Welcome my tenacious homeschool tribe to another episode about the holidays!
Today, I got this wonderful shirt from the Sanderson sisters. I love the movie Hocus Pocus! Don’t you? I just love it!
One of the things that I hate about being a homeschooling family during the holidays is that my kids mentally check out! So, here’s an idea: Don’t homeschool during the holidays.
I know! Can you believe it? So, here are some of how I’ve handled the holidays when I decide not to homeschool during the holidays.
Sometimes, I stop homeschooling from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I just don’t homeschool. We just have a blast. We enjoy ourselves, and that’s that. Sometimes I don’t homeschool from Thanksgiving to New Year. Sometimes I don’t homeschool from Thanksgiving to Three Kings Day, which is on January 6. And I always take a week off for Thanksgiving, and sometimes I even take a week off for Halloween. I just do.
Now, what did we do during this time? Whatever we wanted to do! It’s one of the benefits of homeschooling. We have traveled. One year we took a Christmas Disney Cruise. It’s a wonderful experience! I highly recommend it.
I like to point out that you don’t have to pay Disney prices. There are a whole lot of websites where you can get discounts on Disney cruises. Now I know right now things are funky with the pandemic still going on. But this was before the pandemic, and hopefully, one day, the pandemic will be behind us.
We’ve also spent time decorating our golf cart for the Christmas golf cart parade. Because well, who doesn’t love a Christmas golf cart parade? Right? Especially when it’s in the Caribbean! Now, for two years we’ve been rained out. After the first year, we got smart, and we got a golf cart rain cover. We were able to stay dry, but it was very enjoyable!
During the holidays, we have traveled to San Diego, California to visit with my family. We’ve been to Aruba. Sometimes we visit our family and friends.
And of course, if you are anywhere near Northern Michigan, I really really want to want to encourage you to visit the Munchy Krunchy apple farm in Northern Michigan. It’s just so much fun! The kids just loved it when they were little! They even want to do it now! They still talk about how much they enjoy the Munchy Krunchy apple farm, and they would love to go back to it! It’s unbelievable because now they’re fourteen years old. Now, I’m not sure they would be so much into the tiny little train ride that they did, but they used to have hayrides. And oh my god! They make the most delicious doughnuts of apple, pumpkin, and caramel, and their cookies are delicious, and so is their cider! I mean, the food is just amazing there!
Believe it or not, you can also do a staycation. You just stay at home. There are so many things to do at home. Here we have our condo in Florida, we could go to the town in Celebration for their tree lighting ceremony, and there’s St. Augustine where there are beautiful lights. I think I really want to do that one this year. Even though we’re not going to be here for Christmas, we will be here for a week in December. Pensacola also has some really fun annual Christmas celebrations. And Miami! There are just a plethora of exciting events in our communities that we can enjoy!
Or frankly, you can just choose to stay home and relax and not be part of the hustle and bustle this year. I fully get that. You know whether you’re vaccinated or not, we know that there are breakthrough infections, and it’s okay to choose to stay at home, and it’s okay not to explain to others why you’re staying home.
If you stay home, you could choose to make ornaments—Christmas wreaths, Christmas angels, chandeliers. You know, anything you want to do. However, it is up to you to celebrate the holidays or don’t celebrate the holidays.
Maybe it’s just a cozy time on the couch just enjoying your family; it’s a good time to sleep in late. Let me tell you, it’s such an excellent time to just curl up in a cozy blanket. Right?
It can also be a time to participate in cultural celebrations. As I said before, I always make traditional Christmas Mexican food for Christmas Eve, and I talk to my kids about our family traditions. My husband talks to them about his family Christmas traditions. His family is originally from Germany, and he has some interesting family connections, such as PT Barnum. The girls love to hear all about that, especially since they love performing! They feel like it’s in their blood.
I talk about my Mexican traditions, which are quite shocking for my very Americanized girls. One of the ones that they just couldn’t believe was that my family used to have this tradition where they used to go caroling on Christmas Eve from house to house, and the last house always held a big party. And at the party, there would be like this bundt cake, so to speak, that had a plastic baby Jesus in it. Yeah, I know some of you might consider this sacrilegious, and I understand that. I can appreciate that. But this is considered okay in Mexico and a lot of Hispanic countries. So, they would cut the bundt cake and whoever got the little plastic baby Jesus in their piece of cake had to hold the Christmas party the following year.
My kids were scandalized by that. They liked the idea. They just didn’t like the idea of baby Jesus being in the bundt cake, and they certainly didn’t like the idea that the knife could hit the little plastic doll. But we talk about the importance of respecting other cultures and beliefs and the importance of understanding our family history.
And, of course, there’s always lots of caroling in our family. My daughters have beautiful voices. Unfortunately, I do not. But I do it anyhow because I love it! And they can live with their mother’s bad voice for a month out of the year, right?
So why take time off? Kids are going to mentally check out anyhow, and it’s a great time to just cozy up to your kids without the pressures of having to meet any kind of deadlines or worrying about anything.
Now, this year’s extra special, we’re not going to take a lot of time for Christmas. We decided to wait till Christmas week to start our holiday because we’ll spend New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, on the Las Vegas Strip!
And believe it or not, my kids are super jazzed about this! I don’t know why… They just are! I keep telling them I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. But you know, who knows? Maybe I’m completely wrong. They’re super excited about this! They wanted to do this the last couple of years, and with everything going on, we could not do it, but this year, Vegas, here we come!
The bottom line is that the years when we chose to take time off and not homeschool have been some of the most incredible experiences for our homeschoolers, my family, and me as a mom. It’s been a time for us to reconnect and, at the same time, to spend some time alone and just to do fun, relaxing things. And this is becoming increasingly more important as the years slip by and my kids get closer and closer to going off to college.
Now, whatever you do, don’t take time off and feel guilty about it. That will ruin your time. Don’t do that. Just enjoy! And remember, you have the whole year to get those a hundred and eighty-two days of homeschooling in. They don’t have to be on a school calendar. They don’t have to be that. This is your time. Enjoy your family!
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Life can be overwhelming; certainly, the holidays can be very overwhelming. But homeschooling doesn’t have to be! For more links and resources, please visit our website! Till next week! Enjoy your kiddos!