Remember being in school the month before Christmas? How much actual studying got done?
Not much, as I recall. Between the kids’ excitement about Christmas being just around the corner, and the teachers’ need to get kids ready for the pageants and programs they were expected to participate in, little serious study was accomplished. (Not much was accomplished the rest of the year, but that’s another post!) Teachers often resorted to filmstrips (some of you may remember them) and worksheets related to Christmas. Not educational really, but it was the only way they could cope with wound-up kids.
I thought that being homeschoolers meant we could escape all the fuss and commotion and spend our time studying, with the added bonus of having time to incorporate various Advent activities into our daily plan.
Well…..it worked like that at first. Back when the kids were little and I was in full control of their schedules (ah, the good old days), we kept it pretty simple. Other than the annual Sunday School Christmas Program, with its practice sessions held at church, I was able to keep things on an even keel and we stuck to our schedule right up until the week before Christmas.
But we kept having kids, which meant more kids to shop for and wrap presents for. And our aging parents handed off responsibility for the Christmas celebrations to us, which meant big family gatherings for which we had to prepare (planning, grocery shopping, decorating….you know the drill).
As our kids got older, they started really getting into the festivities, which meant they were pretty distractible. It’s kind of hard to teach someone how to divide decimals when they’re dreaming of their wish list and you’re trying to decide between ham and turkey for Christmas dinner. Neither of you is really paying attention.
We soldiered on, but I sure wish I’d had the Internet back then. There are so many great free resources available now. I think if I’d had the Internet, I would have just used Advent and Christmas resources like the ones listed below to keep the kids busy until Christmas, figuring there’s always January for serious study.
I’m only homeschooling one now, and he’s still a bit fuzzy about time, so he doesn’t know exactly when Christmas will be here. But once we bring out the Christmas tree and decorations, he’ll be distracted by Christmas once again. I’d better get more toner for my printer so I can give him some of these printables to keep him busy!
Especially For Older Kids and Teens