At this point, most of you have completed your Christmas shopping. But what about a gift for yourself? We’re here to give you an excellent Christmas gift idea that you deserve: Time off from homeschooling! And, honestly, it’s not only about you deserving this gift but also about needing it. Here’s why.
1. You need rest!
- Teacher job burnout is real, whether you teach in your home or a brick-and-mortar school. The job can lead to emotional and behavioral exhaustion, contributing to physical health.
- Research has indicated that teaching is one of the most stressful occupations. Teachers have higher levels of psychological stress and burnout compared with other occupations.
- Teacher burnout also negatively affects students’ academic achievement and social behavior.
Teaching can be exhausting, whether you’re instructing one student or 20. And that exhaustion can seep into your physical well-being and family dynamic. Everyone needs a break occasionally, and homeschool teachers are no exception! Do yourself a favor…take a week or two off from school, relax, enjoy the holiday season, and recharge for the new year.
2. Your student needs a break.
While the bulk of the exhaustion likely falls on your shoulders, don’t forget that kids can also go into overdrive. Students of all ages need a break from school, just like teachers do. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you don’t have to abide by a strict school schedule. Of course, you probably don’t want a winter break that lasts as long as summer, but you should provide your child (and yourself) a healthy amount of time away from lessons, homework, exams, and studying.
A week, two weeks…it’s entirely up to you. Just plan ahead so you know you’ll finish the school year when you want to finish it. The time off from homeschooling allows you to relax and gives your student a much-needed break to enjoy the holidays’ excitement and return in January ready to learn.
3. The focus should be on Christmas.
The days surrounding Christmas are times to serve and share. Christmastime is the season to give and forgive. It’s also a time to cherish with family, friends, and loved ones. Put the curriculum, lessons, and homework aside during the Christmas season and focus on the meaning of Christmas.
If you’re a family of faith, you likely already attend church and Christmas Mass to honor this holiest of days. Bring some of that love and goodwill into the home by sharing Bible passages amongst the family, preparing food for those less fortunate, practicing forgiveness of others, or simply spreading cheer through smiles, waves, and small acts of kindness.
4. You should take care of yourself.
You put your child (or children) first every day throughout the school year. In most cases, we don’t rest until they rest. Homeschool teaching takes that prioritization to another level. You care for and nurture your child as a parent and are also responsible for their education. That’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. And while Christmas is the time of year to put others first, it’s also acceptable for you to be just a little bit selfish.
You earned it. You do the parenting, the teaching, and probably much more at home. Treat yourself not only to a break from homeschooling but also to some pampering. Schedule a spa day and a massage for you and your friends–or enjoy the solitude and go solo! Give yourself time each day to do what you want, whether it’s an hour of yoga in the morning, time spent alone in your favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee and a good book, or a shopping trip in the city. Whatever you enjoy doing most, take the time to do it. You dedicate so much to homeschooling every day–you deserve a treat.
Homeschooling, while incredibly rewarding, is also a lot of work. Everyone needs time to rest, recharge, and re-motivate themselves, and a Christmas break is the perfect time to do so. Take the time off from homeschooling to enjoy your family and friends, focus on the holiday, and rejuvenate yourself to get started again in the new year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!