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Holiday Homeschooling Survival Guide

by Jessica Parnell | Dec 09, 2016 | 3 min read

Many of us look forward to the holiday season all year long; I know my children do! But for some of us, the holidays are more hectic than enjoyable. As homeschooling parents, our season is often filled with juggling packages and paperwork, advent and arithmetic, and it can all feel overwhelming. If you’re feeling more frazzled than festive, you’ve most likely missed the fact that homeschooling and the holidays are a perfect fit. It is possible to do more than survive homeschooling during the holidays! Here’s my Holiday Homeschooling Survival Guide to show how your family can enjoy an enriching holiday season without the stress!

Holiday Homeschooling Survival Guide

Survival Tip No. 1: Be Flexible. Homeschooling requires so much of us already that, when you add in caroling, concerts and Christmas traditions, it can seem overwhelming and suck the joy out of the season. That’s why it’s important to stay flexible. For some of you, this means throwing out the homeschooling schedule entirely. For others, it means simply easing up on the required deadlines, reading lists, and lessons. Being flexible means you can focus more energy on enjoying the season and be spontaneous. If your little ones feel like making Christmas cookies instead of going to the library for reading time, do it! If your high school daughter really wants to attend a Christmas play instead of practice trumpet, allow her to. Free up more time in your schedule for enjoying the season and push the homeschooling deadlines aside; it won’t kill you, and your children will still meet their goals while making important holiday memories.

Survival Tip No. 2: Make it about memories. The holidays should bring with them exciting traditions and memories that make family time more special. This holiday season, instead of focusing on getting through the second quarter or finishing December “well” in your homeschool routine, make this month about memories. Do a special advent devotional and Christmas craft each day. Make Nana’s cookies and bring them to neighbors or a local rest home. Go caroling in your neighborhood. Make it a point to create lasting Christmas memories each day with your family. Your heart will thank you for taking the time to make Christmas special by spending time with one another, NOT doing school!

Survival Tip No. 3: Keep it simple! Taking on too much during the holidays is often what makes us the most stressed. Let’s face it, there are a million Christmas cookies, ornaments, crafts, and decorating tips that could add stress that sinks your holiday ship. If you’re like me, gazing at the perfectly put-together Christmas mantle and intricate ornament patterns on Pinterest makes me want to crawl back into bed. If you have the time and energy to devote to those efforts, great! If not, keep it simple. Look around you; I bet you have all of the makings for a wonderful holiday season right in your home. Think hot chocolate by the fire, a Christmas movie each Tuesday, or neighborhood light drives in your jammies. And don’t be afraid to say “no” to those activities that don’t accomplish Survival Tip No. 2. Simple for us means one special holiday activity each day and NO elaborate crafts. We say no to most activities that are not Christmas-oriented, and say yes to serving others as much as we can. Simple holidays make for successful holidays!

Use our Holiday Homeschooling Survival Guide this season to have the most joyous season yet! I know that when I stay flexible, focus on memories, and keep our lives simple, the holidays are not only more enjoyable, they become the richest season of the year for our family. Above all, keep your eyes on the manger, the true reason for celebrating this Christmas season. Gaze at Him, and all else will become less important in light of His glory and grace!

How do you plan to survive your holiday season? Tell us in a comment below!

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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