Right around the time you may be feeling like your homeschool routine could use some extra sparkle, a boost of creativity and a touch of magic—the holidays appear on the horizon—providing just the inspiration you need to close out the semester with smiles and some good cheer.
Here are eight ways to incorporate holiday fun into your homeschool this year.
The easiest way to inject the holiday spirit into everything you do is to play your favorite holiday music. Create a long and lovely playlist of all of your family’s favorites and fa-la-la your way through math, language arts, and all the rest.
Whether you’re planning the holiday dinner table or decking the halls with boughs of holly, the possibilities are endless when it comes to putting artistic skills to use. Ditch worksheets for a table of craft supplies and messy fun, and allow your kids to take the lead on some decorative choices this year. They’ll flex their creative muscles while making holiday memories to last a lifetime.
In a year that may feature an emptier calendar than usual, make good use of the extra time by creating personalized, heartfelt gifts for loved ones this season. Encourage your children to think compassionately of each gift recipient and what might bring them comfort or joy. Whether you’re baking special treats, customizing a gift basket, knitting a scarf, or putting other unique talents to work, you’ll reinforce lessons in creativity and good character.
Can shopping be educational? It sure can. Have your children make a list, devise a budget, research options, and plan a shopping excursion to take care of their own personal gift lists this year. You can even incorporate working extra chores to earn more money or starting their own business, even, to teach countless lessons and life skills centered on holiday giving.
Of course, enjoying holiday books is a no-brainer for homeschoolers. Amp up your collection by visiting a local bookstore or your library. Take advantage of your library’s online request system to locate classic reads that will set the tone for the holiday season.
No holiday is complete without homemade sweet treats. Enlist your children to peruse cookbooks for new recipe ideas. Allow them freedom in the kitchen, to measure, mix, and use various tools and appliances. Encourage tasting, decorating, packaging and sharing. Kitchen learning is extra delicious this time of year.
Just because you homeschool doesn’t mean your kiddos need to miss out on the delight of watching a holiday movie “in school.” Toss aside the curriculum for a surprise showing of “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” “The Polar Express,” or “Frosty the Snowman,” and don’t forget the popcorn!
One aspect that sets apart homeschooling from the standard model of school is that a family can dig deep into their traditions and values. Truly celebrate what’s most meaningful to you this time of year, incorporating it all into your children’s education. Whatever you’re celebrating, teach your children the deeper meanings behind the celebrations and instill in them the values you hold most dear.