side benefit to this is that it helps take some of the stress out of the holiday season for me. I don’t have to worry about lesson plans and grading. I don’t have to be “mean” teacher: I can be “fun” mommy.
This year I am in somewhat of a no man’s land. The girls are both pretty much done with school. Hannah has graduated, and Ginny still has a few classes but doesn’t need my help with anything. Plus both girls are working. Joel is just learning how to read, and I am probably going to have to find different holiday things for us to enjoy together — I don’t think the crafts we have done in the past will really catch his fancy.
This is one of the reasons I really like taking Joel to the Lowe’s Build and Grow. He can go and build something, I can help, and we both have fun together. So I’d like to come up with some other fun things we can do together this holiday season. I know he loves making the cookies and singing and being read to, but I need to find some “boyish” crafts he might be interested in.
I also don’t really think it would be wise to forego all of his lessons. He needs to continue growing in his reading skills and his addition facts. If we take a four-week break, it will mean reviewing after the new year. So I think we will just do our math facts sheet and reading lesson every day — then switch gears to the fun stuff.
I want to focus on really making good family memories this year. Every year, I realize how fast time is flying by. The girls will be out of the house soon, and I want the boys to have as much time making memories with them as possible.
One of the reasons this is important to me is that I realize now that I didn’t take advantage of this when I was a teen. My little sister is eight years younger than me, and I was always too wrapped up in my own little world to think about making memories with her. I remember once taking her to see “The Rescuers” at the movie theater, but those kinds of memories are few. Thankfully we now live near each other and we are close friends.
I think my girls are better at this than I was at their age. I have seen them take the time to play with their brothers and take them places. So I really want to continue making those family memories this holiday season, while we are still all together under one roof.