We are having a relaxed month in our schooling this December. How, I wondered, did I do that? I had to stop and think. Last year was our first year homeschooling and I suppose I put pressure on myself to continue school as usual and do all the holiday stuff: shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, mailing packages and cards, attending every holiday related thing in a 25 mile radius. I don’t do all that holiday stuff because I think I should or that it’s what one is supposed to do, but because I like all that stuff. The thing is, who can do all that and educate their children and you know, feed said children? And launder said childrens’ clothes? Without losing major amounts of sleep or sanity or both? Well probably some people can, but I am not one of them.
And I surely can’t do it all and still relax and enjoy my family. So this year, I scheduled “light school” from Thanksgiving to the new year. We stopped history altogether. Our science co-op finished up until we reconvene in the Spring and I didn’t rush to fill this spot with other science stuff, even though I have a fun book about experiments that Firefly and I both have been wanting to delve into. I scheduled all the fun holiday things we want to do, and then sprinkled schooly stuff around it. So a typical day in our house this month has gone something like this:
9:30ish Advent calendars. We have three. One has activities, one is a character advent, and the third is just a fun felt Christmas tree with a numbered decoration for each day and a musical star that plays Jingle Bells, which we press and then dance around with the dog each morning.
10:00ish Depending on what our Advent activity is, we might do that (bake, read a Christmas book, make a card for someone), then we do a little school work (reading and math). We throw in a few fun activities like our Gingerbread Man theme or a Grinch theme. We practice some of the things we’ve been working on over the past few months, a review of sorts (telling time and math review for Firefly, calendar stuff and money counting for The Queen Bee).
11:30ish The kids play. I make lunch. Then if it’s warm enough and not raining we might go outside to play in the yard or the woods or take the dog for a hike.
2:00ish We seem to always have afternoon activities of some sort. The Queen Bee has ballet, Firefly has piano lessons. Or we play with friends. Or we go run errands. Or the kids scamper upstairs to play whatever elaborate pretending game they have going on while I get some time on the computer or catch up on laundry.
Eveningish The Husband comes home, we have dinner. Some nights we have Lego Club or Basketball for Firefly. We read some Harry Potter before bed.
It’s a really nice rhythm that we’ve gotten into, now that I see it all written down.
And in between, we have done so many fun things: made little gingerbread houses with Daddy, gone to a holiday show, hung out with the grandparents. And perhaps the highlight of our month so far has been, not all of the holiday stuff, but the celebration of Love Bug. He has turned three. As a Mom, I am now required to make the following official statement: “How is it possible that my baby is three?”
Well, I don’t know, but I am glad that my second-year homeschooling self is slowing down a bit more to enjoy it.