What does Christmas look like at Hodgepodge? In our homeschool? I invite you to come and sit by the fire, enjoy a warm cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea and put your feet up – for about five minutes. Just five minutes because in December things are changing moment to moment. Like most families, it’s so very busy. Time to head to this practice, get your dress shoes for this performance and, oh dear, another child with a fever. Precisely why…
…In the last several years I’ve shared how we take December off from homeschool. Well, in reality we don’t completely take the month off. We just change up our learning. Our focus is on all the celebratory things leading up to Christmas. And it looks a little different each year according to ages and stages (at least two different stage performances).
It’s simply a new twist on subjects. Baking Christmas cookies for math, decorating and writing thank you notes count for handwriting. We are so blessedly busy with all kinds of drama troupe productions, choir programs, piano recitals.
This year with several bouts of sickness, we are going to keep up a daily Teaching Textbooks math lesson for the older three and Saxon Math 1 for Littlest Girl. Below are a few more ways we’ll keep the learning going but the fun first:
- Family read aloud – how quickly the children all get bathed and pjd! That is so we can all gather around and read Jotham’s Journey. My friend, Little Sanctuary, shared about this trilogy of advent stories several years ago. We’ve read all three and are starting over with Jotham again this year. We’ve also read Amon’s Adventures at Easter.
Lil’ Buddy sang in his Melody Makers choir. Middle Girl sang in her last children’s choir Christmas performance since she moves up to youth next year. Sadly, Littlest Girl was sick this night and missed her choir performance.
- Choirs at church – all those wonderful hymns, children’s choirs
- Piano – a recital coming up for two of my girls so their practicing makes Christmas music fill the house.
- Drama Troupe – Christmas performance this year was The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. My girls played Doubt and Joy in the skit portion of the show. Representative virtues painted a wonderful picture of Christmas. They also participated in variety acts, as I shared above.
- Living Math – baking cookies – our favorite recipe made allergy-friendly.
- Handwriting – thank you notes, addressing Christmas cards.
- Unstructured Art – painting those thank you notes, making homemade wrapping paper, making gifts like the painted canvas, above.
- Reading for pleasure – eldest girl is aiming to reread the Lord of the Rings series in anticipation of the new Hobbit movie. Middle Girl was rereading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
- Nature study – we do a ‘hunt for red and green’ on a nature walk this time of year. Amazing how much we notice so many other colors in nature – here at almost winter. This December we are also enjoying the nature grid prompts from the Handbook of Nature Study.
1. On the road quite a bit in December | 2. Nana’s Chicken & Noodle soup is healing for sick ones | 3. Homeschool Drama Troupe practice | 4. Eldest Girl treated me to Starbucks! | 5. Late night computer networking lesson – Eldest Boy and Hodgepodgedad | 6. A warm morning fire to cozy up to thanks to Eldest Boy | 7. The colors of nature in December | 8. Eldest girl with her white glove and sign for the dowel routine with black lights | 9. a sink contraption by Lil’ Buddy | 10. Homemade wrapping paper by Littlest Girl – can you see her handprint Christmas tree?
I’m sure there are other things we do that I’ve forgotten. This post was about two weeks in the making – between performances and doctor visits. Guess what? this change for the month of December helps us be so very ready for a Return of the Routine come January.
Bonus for you! Today through Sunday night I am giving away a set of quality blocks from Larsen Toy Lab – shipped to arrive in time for Christmas. This entrepreneurial brother/sister team offer wonderful, educational toys. Plus, you also have a chance to win a set from Barb-Harmony Art Mom! Just click over to enter.
Many thanks to our Friday hostesses!
- Homeschool Mother’s Journal at iHomeschool Network
- Collage Friday hostess Mary at Home Grown Learners
- Jamerrill at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling
- Weekly Wrap-Up hostess Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
- No Fear Homeschool High School at The Daisy Head
So, it’s a Hodgepodge of homeschooling in December. How about you? Do you have a lighter schedule or just take a few days off?
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