What To Do With Homeschooling In December

Homeschooling in December can be challenging!  I find most mothers who do not plan to take most of December lighter or off completely feel burned out and then end up taking some or most of the month off anyway.

Many veteran homeschoolers will tell you that they plan in advance for December to be a great month of cooking, crafting, perhaps doing a lighter rhythm of school with math only or with activities revolving around the holidays.

I think this is a smart idea.  So many homeschoolers feel completely burned out by this time of year, and attempting to homeschool on top of all the cleaning, cooking, baking, crafting that goes with the holidays seems to put so many mothers on edge.  This is the time of year many mothers start posting on the Waldorf boards that maybe their children really need to go into Unschooling more or that Waldorf homeschooling is not working for them.  I doubt that is really what is needed, it just feels like it this time of year!  I wrote a series of posts last January about Waldorf and Unschooling, so if you are really curious you can look there, but sometimes I think what we all really need is a break.  Our bodies naturally are connected to the inner grace of this time period in the cycle of the year.

The Twelve Holy Nights between Christmas and Epiphany are a welcome time for me to read and dream and plan more than usual.  It helps me recharge for the next part of the school year. I hope you will plan to get some time for reading and relaxing yourself!

If you are searching for ideas for December Homeschooling, I suggest the following:

Marsha Johnson has a December block on her Yahoo!Group that encompasses a week of Hannukah studies and activities, a week of the Three Wise Men and a week around the Winter Solstice.  You can get this block for free by joining her Waldorf group:  waldorfhomeeducators@yahoogroups.com

Many homeschooling families also seem to use these two units from Elizabeth Foss over at Serendipity:

Christmas and Advent Around the World: http://www.elizabethfoss.com/serendipity/2010/11/christmas-and-advent-around-the-world.html

Tomie de Paola Christmas:  http://ebeth.typepad.com/reallearning/advent-and-christmas-with.html

What do you all like to do during December in your homeschool?

Many blessings,


7 thoughts on “What To Do With Homeschooling In December

  1. Pingback: Now a Winter Break « Wonder in the Woods

  2. Carrie – I LOVE this post! I’ve been so busy the past few months that I haven’t been keeping up with my blog or reading others and it was always something I enjoyed before. I totally agree with your post. We lighten the academic load in Dec & try to focus any scheduled school time to center around Advent stories, saint stories, baking, holiday festivities, etc. I need it as much as the girls do 🙂 Great advice!

    I LOVE your links, btw – had not seen them, but will bookmark them for next year! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the wonderful insight and reminders you always provide. You are a beacon of light to so many (me included)!

    Blessings & a relaxing December,

    • Happy Holidays Jen to you and your children! I see you have been very busy; miss hearing your voice though!
      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and 12 Holy Nights!
      Many blessings,

  3. One of the things I’ve really taken on board with Steiner is the need for breathing in (busy times) and breathing out (times of rest). I know my body and brain work much less efficiently in winter, so all that you’ve said makes complete sense.

  4. Whew, we planned a December focused on the festivals, solstice, baking, crafting and community. It has been wonderful, and yet a tiny guilty little voice was poking around in the free space of my brain last week. Thank you kindly for hushing her out and reminding me I did INDEED plan it this way for a reason.

  5. Carrie, I am not sure if this question is exactly relevant to this post, but I couldn’t find an appropriate backpost in my search.

    My almost 5 year old has been insistently asking so many questions. Who made the sky? How did they make it? What’s God? Where are Joseph and Mary now? Why is Jesus/Mary/God in Heaven? How do we see? She often get really frustrated by response and says, But I really want to know!

    I suspect the subject of her questions has something to do with the advent season and all the related songs and stories. I try not to talk too much in general and always try to avoid dry intellectual complicated explanations of things and instead try to talk pictorially. But sometimes I am stumped as to how to respond.

    Is this common for the age (almost 5) and do you have any advice? Thanks!

  6. I love this post too! This has all been a tough call for me this year because our family will be moving in mid January and I am sure we’ll be taking some time off then as well. We’ve kept a much lighter school day this month overall – we’ve been working on our NA block and I decided to just keep going, doing the whole thing in one long block. I am so glad because it’s been great! I think from now until we’re settled into our new place it’s going to be light and way less formal, more practical – cooking, crafting, money, time, math processes, weather and maybe a few of the wonder stories with a craft. I love this time of year and I am slowly beginning to recognize what needs letting go of to make our lives more peaceful. I hope your family has a beautiful holiday and a very happy and healthy New Year!!!

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