5 Ways to Make a School Break Educational
In homeschooling, learning never has to stop. For example, every year we take a formal schooling break from Thanksgiving to New Years. Many people are flabbergasted at how long this break seems. But after years of experience, I know myself and my kids better. They do not focus well during the holiday season on their schoolbooks. After a Fall semester that begins in August we are READY for something different. Instead of fighting the holiday spirit, we embrace it. Actually I sneak in all kinds of "schooling" during this holiday break that doesn't look like school at all.
1. Do projects at home. For the holidays, we do lots of crafts and baking.
This year my daughter and I experimented with new holiday recipes. Don't underestimate the education of cooking: it's science, math and art all mixed together. We made some beautiful almond-iced sugar cookies with my dear friend, Carrie. We also made a three layer red velvet cake with surprise green icing inside for a Christmas party.
2. Travel. Sometimes we take trips over the holidays as a way to visit relatives or might travel with my husband or another family member on their business trips. But this year we were so busy, that we didn't have time to get away. Instead relatives came to visit us. If guests come here I make sure to engage the children in planning for their arrival. I want to train them to not just be excited when someone comes to visit but also thoughtful of what that person likes to do, to eat, etc.
3. Focus on giving to others. I always make sure we take the time to do good for others to shift the focus away from Christmas being all about their presents. It is easy to get carried away in the commericalization of the season. This year I saw a wonderful idea and copied it. We made and put out goodies for the delivery drivers. Every time we got a package, they took some treats. The kids helped me check and restock the box, as well as bring it in at night.
4. Read the Bible. Sometimes bible study can be tossed aside for more academic pursuits. However it is important to me that I take the time to read the bible with my kids. During the holiday break is a great time to read the story of Jesus' birth. My daughter rewrote the story in her own words and added pictures. This was a perfect Christmas gift to my parents who run a ministry as well as teach her history.
5. Take the time to be thankful. In our normal school routine, we often forget to thank those who help us during the week. This year we wrote thank you cards for all my daughter's teachers and she helped me pick out a small gift for them. Since some of them are family members, they don't expect anything and love to spend time with her. But even still I wanted to make sure she was thankful for them too.
These are just a few ideas of how to "sneak in" and enjoy homeschooling lessons into your regular schooling break. Break is a great time to include art, travel, volunteer work and so much more. Learning never has to stop when your "school" is at home.