Homeschooling Through the Holidays

Although I didn’t realize this when I first began homeschooling some 17 years ago, I have discovered the blessings of the great freedom we enjoy as homeschooling families.  Once I got past the idea of recreating the public or private school classroom at home, I realized that our possibilities are endless.  We can change up and tweek any number of variables {from curriculum choices to teaching styles to creating the perfect learning environment} to make our days schooling at home more productive and enjoyable.  Choosing and modifying the homeschool schedule during seasons of buyness such as the current holiday season, is one of those areas where we can allow our own personal family needs to dictate our schedule.

This freedom, as with all of our freedoms, must be balanced with the responsibilities of homeschooling.  This is why, for this holiday season {Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years} we will continue to do school – with a modified schedule.  There are many different options for modifying a holiday school schedule.

The No School in December Homeschool Schedule

In the past, when all of our children were elementary aged, we took most of the month of December off of school.  This freed us up to be way more creative with our days.  We spent our days:

  • reading classics and Christmas stories
  • baking and distributing those goodies to neighbors
  • writing letters, making Christmas cards and sending them
  • decorating
  • crafting
  • buying and wrapping gifts
  • singing
  • field trips – like our local Back to Bethlehem event

Back to Bethlehem Town

Follow the Traditional Public School Schedule

Most schools in our area have two weeks off of school during the holidays;  the week of Christmas and the week after Christmas.  We have used this schedule from time to time when our kids were involved in late season sports, performing arts and other outside classes.

There are many seasons to any one family’s homeschool lifestyle.  With two busy highschoolers and a home life schedule that has kept us away from our studies more than I would like recently, we have opted this year to continue schooling throughout the month of December with a modified schedule.

The Modified Holiday Homeschool Schedule

For the next four weeks our younger kids’ schedule will focus on the 3 Rs {Reading, Writing and (A)Rithmatic}.  These subjects are so ingrained in our daily schedule that they take little effort to implement.  Completing our morning routines;  animal care, room and home care and personal hygeine, plus the basic core subjects should keep everyone busy for most of the morning.  This leaves the afternoons free for our holiday preparations that we enjoy as a family.

A Star is Born Christmas Play – 2011

This schedule will also allow our two highschoolers to continue with their core subjects so that they are able to complete them in the early summer.  Having a summer break is important to our family.  Both 9th-graders will should be able to join the rest of the family in the afternoon for the holiday fun.

Simple Ways to Incorporate the Holidays Into Your Homeschool Schedule

As most homeschoolers know, learning is always taking place and it takes little effort to keep learning happening during the holidays, even if you do step away from the curriculum for a time.  Here are some ways that our family incorporates Christmas into our learning.


History/Social Studies:


  • Holiday crafts
  • Holiday card making
  • Creating Christmas decorations

Our yearly trip to the Nutcracker Ballet

What ever schedule you choose, remember flexibility is yours!  Pray about the specific needs of your family and piece together a schedule that allows you to both achieve your academic goals and have time to relax and enjoy the season.

Now it’s your turn.  What kind of schedule will your family follow this holiday season?


Marianne Sunderland

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  1. thanks for sharing, that’s what I have been thinking how we can make fully use of each day of the holiday season…keep learning while we still have fun time with families and friends….


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