Homeschooling Encouragement, Christian Homeschoolers

How to Survive a Homeschool Christmas with Peace and Joy

How to Survive a Homeschool Christmas with Peace and Joy

Persevering through the highs and lows of the Christmas season can be a bit stressful for any family – especially a homeschool family. Parents of traditional students often get extra time while the kids are in school to catch up on shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, or whatever else needs to be done on that never-ending holiday to-do list. Homeschool moms and dads have to find a way make it all work out with a little extra patience, ingenuity, and superior time management.

Some days, you are just going to feel like you don’t have it all together. You’re going to feel scattered, distracted, anxious, and potentially even Scrooge-like. (Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.) On days like these, please refer to this special Bridgeway guide for homeschool families.

Bridgeway Guide to Capturing Holiday Cheer (When You’ve Simply Lost It)

1. Have a Moment. Take a breather, sit down at the table with a cup of tea or java, and pull yourself together. Make everyone leave the room so you have quiet. Have a pad and pencil in front of you. Strategize:

  • What needs to get done today?
  • Block out time segments – hour chunks are good for items such as curriculum, shopping or wrapping, baking, cleaning, and down-time. (Don’t forget down-time, it’s important too.)
  • Prioritize. Some people prefer, and do much better, by getting the ugliest or most difficult items out of the way first. This will depend on your personality (as well as your child’s).
  • Pin this completed list to the fridge. When you feel frazzled, you can refer to it, and get back on track. It will be a work in progress.
  • What doesn’t get done will get moved to the top of the list tomorrow. Don’t feel you’ve failed if everything doesn’t get crossed off. If it does – then enjoy that good feeling!

2. Turn on Music. If everyone is grumpy, jumpy, antsy, and just plain stressed – even if it’s the last thing on your mind – turn on some Christmas music in the background. Those Christmas tunes can be pretty powerful.

3. Do Something New. Consult the internet or your favorite cookbook. Look for a family centered craft, or a recipe that will entice everyone. Put it into your written schedule with a nice chunk of time. Make it an annual tradition!

4. Book an Outing. Some of my best childhood memories are of the annual trek my entire family took to watch the Children’s Theater performance of the Nutcracker Suite. In nearly every area of the country, fabulous and enriching opportunities to get out and enjoy the season abound. Take advantage!

5. Find Your “Me” Time. I know what you’re thinking: there simply is none. And most of us parents just endure and chug away, because when holiday duty calls – we just cowboy up and do it. But if you can, take a few extra minutes for yourself here and there. You are a special and important part of this season. You are the orchestrator of Christmas magic!

6. Watch a Holiday Movie. Somehow, they never get old either. A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, The Polar Express, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, there are so many to pick from. Laughter, excitement, and good cheer are sure to ensue, no matter what age your children are!

Just remember, when you are having a “down” day or moment, you haven’t failed or lost the Christmas spirit. You’re simply human. Tackle this problem, or hiccup, like you would a homeschool project. Get organized, prioritize, amp your mood, and remember that Christmas is all about your family bond. Happy Holidays!

Jessica Parnell is passionate about homeschooling. A wife, mother and former public high school teacher, Jessica has transferred this passion into her career as Principal of Bridgeway Homeschool Academy. Her passion grows out of a deep desire to see every child reach their God given potential and purpose through faith-based, customized, and flexible homeschooling. With over 25 years of experience helping over 24,000 families to homeschool their way, Jessica is dedicated to helping families understand the freedom that comes with homeschooling and to empowering parents, a child's first teacher, to feel confident in taking control of their child's education.

Publication date: December 5, 2014