December is the most exciting most of the entire year, but homeschooling during the month of December is difficult. It shouldn’t be, but it is. There seems to be more things that need to get done and everyone (including the teacher) just wants to be done – forever, it seems.
Sometimes it’s hard to teach our children while they are dreaming of toys and treats. I tend to change up our homeschooling, so that we are still learning, but we are embracing the excitement of the season.
Let Them Help
Having our children help us with things that need to get done teaches our children responsibility and teaches them useful life skills. The problem that we have, most of the time, is that we don’t have the time or patience to have our children help. What we need to do is schedule a time to complete our tasks so that our children can help. If they are sent away while we “just get it done”, where is the fun in that?
There is usually a lot of baking that is done this time of year
* Reading & Following Directions
* Science ~ Chemical Reactions
* Math ~ Fractions (measuring cups/spoons)
We have always let the boys pick what decorations that they want in their room(s). We have fun looking through the Christmas boxes and deciding what we will put out each year. Then we spend the day transforming our home for Christmas.
* Math ~ Count & Divide the Ornaments, Sort colors, Shapes
Follow Directions ~ Putting the Tree Up
Science ~ Lights/Electricity/Currents
Who doesn’t have a million things that you are doing throughout the month? Have the kids help with the scheduling and teach them some things in the meantime.
* Math ~ Calendar Skills (days/hours)
Logic ~ Spreading out activities, Planning Details
(what do we need to do/get before an activity)
Give your children a budget and a grocery advertisement. Let them come up with a Christmas dinner plan.
Theme Days or Weeks
I work very well off of a theme. Jesus, snowmen, angels, cookies, movies, etc. Anything can be a theme. Think of different themes for each week of December or, if you’re really ambitious, every day. Keeping your homeschool work close to the theme will make it more exciting to complete.
24 Books Wrapped Under the Tree
One year, as I searched our bookshelf for Christmas books, I found that I had over 24 of them. I didn’t want to just put them in a basket for the month, so I decided to make it a little more exciting to read a Christmas book each day for the month of December. I wrapped each book and put them all underneath the tree. Each day, our boys would take turns going to the tree to choose a “gift” for us to read. They loved the anticipation of what book they found. They really thought that it was wonderful to be able to unwrap a present before Christmas.
Who doesn’t love making a count-down chain from construction paper? One year, I took it a step further. We made 3 chains. Then I put a wreath hook over our sons’ bedroom door and hung all three chains over the hook (where the wreath should be). I taped the 2 side chains to the edges of the door (to make a triangle) and left the 3rd chain hang in the middle. The middle chain is what the boys tore off from to count down the days until Christmas.
* Math ~ Counting Forwards and Backwards, Patterns
Sometimes it’s difficult to have our high schooler’s work fit into the Christmas theme, but I think it can be done, to some degree.
* Student Teachers ~ Have them come up with the themes and ideas for homeschooling their siblings. Put them in the teacher’s seat for awhile. It is great for them to think from the teacher’s perspective for a change and it will give you a break.
* Writing ~ They have theme their writing assignments for
* Research ~ Have them research Christmas traditions or themes and write about it.
* Reading ~ Your high schooler could enjoy reading “The Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
* Math ~ They could also put together a Christmas dinner menu on a budget. Better yet, have them put together your menu with you. Have them shop with you and then figure out how much each person’s meal costs.
Thank you to Felicia from Homeschool 4 Life for this guest post.