Not because we needed the break, because we had most of last week as a break, but just because I get lazy in December. December is a hard month to homeschool in, at least for me. There are about a zillion other things to do and it is tempting to just throw in the towel until the New Year.
And then I start thinking that really we should just take the whole month off and bake, craft, watch movies, play games, spin wool from our organic sheep, and make a life-size homemade gingerbread house.
But we have no sheep, and I always buy the gingerbread kits.
Just to be honest.
But I always imagine this wonderful cozy December with snow falling and the wood-stove smoldering, and hot cocoa and happy children crafting and baking up a storm.
That sounds great, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work that way in reality. Our family seems to burn out equally on too much structure and too much non-structure. Too much freedom around here does not result in kids coming up with marvelous inventions and writing bestselling novels. It results in kids staring at walls, picking fights, complaining, and me feeling at total loose ends as to what we should be all be doing with our time.
And anyway, we don't need all day to craft and bake, although it is nice to do that once in awhile. Most days an hour or two does nicely, and everything actually feels more festive and calm after we have put in at least a couple of hours of good solid learning (or work!) together. It's just better that way for us.
So we are going to continue with our lessons, with shorter days, until December 15th. At that point I will probably throw in the towel and we will take off until the New Year. Or maybe we will keep going, but do half-days that week. I am undecided.
Either way, my imagined routine for the pre-holiday weeks looks something like this-
- 2-3 hours of schoolwork in the morning, unless we have something else to do. Today we cut out early because we really needed a library trip. Tomorrow we will skip entirely because we are hanging out with friends.
- Exercise each afternoon, or in the morning while they work independently. I need to exercise. I have been slacking off in this department.
- One Christmas project (baking, making candy, gift wrapping, crafting, etc.) for each afternoon we spend at home. I figure I will have something in mind and whoever is interested can join me in whatever it is.
- Christmas picture books really need to be read aloud daily, if possible. Very important.
Also, and I really hope to hold myself to this, a cup of tea and a few moments spent doing absolutely nothing (except taking it all in) is a necessary indulgence worth fitting in every day this season.