Crafting Your Christmas School

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Crafting Your Christmas School

So, are you one of those moms who LOVES Christmas time and all the fun you get to have homeschooling during that season?  OR are you one of those moms already dreading the coming month of stressful schedules and work that will get so far behind?

If you are the latter, dear homeschool mom, this post is for you!  You've got this! :)

You don't have to be stressed when you homeschool over the holiday season

When I started homeschooling my kiddos, I didn't have a CLUE what I was doing, so I did what any respectable mom would do and did public school at home. ;)  It took YEARS to give myself permission to loosen the reins and realize that my kids don't need to do school for 7 hours a day and have 4 hours of homework to learn.  They really don't. 

So, the first rebellious thing we did was get rid of the busy work and only school for a few hours a day. 

Then the dreaded holiday season was around the corner and our little Christmas light installation business was starting to take off, so (praise to the LORD!!) I had this ah-ha moment and asked the kids to help me craft the Christmas season around Christmas light schedules and fun.  It was a hit! ;) You see until now we had treated December like an October or February... but December is different! So, officially starting from that year on:

In our home, come November 15th, we start Christmas school and we play by a whole different set of rules!

The #1 Rule - We get rid of the normal school day.

We put all normal curriculum on a shelf in a closet until early January and don't think twice about it!  The workbooks, the tests - all the necessary evils we require to confirm our kids are growing in intelligence every year - are put away, far from sight!

So, you might be wondering, "ok, so you are now homeschooling, but you just took all the 'school' out of it... so are you glorified babysitting at this point?!" 

No, no, no.  Never fear - we are always learning, but our focus switches to life learning during this season. 

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What Christmas School looks like for us:

Reading with a twist

We take any books we are wanting to read and LISTEN to them while we complete a puzzle. Listen to the book does 2 things - we get to finish books in good time and with the book going, there is no room for chit chat... or bickering.  We use audible and if you are new to Audible, click here to get an account and get your first book free.

Some books we have enjoyed over the years:

Fiction - The Rangers Apprentice and Brother Band Series by John Flanagan.

Non-fiction - Start with Why, The ONE Thing and Outliers.

Also, we use oversized puzzles for less-overwhelm and a quicker win! ;) (A 1-2 day project instead of a 2 week project.)  We get most of ours from Hobby Lobby while we are there shopping for other Christmas-y things. ;) Here is one I found on Amazon.  Pretty much any 500 piece that is 18"x24" will do.

 

We make a gingerbread house

And by make - I mean we bake, we map it out on paper, we spend a ridiculous amount of time, energy and money creating our holiday creation.

We used this cookbook as a guide for the first few, it's great!

 We have tried doing it all in a day and spreading it out over weeks.  Stick to baking and decorating to inside a week for a fun time that isn't stressful.

We create

From baking and decorating cookies to creating gifts for our family friends.  We keep our hands busy and our hearts at peace.  Some of these things we do together, others we enjoy some me time doing our own thing.

Before we moved 2 years ago, our Christmas School looked a lot like making money and spreading Christmas cheer. 

For 5 years, we had a sweet little Christmas light installation business and most of our Christmas School revolved around our that.  Over the years, our kids graduated from our buddy helpers to a real asset to the team! 

But no matter what role they played, there were basics we all did.  So, when home we were hanging out, fielding calls, scheduling quotes or repairs and preparing the lights for the homes. I would say making cookies for our clients, but we made them in OCTOBER and would freeze them and decorate them the day after Thanksgiving with all my family.  When we were out, the kids were helping us install lights, do quotes and sales and trouble shooting lights.

We.were.busy, but blessed! :D And happy! :)

 

One year, Christmas school looked like event planning. 

Hannah and I created and orchestrated an event for our little community called Christmas Caroling On The Square.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun and it was a HUGE blessing to not be stuck doing school while bringing some sweet Christmas spirit to our sleepy old town.  We had over 50 people donate cookies, 25 volunteers doing everything from set up, creating ornaments with elementary school kids, helping at the event, clean up... one couple donated their horse drawn carriage to bring Santa to the kids and 2 other couples donated their truck and trailer and DJ Speaker to take us Christmas Caroling after the event.  IT WAS EPIC! And I loved having those memories with the kiddos that year. (Mind you, all while running the Christmas light biz as well.)

Everyone's Christmas School will look different

So, hear me dear friend, your Christmas School can look however you want it to look!  The goal is to embrace the season and let life be the teacher as you have fun and make sweet memories.

Want out Christmas School Guide? You can grab it here.

On the journey with you,

-melissa :)

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