How to handle winter break as a new homeschooler

In come the flurry of new homeschooler questions about “how to handle winter break”… Well, the answer is the same to just about every other question you’ve asked so far. Can you guess?

It depends and we all probably do it differently and many of us change year to year. But here are some things to consider…

Okay, but it’s true. Many of you are homeschooling with the express intent of returning to your in-person school setting at some point and therefore your goals and methods may be different because you’re trying to keep up or stay on top of whatever the schools are doing.  And I get it. TRULY. But whether that is your situation or not, you still have more control over your timeline than you realize.

Ultimately, no matter why you are currently homeschooling, you still control breaks and time and when things do or don’t get done.  Even if you’re planning to go back next fall, you still aren’t required to be done by your typical end date.  Which means… YOU HAVE TIME.

Some families are done soon after Thanksgiving and pick up again in January. Some work through the winter break because they’re far less busy running around to social stuff. Some are taking time to draw inward and do things that are meaningful and/or bonding and/or traditions. Some are playing catch up because they stick to a schedule to accommodate summer schedules and plans.

My own family differs by the year. I look at what’s going on, what my kids are involved in, what my family’s schedule is like, and how we are all feeling. My oldest now takes courses where the end date is out of my control, but they’re usually done before Dec. 20th of any given year and pick up again sometime after Jan. 4th. 

This year, my kids will have off midday, Thursday, Christmas Eve (Dec. 24th) and Christmas Day (Dec. 25th) and they will have off Friday, New Year’s Day (Jan. 1st).  That gives them two VERY long weekends. This year, that works. For MY kids and MY family. Our tree is up much earlier than usual (we usually wait until Dec. 21st) and the decorating is done. My kids are doing better having their days look similar in structure and moving through their work. My oldest is also trying to catch up to his new Latin class before they start the second semester–so most of what he will be doing is that and studying for Science Olympiad.

With my tween, she doesn’t do well with long breaks because she has some memory problems that make it hard for her to retain her place in her studies if we take too much time off.

That’s MY family.

I have plenty of friends who don’t have these needs and spend these weeks hunkering down in hygge mode (which my own family will do on the weekends).

What you do is up to you. It can be scary to be in the driver seat, making all of the decisions… which means it’s on you if you screw it up. You won’t screw it up. Look around at what’s going on in your family. What do you (all) NEED right now? If time and money were no object, what would you do? Get creative and CREATE that. Take whatever time you need. Remember the big picture.

And with that… I’m off to replicate the beach and hot cocoa however I can do that.

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