…we take most of December off.
For years I’ve found myself stressed out in December. The schedule bursts with activities, places to go, and things to create. Instead of fostering an environment of peace, excitement and even joy — I let my home become a place of anxiety. Even simple things, like making cookies, became rushed. We were moving so fast that we lost Christmas.
Then, in the same breath, I’d be trying to cram in our studies. We’d work through the day, and due to the high level of activities, academics, and Christmas planning, we’d end our day exhausted and ungrateful.
So I stopped.
Several years ago, I realized that I needed to take most of December off from homeschooling. In fact, I also realized that it is okay to do this — it really benefits my family. We need the time to be a family. To serve others. To make cookies — okay, we don’t really need it, but cookies are important. When I overloaded our schedule we lost time to focus on our Savior’s birth. I’d rush through Bible lessons to get to Math to get to Spelling to throw some clothes in the dryer to switch out the cookies to knit a couple rows to shovel the walk to take them to ballet to change a diaper to wrap some presents to help with phonics to…..
It was simply too much.
Now, I plan our year knowing that December will be busy. I’ll tuck extra lessons in here or there, or we’ll do some phonics or math, or I’ll cross out the repeated lessons. I don’t follow my regular schedule. And I let it go. Sometimes that’s even harder as I’ll find myself worrying that we didn’t get any academics done. But, I overlooked all we did do. Like handwriting when we write out letters of thanks. Or math as we double (or triple — hee hee hee) cookie recipes. Or history when we read Jotham’s Journey and discuss nomads, and Israel, and more. I’m amazed at how much we’ve learned this month — I’m simply aware to what questions they ask or where their interest is piqued.
Learning doesn’t always need to come with a list to check off.
Learning can come in living life.
So there. I’ve admitted it. I am one of those homeschoolers who gives her kids a good 3-4 weeks off in December. And I’ll tell you one other thing — when we get to January my kids are incredibly motivated to do their work. They really are. And so am I. We’re refreshed from Christmas. Imagine that? Refreshed and revived instead of stressed and burnt-out. Oh yeah, and I’ve also discovered that at the end of the year we’re exactly where I need to be — in both scenarios — knowing that allows me to really relax for these couple weeks.
December, while still busy, is now a beautiful month of freedom, laughter, and joy.