Thursday, November 15, 2018

Do You Take Holiday Breaks from Homeschooling?

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No matter how long we've been homeschooling, we are curious about how other homeschoolers do things. And homeschoolers who are newer to the game obviously have lots of questions! This series will try to answers some of the questions homeschoolers ask each other. Questions about how we handle some of the little details and about our opinions on different aspects of homeschooling. Questions that we all might answer differently because what works great in one family might not work at all in another. 

Do You Take Holiday Breaks from Homeschooling?

Yes, we do take breaks during the holidays, but it's kind of on an as-needed basis rather than saying "okay, Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so we'll take Monday to Wednesday off and be back on Thursday." This is another area where the flexibility of making our school schedule suit our life is such a benefit!

Actually, when the kids were young we took a lot of breaks around the holidays. In fact, there were some years in which it seemed we barely touched our books between Thanksgiving and New Years! We tried to start school around the second Monday in August so that we had covered enough by the end of November to take as much time off as we thought we needed. And in those early years of schooling, it was relatively easy to get somewhat caught up again in January. Or close enough.

We also took breaks from regular curriculum to do things that were focused on the holidays. No matter where we were in our History study, we certainly had time to learn about the first Thanksgiving celebrations or the historic St Nicholas. We could easily take a break from Science and instead do Christmas crafts or baking.

Do You Take Holiday Breaks from Homeschooling? on Homeschool Coffee Break @
A project from the 2017 Christmas Craft Breakfast

Do You Take Holiday Breaks from Homeschooling? on Homeschool Coffee Break @
Baking Buche de Noel for French class in 2017

With older students, it's not quite that flexible any more. For the last few years we've stuck to the books as much as we could all the way through November and December. We've taken Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off during Thanksgiving week. And we plan on taking about two weeks altogether around Christmas and New Years, depending on what day of the week Christmas falls on.

Now that we have a co-op class, we do have to work our holiday schedule around that to some extent. We meet on Thursdays, so obviously there's no class on Thanksgiving. Today wound up as a snow day, so we will all have some catching up to do!  Our Christmas break from co-op seems very short as well, with just two weeks away from the classroom.

Even though I'm planning our school days right up until the Friday before Christmas, we are able to take a pretty relaxed approach to it. I know there will be days when we will set aside History for a bit so we can go Christmas shopping, and evenings when French homework might get put off until we get home from an evening out with friends. Having so much control over our schedule, and having co-op classes just once a week allows us to shift things around in our routine so we can do the fun holiday things and still (hopefully) get assignments completed on time.

And now, for us, the Christmas break has to allow time to spend with our youngest family member, and it takes time to be a good auntie!

Do You Take Holiday Breaks from Homeschooling? on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Do You Take Holiday Breaks from Homeschooling? on Homeschool Coffee Break @

How do you homeschool through the holidays? Leave a comment and let me know what works for you - or leave a homeschool question you're curious about.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog for the Homeschooling Through the Holidays Year-round Homeschooling Round-up to see how other Crew members handle the holidays. (November 19, 2018)

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Chris and Dawn said...

We change and adapt every year but we love to use as much Christmas material for schooling in December as we can. We also like to take about 2 or 2.5 weeks off for Christmas, New Years and my daughters Jan. 7th birthday.

Kristen of A Mom's Quest to Teach said...

As this is our first year, we are still finding our way. Our teen has a light work today (Wed before Thanksgiving) and none again till Monday. Although we will be going over Geometry over the weekend. Our two younger kids pretty much learn whenever we want so no real breaks as such.

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