One of the perks of homeschooling is getting to set your own schedule. As a girl, my eyes would take on a special shine this time of year as I would bask in getting to take the whole month of December off from formal studies.
But while we packed away the math and spelling books, my mom knew a little secret that I’ve now discovered walking in her shoes: the learning never stops.
It is a special time to cook – learning measurements, following directions and watching chemistry at work! It is a time to learn project management as you plan for the Christmas meal and pull your kids into the conundrum of figuring out how everything will be ready at approximately the same time. There is crafting and decorating. As family comes together there are fresh character lessons to learn as children interact with elderly relatives, work through conflict with cousins, etc. And as believers, this is a special time to quiet our hearts and enter into the wonder of the incarnation -God coming down to us!
To make the most of this special real-life learning/real-life living, here are a few things to keep in mind.
I can hear the groaning from all you Busy Moms… I know this can be a busy season, but the more we can take time to slow down and simply BE with our children the better. That’s one reason why we shelve the curriculum. I don’t want to miss out on the special moments with my kiddos. And let’s face it – it’s far easier to just do things ourselves sometimes than to slow down and bring our kids into the process. Resist the urge to sacrifice memory building training moments with our children merely for the sake of efficiency. When we are rushed, everyone suffers.
With all of the *life* that is happening, there are myriads of learning opportunities for our children.
Have older kids? Why don’t you give them a budget and have them plan a Christmas party for their friends. If that doesn’t work, why not assign them Christmas Eve dinner and walk them through planning a menu, making a grocery list, setting an elegant table, etc… Have them help you plan the travel itenerary if you are heading out for the holidays.
With your younger one’s pull them into whatever you are doing. Yes, it slows you WAY down. But they are so eager to help. Cooking and cleaning alongside you not only draws you closer and begins to teach them important life skills, but it also helps hone fine-motor skills, counting and sorting skills as well as developing a strong work ethic.
Pull some special books together to read, learn about Christmas traditions around the world, make a fun craft together than can double as Christmas decor.
The opportunities are endless!
As busy as we may get, always remember that we are never too busy to be with our children. Embrace the spontaneous opportunities to serve together, learn together and laugh together. Embrace the opportunity for discussion and pointing our children to the God we love and worship. Slow down and soak up the opportunities that come your way!
What kind of real-life learning opportunities do you experience this time of year?