What does Christmas look like at Hodgepodge? Do we homeschool in December? I invite you to come and sit by the fire, enjoy a warm cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea and put your feet up – for about five minutes. Just five minutes because in December things are changing moment to moment. Like most families, it’s so very busy. Time to head to this practice, get your dress shoes for this performance. Precisely why…
How We Homeschool in December
…In the last several years I’ve shared how we take December off from homeschool. Well, in reality we don’t completely take the month off. We just change up our learning. Our focus is on all the celebratory things leading up to Christmas. And it looks a little different each year according to ages and stages (at least two different stage performances).
Back to the Manger Children’s Musical. Two of my girls sang a 70s duet: “This is how we know what love is…Jesus gave His life for us…”
What Christmas School Looks Like for Us
It’s simply a new twist on subjects for homeschool in December. Baking Christmas cookies for math, decorating and writing thank you notes count for handwriting. We are so blessedly busy with all kinds of drama troupe productions, choir programs, piano recitals.
This year with several bouts of sickness, we are going to keep up a daily Teaching Textbooks math lesson for the older three and Saxon Math 1 for Littlest Girl. Below are a few more ways we’ll keep the learning going but the fun first:
My two drama girls were part of this wonderful dowels variety act with dowels – set to Toby Mac’s The First Noel. They also participated in a choric – taking turns reciting portions of Luke 2.
- Family read aloud – how quickly the children all get bathed and pjd! That is so we can all gather around and read Jotham’s Journey. My friend, Little Sanctuary, shared about this trilogy of advent stories several years ago. We’ve read all three and are starting over with Jotham again this year. We’ve also read Amon’s Adventures at Easter.
Lil’ Buddy sang in his Melody Makers choir. Middle Girl sang in her last children’s choir Christmas performance since she moves up to youth next year. Sadly, Littlest Girl was sick this night and missed her choir performance.
- Choirs at church – all those wonderful hymns, children’s choirs
- Piano – a recital coming up for two of my girls so their practicing makes Christmas music fill the house.
- Drama Troupe – Christmas performance this year was The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. My girls played Doubt and Joy in the skit portion of the show. Representative virtues painted a wonderful picture of Christmas. They also participated in variety acts, as I shared above.
- Living Math – baking cookies – our favorite recipe made allergy-friendly.
- Handwriting – thank you notes, addressing Christmas cards.
- Unstructured Art – painting those thank you notes, making homemade wrapping paper, making gifts like the painted canvas, above.
- Reading for pleasure – eldest girl is aiming to reread the Lord of the Rings series in anticipation of the new Hobbit movie. Middle Girl was rereading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
- Nature study homeschool in December – we do a ‘hunt for red and green’ on a nature walk this time of year. Amazing how much we notice so many other colors in nature – here at almost winter. This December we are also enjoying the nature grid prompts from the Handbook of Nature Study.
1. On the road quite a bit in December | 2. Nana’s Chicken & Noodle soup is healing for sick ones | 3. Homeschool Drama Troupe practice | 4. Eldest Girl treated me to Starbucks! | 5. Late night computer networking lesson – Eldest Boy and Hodgepodgedad | 6. A warm morning fire to cozy up to thanks to Eldest Boy | 7. The colors of nature in December | 8. Eldest girl with her white glove and sign for the dowel routine with black lights | 9. a sink contraption by Lil’ Buddy | 10. Homemade wrapping paper by Littlest Girl – can you see her handprint Christmas tree?
I’m sure there are other things we do that I’ve forgotten. Guess what? this change for the month of December helps us be so very ready for a Return of the Routine come January.
So, it’s a Hodgepodge of homeschooling in December. How about you? Do you have a lighter schedule or just take a few days off? How do you homeschool in December?
-originally published December 2012
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