My first Christmas season homeschooling left me stunned because I couldn't figure out how to homeschool while at the same time letting my inner Martha Stewart out for her annual holiday run. Moms who have kids in school have those hours during the day to shop, decorate, vacuum, and have fun. Working moms at least get a lunch break and commute time without kids. But homeschool moms get to deal with the hyped up spirits of their kids 24/7 during all the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. How do you shop and prepare holiday surprises for the little darlings when you are with them all the time? How do you get them to focus on math when the ornaments for the tree, or the wrapping paper is out?
I used to give up on anything that looked remotely like school during this period. We baked and decorated cookies and made lots of crafty presents for Grandparents, aunts and uncles. Lucky them!! I still have the sculpy clay ornaments we kept along with the "Palantirs" or giant clear balls into which we'd pour and swirld around paint. We read aloud, went out to look at lights, watched old movies.
After 10 years it is just as difficultto focus on school. The college kid is already done with classes and recently quit his job, so he is home and underfoot. And sick. There are music obligations that pull me away mentally and physically. And there are rain storms which beg for afternoons of cookie baking. I made school plans for December, and the State wants evidence of schooling for the month.
Regular school just ain't happening this month. Soon enough my youngest son will be away at college studying for finals during these weeks -- we might as well enjoy ourselves now. We spent yesterday afternoon, during the rain, watching the movie Shakespeare in Love. I made cookies and we started putting up Christmas ornaments. Today we started reading The Tempest while listening along to an audio dramatization. We're going to watch Forbidden Planet next week and compare it to Shakespeare's play.
We're going to the Getty Museum on Friday, staying in the area to head to a robotics competition the next morning. We'll listen to audio books in the car, he is keeping a journal for the month about all he reads and does. Add in a little biology, geometry and Spanish and it's a month well spent.