Homeschooling Through Holiday Cheer

So, it’s the holidays. How’s homeschooling working out for your? Is the holiday cheer making it stressful beyond belief? I hope not. I sincerely hope you have found the breaks to the holiday madness and imposed some strict boundaries on your time.

Enjoying the Aquarium gift shop

Enjoying the Aquarium gift shop

A friend of mine who grew up in Western Europe lives in the States right now as a musician. She was shocked by how crazy it gets in December, with all the concerts in which she was asked to perform and all the other engagements she was required to attend. She is right.

This year, as usual, I slowed down homeschooling slowly but surely by the third week of December. We will take a break for sure, as Christmas comes, but we still need to cover a few items here and there. It helps to keep everybody fresh and I get time off to attend to extra duties in the kitchen.

Elves at the Aquarium

Elves everywhere

So what does this look like in practice? Well, one day, we went to the Aquarium just for fun. We took a bunch of pictures and spent some time reading the exhibit signs. We usually do not take the time to do that, as we rush in to our science classes there.

Even my son, who is older and not easily impressed anymore by cute decor, appreciated the Christmas decorations and agreed to pose for me in front of different exhibits. It was lovely to see he is still a kid after all.

Teddy bears at the Aquarium

Teddy bears at the Aquarium

By the way, the Aquarium is decorated very nicely. Maybe they do this every year, but apparently I just now became aware of it. The Christmas decorations at the Aquarium are lovely.

Another day, we just did our regular devotional and then science. Nothing else. Yet another day, we replaced our regular devotional with a time of playing our violins and singing Christmas songs. We have a book with Christmas duets. My daughter sang and my son and I played our violins.

With Santa at the Aquarium

With Santa

This is the first year we can do this, by the way. He was not that interested in playing the violin last year. He has had a breakthrough year in his appreciation of this instrument (as opposed to piano, which he loved from the start).

Santa's Workshop

Santa’s Workshop

As he sat down at the piano to try to read the same music he had just flown through on the violin, he realized it was harder on the piano. He was amazed. We also discovered he can transpose easily on the violin. He was proud to show me how, as I did not know. It feels so good when my children teach me things. It really does.

Children at the Aquarium

Children make the best presents.

My daughter will probably join us on the violin next year around this time. Right now, sight reading does not come easily for her. She is happy to sing though and she tells us exactly how many stanzas to play.

So take it easy and enjoy the holiday cheer, don’t be stressed by it!

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