Congratulations! After a busy semester, we are all ready for a well-deserved break! The kids are excited for the holidays and we educators need time to regroup, relax and re-energize too!
Here are some tips for getting the most from your holiday break!
1. If you have time before the holidays are upon us, try to wrap up your schooling completely. Even if you are in the middle of a unit, clean up and put away all academic materials. There is something cathartic about reclaiming the house for the family and putting the homeschooling hat away for a while! Make sure both you and the kids have stepped away from homeschooling mentally for a while. Take a complete break from the school schedule and routine.
2. Relax! Focus on other things for a while – baking, spending time with family and friends, reading a good book, watching movies, and taking quality time for yourself! Since we all spend a lot of time in our homes, try to get away as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be a fancy trip, just spend time at the library or meeting friends for a coffee away from the house.
3. This is a great time for some self-reflection, right? Each year at New Years, I really think hard about my life, my legacy, and the things I want to change.
- What am I grateful for this year?
- What went well this year?
- What three words best capture the essence of this past year?
- What was the best memory of the year?
- What was the biggest improvement in our lives this past year?
- What obstacles did we overcome?
- What would make me/us happier? How can I/we make this happen?
- What activities do we want to drop? What activities do we want to make time for?
- Am I being truly generous to others (to my family, my friends, my community) in terms of my attention, time and energy? How can I improve?
You can read more at this post: 25 Self-Reflection Questions for New Years
You can also get the free printable Mid-Year Assessment packet (which includes many of those questions and lots of other planning, assessment and evaluation exercises:
4. New Year’s Resolutions - There is something fun about thinking about the possibilities of life… I think that’s why the concept of New Year’s Resolutions can be alluring. It’s about changing things up and working towards the future. Some people say they have no interest in making New Year’s Resolutions, but in my mind homeschooling is all about working towards the future! We work hard every day to make sure our kids are making forward progress — in the different subject areas, in their music, in their sports and more! Just make sure you don’t leave yourself out of the equation!
It’s about creating momentum towards our big goals… ie. helping the kids tackle their math facts, helping them write better, inspiring them, engaging them. And for us, to make sure we are building our skills and taking care of ourselves along the way too!
So, how is that going to happen next semester?
What makes YOU happy? Are there small things that will help you grow and be a better person?
Are you happy with your homeschool learning style? Do you need to add in anything (or take things out)?
Do you have some creative, engaging, inspiring activities for them? Can you add in some STEM activities or add in a unit that has hands-on activities?
5. Re-assess your routines. Are things going as smoothly as they can? Evaluate how your day runs. Are you happy with your Morning Routine? your Chore Routine? your Organizational Strategies? your Menu Planning? your Exercise Routine?
6. You may want to spend some time planning for this next semester. Make sure you want to do this rather than feeling like you have to get ready for homeschooling. It is much, much more important to have your batteries fully recharged than spending time looking over curriculum. Let’s face it, the holiday season can run us ragged with concerts, family, parties, and holiday extras. So, take care of yourself first before jumping back into the academic side of things. It’s like getting enough sleep. You always have a better day after a good nights’ rest, right? Same thing with homeschooling. You’ll have the excitement and energy you need only if you’ve stepped away and taken time for yourself.
So there you have it!
Wishing you a very safe and happy holiday season!! ~Liesl and the Kids
This post here has quite a bit more about creating homeschool routines that work:
If you are planning out your homeschool curriculum for next semester, you might be interested in these:
Free Curriculum Resource Guides: I have a series of free curriculum resource guides that are between 30 and 50 pages. These share some of the units and topics we covered at various grade levels (though I have three kids and we often do history and science together, so the age ranges are flexible!)
Creating your Own Homeschool Curriculum: Kindergarten, Grade 1 (a 50 page free resource guide)
Creating your Own Homeschool Curriculum: Grade 2 – Grade 3 (a free resource guide)
Grade 6-8 Resource Guide is coming soon!
That’s about it for today! I hope you had a lovely break!
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well.