Four festive holiday photos, cream colored overlay with dark green text, How to Survive the Holidays while Homeschooling

How to Survive the Holidays while Homeschooling

Can you survive the holidays, homeschool simultaneously, and have everyone get through the season and still retain some sanity? Absolutely! It is not impossible. These four suggestions will help you make it through the upcoming holiday season, continue your homeschooling, and do it all with a smile—most of the time. Maybe – no guarantees on that, though!

The holiday season offers so many fun things, unique activities, too many parties and get-togethers, multiple extra tasks, and responsibilities that it’s hard to survive them all! The following four suggestions will help you survive the season, get some schooling done, and retain your sanity.

How to Survive the Holidays while Homeschooling - Light green with dark green text, Christmas tree, Christmas dinner, list of 4 points

Survive the Holidays – Learn to Say NO!

You cannot do it all! Homeschool co-op activities, church activities, parties, extra services, family gatherings, neighborhood events, other social gatherings, once-a-year opportunities, and activities – you cannot do them all and expect to be effective at homeschooling at the same time. And you can’t expect your kids to learn much if they are over-stimulated and exhausted from all the late-night events and daytime activities.

So, learn to say “NO!” Do not commit to every activity and event on the calendar this year. Weigh the benefits of each opportunity and see if it fits with your family’s current calendar, values, budget, and schedule. If yes, then add it to your calendar. If not, then politely decline or refuse. Your job as a responsible parent is not to please everyone in your social community but to do what is best for your family.

Look at the options and choose the activities that work for you!

Survive the Holiday – Set Limits and Boundaries

We set limits and boundaries for many areas of our lives. We limit our spending, so our debts don’t accumulate massively, set limits on the amount of candy and cookies our kids can eat, and establish boundaries for our children’s play areas. Bedtimes are limits we create for good health for our family. So, let’s set some limits on the holidays.

Limit those extra holiday activities—set boundaries for your participation. Maybe you choose to limit parties to once a week. Or you set a boundary for the distance you will travel for a holiday event. Limit the late-night activities to only Friday nights.

Setting boundaries and limits will help you plan your family’s holiday calendar with care and consideration. Schedule mandatory and nonnegotiable events, then consider which activities to add to that calendar.

Survive the Holidays – Lighten the Load

Homeschooling requires work and effort – not just on the part of your kids, but on your end as well! Lesson planning, locating resources, and grading papers and assignments take time and energy. And during the holiday season, we may not have all the time and energy we thought we would.

So, lighten the load. Don’t demand as much from yourself or your kids. Consider making your school days shorter or your Christmas break longer. Start your school day later to compensate for the late-night activities. Adjust and be flexible! (Remember, that is your homeschool mom’s superpower!)

Perhaps you might limit those homeschool sessions during the holidays to review material, educational games, carefully vetted videos, and online options. Choosing not to start any new material or teach new content during the holidays will lessen the stress factor for everyone involved!

Instead, consider focusing your school hours on the Christmas story, reading Christmas-themed books, learning new life skills, working on service opportunities, and enjoying life with your kids.

Picture of pine cones and wrapped packages, Holidays and Homeschooling Survival Guide

Survive the Holidays – Lower Your Expectations

Too often, we (especially moms!) overestimate our ability to get things done. As a result, our to-do lists are miles long, our expectations are too high, and we set ourselves up for massive failure and disappointment. Don’t do that to yourself! Or to your kids – because our moods and attitudes affect them!

So, lower your expectations. Your house doesn’t have to be the best-decorated house in the neighborhood. If the gift wrapping doesn’t look like it belongs on HGTV, so be it. The tree decorations may be crooked, and your house may not be spotless, but that’s okay! So you only get 20 dozen cookies baked instead of 25 dozen – does it matter in the long run? I think you will still have enough!

If 5-year-old Johnny can’t read two-syllable words by Christmas, will the world end? If 9-year-old Suzie doesn’t wrap gifts like a pro, who cares? Does it matter if you choose to put off the science project until after New Year’s?

Relax! Lower your expectations, at least for the next few weeks! Isn’t it better for now to put a bit less stress on everyone, including yourself? You want your family to anticipate and enjoy the holidays, not dread them. Your stress levels, expectations, and attitude will help determine your kids’ perspective of the season.

So, here is a quick review to help you survive the holidays and still maintain some sanity!

  • Learn to Say “NO!”
  • Lighten the Load
  • Limits and Boundaries will Help
  • Lower Your Expectations

These four suggestions (Hey, did you catch the alliteration?) will help you and your family survive the holidays with less stress, more enjoyment, and better attitudes. And isn’t that what we all want?

Carol Rhine Rhine Home School Services

Want additional information about surviving the holidays and homeschooling? Check out these blog posts:

Holiday Prep and Homeschool

Great Ideas for Christmas and Homeschooling

How to Avoid Holiday Burnout

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