In the midst of pulling out our holiday decorations and Christmas tree last week, I was overcome with confusion. How is it the holidays again? Wasn't it just summer yesterday? Where on earth did the time go?
I feel like this time of year lends itself to a line from Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." it was the holidays and there was also homeschooling to be done, projects to finish, math books to tackle, decorations to hang, and hot cocoa to sip. There may be family traditions to contend with, changes in plans, online classes, or unplanned situations that pop up.
You might feel like the "Grinch" or "Scrooge" by the time December ends. And nobody likes to feel burned out, worn out, and flat out exhausted.
So, what do we, as homeschooling parents, want this holiday season so that we can stay fresh, sane, and grateful? I've put together a list that I hope will inspire you and make you smile too.
20 Things Almost Every Homeschool Parent Wants This Holiday Season
- Time to enjoy the season without guilt or worry over schoolwork. Yes, friends, you can rework your routines and schedules as much as possible to lighten your load and celebrate the little moments throughout the season. You can plan for it or be spontaneous or a bit of both. Here are some helpful tips too!
- A holiday mug filled with an actual hot beverage. I have nothing to add here except a re-heated cuppa tea or coffee from the microwave doesn't count.
- Seven uninterrupted minutes to sit and admire the Christmas tree, holiday decor, twinkle lights, lit candles, or a blank wall.
- Math to go away until January 5th. I know I'm picking on math and truth be told, I don't even teach math to my teens (their grandma does), but it's always the subject that causes feet-dragging and grumbles so yes, we will be taking a solid two weeks off from our official math classes. See you in 2021!
- Alone time in the car to belt out your favorite holiday tune OR "oldies" song (apparently the music from my youth is now considered "Classic Rock"). Doing this is at least once a week is a holiday sanity saver. Trust me.
- 16 minutes of homeschool holiday craft time where nobody cries, whines, or accidentally sets fire to the craft because they thought it would be cool, and you have 11 holiday-scented candles burning to ensure full-on hygge in the home.
- Holiday books to be available at the library when you need them and not in February. This is your reminder to go put them on hold. Now. Go. I'll wait.
- Holiday shopping to count as personal finance class, technology (hello, online shopping), and possibly a workout (if you're shopping in a store and have to park a mile away in the Target parking lot).
- All meals magically appear on the kitchen table at least three times a day because who has time for cooking right now. We're trying to sip hot beverages, online shop, teach, put library books on hold, enjoy the season, get our hygge on, and hide math books!
- Sleep + a good book + alone time. Need I say more?
- Awesome sales on all the homeschool curriculum and books that we forgot to purchase in August.
- Awesome sales on all the comfy clothes and fuzzy socks so we can homeschool like a champ over the winter. Don't forget a scarf or three!
- Homemade holiday cookies that don't burn, break, or taste like cardboard.
- Gingerbread houses that actually stay together and that can be counted as STEM class for the afternoon.
- A house that cleans itself (affiliate link).
- An endless supply of audiobooks and podcasts that can we turn on in the house or in the car when we need everyone to reset, rest, and give us a breather to drink our hot beverages. You can check out some of my favorite podcasts for teens and some of my favorite homeschool podcasts for parents.
- A list of fun and educational gifts that we can feel good about purchasing for our kids because homeschool parents will nearly always try to create "teachable moments" even much to the dismay of our kids who have caught on to our antics.
- Five brand new rolling carts from Michaels because they make life, homeschool curricula, art supplies, and toilet paper storage so much better.
- The ability to successfully hide all the holiday gifts from our kids which is hard to do when they are home or with you ALL THE TIME.
- A silent night. And if we can't get a silent night, then maybe a silent morning, or a silent shower, or a silent moment to drink the hot beverage mentioned above.
As we round out the year, I hope you'll take some time to look around, take a deep breath, enjoy your homeschool season, and to be with your family. The homeschool days can seem long, but the years go quickly.
Our holiday homeschool with three teens looks a lot different than when I had three little ones. I've kept a few time-honored traditions but I've also let ones go that are no longer serving us in the season of life.
I'm balancing online and in-person classes, basketball schedules, volunteer schedules, and my work schedule. I'm wearing my favorite holiday socks and lighting all the candles. I am making sure we have a steady stream of hot cocoa and whipped cream and or favorite holiday tunes playing in the house.
Just as important, I am making sure to take time for myself and to journal and read and wear my favorite Christmas socks, and admire the colorful lights on the tree.
Happy holidays to you and your family. Let us know what's on your list. We'd love to know.