The holidays are fast approaching and with it comes excitement and anticipation. No matter what faith or beliefs you hold close to your heart each of us have a few times a year where we are preparing for some type of holiday.
We celebrate Christmas, and I still get excited much like I did when I was a child. Perhaps on some level even more. As a Mom, there is something magical about handing down family traditions as well as creating our own.
Why Bother With Tradition?
Following tradition is nothing new.
We have been following tradition since the beginning of time; mankind and our beliefs are deeply rooted in tradition. Stories handed down from one generation to the next, everything from our beliefs to family recipes.
Having and following tradition speaks to our hearts, connects us to our rich history and builds up our relationship with one another.
There is nothing like sharing good food and great stories to bring a family closer.
Preparing for Holidays
I am a list maker!
Put a pencil in my hand, pass me a pad of paper and I can write “To Do Lists” like nobody’s business; everything from shopping to baking.
As handy as lists are, they will only be as good as the effort you put into them. After I complete each list I make a note of my “most essentials” I require in order to pull off my bigger plans.
If I head out to do my grocery shopping without taking the time consult with my baking list, then chances are my trip to the grocery store will not be successful. I am bound to forget a crucial ingredient. (Yes, it is often the eggs, butter or milk.)
Prioritizing the essentials of our day and our holiday season is what helps me stay on track and not stress about little things like perfectly baked gingerbread cookies.
We all have our favourite traditions, so taking the time to prepare and pinpoint your most treasured traditions will help you in the larger scheme of your holiday.
Homeschooling and Holidays
We are very lucky to enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling as we prepare for our family celebrations.
People will often ask me how many days we take off and if we follow along with the schools in town?
My Answer is that we vary our off time from year to year.
Depending what method of homeschooling you follow, what your family traditions are, and the needs of your family will depend on how many days you take off. Many homeschoolers I know take a year round approach to their studies which allow them to plan some more time off around special holidays.
Adjusting our Homeschool Schedule
December 1st is usually the start of us adjusting how we go about our homeschool studies.
We start changing up our routine and schedule to include extra crafts, more music, trips to donate items to the less fortunate, baking, reading Christmas themed stories and even Math by the fireplace.
Other things we take time to do include helping neighbours shovel snow, building snow forts and inviting other kids on the street to jump in to help out, as well as decorating our home.
The best part about all of this is we are teaching our kids things which cannot be found in textbooks.
We are carrying on and building upon our family traditions as well as celebrating our family, friends and neighbours – we are making connections!
These are skills and knowledge you cannot find in a curriculum, but will surely last them a lifetime!
Something For Everyone
This year I have also found some great studies to add to our adjusted homeschool routine for the holidays!
We love the Nutcracker and Christmas Carols! Mary, from Homegrown Learners and SQUILT: Music Appreciation, has a wonderful Nutcracker Unit Study as well as Squilt Christmas Carols for your music enthusiasts!
What a great way to enjoy some of our Christmas favourites and learn at the same time!
I am also excited to share that Tricia, from Southern Hodgepodge, now has “A Simple Start in Christmas Chalk Pastels” available. I share more information about these Chalk Pastel tutorials in “Think You Can’t Homeschool Art? Think Again!”. Now we can continue on with learning more chalk pastel techniques while making some great Christmas art to hang! (Click on the book to see more details!)
“Truth in the Tinsel”. (Link listed below) is an e-book is full of crafts to celebrate the Christmas season; we also cannot wait to get started with this book! In fact, I have planned ahead and have already purchased all my necessary supplies, my kids are so excited knowing they get to do a craft Everyday leading up to Christmas! I wrote more about it here: “Truth in the Tinsel and Homeschooling”
*Need more ideas on how to Homeschool and prepare for the holidays? I was a panelist on this iHomeschool Hangout, along with other homeschooling moms who shared some great holiday preparation tips!