How to Enjoy a No-school December, Guilt-free

wrapped gifts sit on a fuzzy white rug, entwined with white lights

The holidays are a crazy time of year, and if your homeschool is anything like mine not a lot of school work gets done in December. And when I say “not a lot” I really mean none… at least not in the traditional sense.

Instead of being stressed about getting behind I have made the executive decision to set the curriculum aside and just enjoy the holidays. No History Read-Alouds, no Language Arts lessons, and no Science. However, that doesn’t mean the learning and growing has to stop! Here are three ways my children continue learning in December even when school's officially out.

1. Take the Learning Into the Kitchen

My family does a lot of baking for the holidays. Over the last few years I have enlisted the help of my children in the kitchen more and more. I get assistance with the cooking, and they get the benefit of practical life skills like these:

  • Reading & Comprehension
    Reading a recipe is a great way for children to practice not only their reading, but also comprehension skills. You have to understand a recipe, seeing the big picture, before you can properly execute it.

  • Money
    Have your children go grocery shopping with you for the necessary ingredients and a budget. This is a perfect opportunity to teach them how to manage their money and compare prices before making a purchase.

  • Measurements
    As we all know, measuring is really important when baking. I have my children do all the measuring and calculations to double recipes. How’s that for math practice?

2. Spread Christmas Cheer as a Family

How to Enjoy a No-school December, Guilt-freeThis time of year reminds me how fortunate my family is. Small kindnesses can go a long way, so during our time off from homeschooling in December, my children and I try to give back to our community as much as we can. Here are some of the ways we have volunteered as a family in past Decembers.

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

  • Visit residents at a nursing home.

  • Make Christmas cards for our armed services and the elderly.

  • Join a caroling group.

  • Bake cookies for our neighbors.

  • "Adopting" a child or family for the holidays. (Many organizations will connect you with an under-resourced family that would benefit from a few extra Christmas surprises.Check with the Salvation Army, for example.)

  • Donate shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other small items to a homeless shelter.

  • Donate pet food, grooming tools, and leashes to an animal shelter.

3. Read the Christmas Classics

With the cold weather settled in it is the perfect time to snuggle up in front of a fire and read the Christmas classics as a family. Don’t worry about book reports, discussion questions, or writing assignments. Just enjoy these cozy tales. Some of our favorite Christmas books are:

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

  • The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman

  • The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert

  • Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to learn and grow simply by living. I know I will never regret taking this time off from curriculum to embrace the holidays with my children. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

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About the Author

Roxanne Raiche

Roxanne Raiche is a book hoarding, coffee loving, homeschooling mama of three in Iron Mountain, Michigan. She is the voice behind Blushing Bibliophile.