All of life is education, so that means homeschooling through the holidays! Here are tons of tips for keeping the holidays meaningful and fun and still logging homeschool hours.
Homeschooling through the Holidays
One of the best things about homeschooling is realizing that all of life is education! This means that even during the holidays, we can be giving our homeschoolers lots of fun and inspirational educational experiences. Not only that, but many of these educational moments do not need to have anything to do with textbooks.
How to handle homeschooling all the way through January 1
Remember, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool! Let’s talk about some ways to handle homeschooling during the holidays.
First, you want to define your priorities for this holiday season and do a little planning so you do not start feeling lost. Ask yourself:
- What does your family need this year? Big holiday, small holiday?
- How much structure, scheduling and routine does your family need?
- Does your family shift into holiday rhythm well or need lots of warning about change?
- What demands will be on your family this holiday season?
Now that you have a little clarity, here are some ideas.
Have your homeschool high schoolers follow their syllabi
Many high schoolers are following a syllabus that will carry them up to their Christmas break. When teens follow their syllabi, it keeps their educational rhythms going and helps them stay up to date with their core courses.
So, if your teens are following along on their syllabi (or have co-op, online or umbrella-school classes) that they need to stay on top of, have them stick to the plan.
It is good, whenever possible, to take some time off from homeschooling during the holidays. Young people need a break from routine and hard academic work. That way, when they start again after Christmas break, they will feel more refreshed and ready to learn.
OR adjust the syllabus and work, instead, on family projects and hands-on learning
It is totally okay to rewrite your homeschool high schooler’s syllabi so that they take a few weeks off from homeschooling during the holidays. Instead, they can:
- Add a couple of weeks to the end of the school year so they have time to finish their core courses OR
- Consolidate some lessons before or after Christmas so that no additional time is needed OR
- Drop some repetitive lessons or activities that will not negatively affect your teens’ desired educational outcomes
- Our friend, Lisa, at A Rup Life, gives more practical tips for managing homeschooling schedules through the holidays.
Remember, for your homeschool high schoolers, you will want to log hours for their educational experiences. (If you are new to homeschooling high school, logging hours for Carnegie unit credits is one way to level up credits or earn credits.)
If you are homeschooling middle school or younger, you can log hours or simply keep samples of things you have been doing. Then keep those things in your records or portfolio.
Here are some ideas for family learning and projects
We love pulling fun and meaningful educational activities. That’s why we pulled together some of our favorites to share with our 7th Sisters. (Did you know that there are six of us 7Sisters? So, who is the 7th Sister? YOU are!)
7Sisters Twas the Week Before Christmas Learning Bundle: Hands on learning for the whole family!
- This bundle contain meaningful activities for teens:
- Writing a Holiday Family Narrative project
- A Christmas Carol: Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Guide
- For the younger homeschoolers:
- Literature Activity Guide for a favorite book: Just in Time for Christmas by Louise Borden
- For the whole family:
- Holiday Science projects
- Holiday Arts and Crafts
- Geography project: Christmas carols in languages from around the world
- Short play script for the family or co-op: The Christmas Carol War
- For Mom:
- Christmas with the 7Sisters: Real Christmas for Real People
- 7Sisters Favorite Christmas Recipes
- Guide to Making Great Use of Family Gatherings in Your Homeschool
- A Prayer Journal
Here some other ideas for homeschooling for the holidays in this post from our friends at FundaFunda Academy. Plus lots of hands-on holiday learning and gift activities for the whole family in this post from our friend, Betsy, at BJ’s Homeschool.
Here are some ideas for no-cost holiday family unit studies
Unit studies are delightful! Especially if they are based on favorite Christmas movies, don’t you think?!
Here are some of our favorite posts with no-cost movie unit study ideas:
- How to Make It’s a Wonderful Life into a Quick Unit Study
- 5 Ways to Turn Muppets Christmas Carol into a Unit Study
- 6 Ways to Turn White Christmas into a Unit Study
Here is a post that tells you how to make unit studies from 7Sisters elementary-aged activity guides. Here are our Christmas story activity guides for favorite and classic book for young readers:
- The Christmas Miracle for Jonathan Toomey
- Just in Time for Christmas
- You are Special (not actually Christmas themed, but a freebie!)
Do a family unit study for Geography and Social Studies
- Here are lots of freebie ideas from our friend, Sarah at Freedom Homeschooling
Try some family read-alouds with favorite Christmas stories:
No one outgrows family read-alouds, so choose a book and spend some holiday family time together
- Homeschool high schoolers can add the books to their book list for their Language Arts credits.
- Here’s a post with our favorite Christmas read-alouds
- Our friend, Thaleia at Something 2 Offer has a huge read-aloud Christmas booklist
Try a readers theatre party for your homeschool high schoolers and friends or co-op
Readers theatre events are so much fun. It’s like a party with a purpose. Here is a post that tells how to have a readers theatre party.
- Here is a popular script by 7Sister Sabrina: The Christmas Carol Wars
Start building a Life Skills credit or add to the Health credit hours
There’s nothing like family gatherings to emphasize the need for grace and self-control, am I right? Therefore, help your teens build social skills and emotional skills for the holidays while earning some credit for their transcripts.
- Holiday Social Skills for Teens on Homeschool Highschool Podcast
- Handling Difficult People during the Holidays on Homeschool Highschool Podcast
- Teens and Complicated Christmas on Homeschool Highschool Podcast
- Homeschooling, Holidays and Covid (because Covid keeps going on and on and on…)
- 5 Ideas for Handling Family during the Holidays
- Fun Homeschooling Projects for the Holidays
- More ideas for out-of-the-box courses for your teens with special needs.
Gather family history stories
While the family is gathered around, you can log the time that Grandma tells family stories. Give her some prompts to get her sharing the stories of her childhood…or your childhood! Then record that time as American history or culture.
Later, you can have your high schoolers create a short written family narrative. It’s a fun writing project and helps fulfill the years paper-writing requirements.
Have a blast (well, not literally) with Holiday STEM activities
- Lots of holiday STEM activities in this post from our friend, Charlene, at Hess Unacademy
- Check out this post from our friend, Betsy, with STEM-gift ideas for the younger homeschoolers (maybe break into the gift early…)
Have your homeschool high schoolers log some computer or craft hours by making their own gifts
- Our friend and fellow podcaster, Meryl van der Merve at Funda Funda Academy, tells how to create digital Christmas gifts
Here are some gift ideas from our friends:
Take a little time for your own encouragement, Homeschool 7th Sisters!
- Do a little bit of self-care, just a little. We know you don’t have time during the holidays for lots of self-care but here’s a post that has some quick ideas that really work.
- Check out this post from our friend, Meryl, about using tech to stay sane during the holidays
- Don’t forget: If you haven’t had a chance to join our friendly 7Sisters Facebook group, hop over there. All our 7th Sisters share ideas, ask questions and receive encouragement!
- Plus there are oodles of ideas we share on Pinterest and Instagram, so join us there!
So, get creative, relax and have a little fun homeschooling during the holidays!
BTW- Give your teens some wonderful Christmas books to enliven their booklist and keep up some of the homeschooling during the holidays, check this post.
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