Handling Holiday Homeschool Hassles- Special Replay

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This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Holiday Homeschool Hassles- Special Replay.

Handling Holiday Homeschool Hassles- Special Replay

Handling Holiday Homeschool Hassles

Let’s talk about Christmas. Yay! It’s the season to be jolly… Or the season to feel behind on everything. As we approach the holidays and there are lots of normal homeschool things going on in the month of December. There are lots of unusual homeschool things going on in the month of December.

This week on the podcast, Sabrina, Vicki and Kym would like to to encourage you to think through your Christmas break:

  • Your exciting expectations
  • Everyone’s Christmas break needs
  • Your Christmas break wants

Then you can plan wisely for a good Christmas break. (Because during the holidays, if you do not plan, you get what you plan for!)

Clarifying expectations as a way of handling homeschool holiday hassles

Sabrina’s teenagers liked to think of Christmas break as break from homeschooling. They did not have to think about pre-calculus or chemistry labs or research papers over a two-week break.

But sometimes mom has a different expectation.

  • Mom might be thinking about homeschooling through the holidays, as in: there is going to be break for a day or two and then maybe a week of catching up on lessons that have fallen behind.
  • Or maybe Mom wants to have a chance to do some fun Christmas unit studies for a week or two. (Check out Twas the Week Before Christmas Bundle for fun learning activities for the whole family.)
  • Or maybe there is going to be break for a day or two or three or four or five, but there’s also going to be travel and some house cleaning.

If teens’ expectations and Mom’s expectations are different, there can be a lot of disappointment about Christmas break.

So communication and goal setting together might be a really good idea

Parents, try to give teens at least some of what they would like while setting clear goals for Christmas break:

  • Homeschooling expectations
  • Holiday special events
  • Relaxation and refueling expectations

Working the homeschool triage

Over the holidays, there are so many competing activities and competing people around the holiday season:

  • Visits with folks that you don’t usually get to see
  • Family gatherings, parties and special celebrations
  • Christmas plays
  • Fine arts productions
  • Concerts
  • Cookie baking day

All the while, for homeschool high schoolers, there are often looming  deadlines

  • mid year reviews
  • big co-op project
  • research paper that’s been assigned for umbrella-school or online-school class

Vicki’s family always treated the competing needs and wants kind of like “Battlefield Hospital”:  you triage them.

What is a homeschool triage?

  • You do the most critical and time-sensitive things first.
    • For instance, if we have an SAT coming up or a mid year review and we are significantly behind, they are prioritized. They get worked on first.
  • The things that are not going to be much trouble, you do that last.
    • Vicki’s kids like history, so that subject gets bumped to the middle because they will get caught up on their own because they just do that for fun.
  • In the middle you do the things that are good to do and will take some attention but are not critical.
    • In Vicki’s house, that would be electives like Career Exploration. It can wait until after the holidays.

Don’t forget your own self-care

So how can we take care of our own needs? Sometimes homeschooling moms get exhausted while handling homeschool holiday hassles.

We often can find a way of handling hassles that is going to be accommodating and respectful of everybody’s needs.

Think about the beauty of the community that you have:

  • homeschool community
  • family community
  • neighborhood community
  • church community

Can you and another mom in your community work out some “rest times”? For instance:

If I have your kids at my house one day so the kids can have a sleepover, you can sleep in. Then they sleep over at your house, and I get to sleep in.

One of the things that Vicki needs is a time when nobody’s talking to me. So, in January each year she goes on a silent retreat for a weekend. The kids have “sleepover” with just dad or at a friend’s house.

Sabrina has a blended family with seven kids between them-several of them married. It is unrealistic or them to say,  “we would really like to see everybody either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day”.

So instead, they have a Merry New Year’smas sometime in the month of January when people’s calendars actually will cooperate. On that day, (Saturday or a Sunday afternoon) they do a big open house potluck get-together. That’s what we love one another. That’s how Jesus is glorified, right?

Another great self-care idea is to check out our Cousin Teresa Weidrick‘s self-care for homeschool mama’s resources:

There are some hassles. That’s okay. Face it and then give yourself a break!

Handling Holiday Homeschool Hassles


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