but only here. I’ve been busy with homeschooling, holiday prep, and working on my book. I didn’t intend to go weeks without posting, it just kind of…happened.
But I remembered it needed to be done this week, and here it is!
This is our last week of school before we’ll break for the holiday. We may continue our group reading, because we’re all enjoying the book and the break for Christmas might be so long that we forget where we left off. But for the most part, we’ll take a 2-3 week break from mactual school and focus on holiday prep: gift-wrapping, cookie-baking, meal-planning, party-prepping – the usual stuff.
It also tends to give me a chance to work a little more on my writing, with a few longer stretches where I can focus.
I also find it’s a good, natural breaking point to evaluate where we are and what we’ve been doing, see what’s still working and what’s not. It gives me enough time to work out some ideas for new things to try for those things that aren’t working, and to find and/or research things that I might need to get before we start back up – for example, after the first of the year, we’ll be using a curriculum that incorporates Doctor Who into World History, and I need to buy the curriculum (it’s downloadable, so it’s instantly available).
And let’s face it, the excitement of the holidays, the fuss and preparation and everything else, tends to make for a rather ineffective school day. It’s better for all of us to take the break, rather than trying to push through and end up going over the same stuff all over again in January.
We still have a few things that I would say contribute to learning (not that life itself doesn’t, but these are things I could actually quantify if I needed to:
- Christmas cookie baking. Math is always covered with this one, because I have to double, triple and sometimes even quadruple the recipe to make enough cookies. History is covered – family history – because this is my grandmother’s recipe, so we often talk about my memories of her and what it will be like when we head to Michigan again to see her and my grandfather, along with the rest of my family. Science is covered because of the reaction between the ingredients to change them from flour, sugar, baking soda and butter into a cookie that looks like a Christmas tree, snowman or star.
- Shopping. Christmas shopping, in every way, counts as educational to me. Math, like with cookies, is always covered. We discuss the cost of items, the tax on the items, what they can afford to buy, what I can afford to buy, how to find the best deal, etc. They learn about thinking about what someone else wants, not what they want to buy for that person – and how those two things may or may not be the same and how to decide when the right thing is to buy what that person wants, and when it’s right to buy them what you want to buy for them (say, when your budget is just too tight for what they want, or when you know that what you want to get them is something they’d love but didn’t think or would never ask you to get for them).
There are more, I’m sure, but my brain has suddenly given up on me and won’t share them.
I’m looking forward to our break. Hopefully, I’ll use it as a chance to catch up on some other things that haven’t been getting done the way I’d like them to, so that we can start back up after the new year, fresh and ready to go.
Are you getting ready to start your break? Do you take a break? What holiday things do you have going on right now?