[Today’s post “How to do Fun School for Homeschool During the Holidays” was written by contributor Michelle Habrych.]
Often when you homeschool, you enjoy the flexibility of scheduling it offers your family. One time of year that this benefit comes in handy is December. As we celebrate Christmas, we love to take off a few weeks from the more intense studying and schoolwork. Sometimes we will add in “fun school” activities, even for the older students. Here are some ideas to keep the learning going when you’re relaxing the schedule: how to do “Fun School” for homeschool during the holidays.
Unit studies are a fun way to dig into a topic of interest for a few days, a week, or longer. They can require a lot of prep work, however. Thankfully, some homeschool moms have created products which provide easy unit studies for students of all ages, on all sorts of topics. This Christmas break, my friend’s teenage daughter is excited to learn more about musicals using Gena Mayo’s “Intro to Musicals for Elementary Students.” Yes, it is meant for younger students, but since it is a topic in which she is interested, it’s perfect for her “fun school” time.
Amanda Bennett offers numerous unit studies. Her Winter Olympics study in 2006 was the first unit study I used with my son when we started homeschooling. She offers one-week studies on delicious topics such as chocolate, pizza, and popcorn, and well as traditional studies. My daughter once completed the Roller Coaster study for a science fair project.
Lapbooks are a hands-on way to study a topic. While many companies sell them, I like Knowledge Box Central’s studies. There are lapbook studies for all ages on various topics including Bible and character, cooking, science, and history. They offer some fun holiday ones too, including some unique Christmas ones on jokes, poetry, puzzles, and more!
Fun Math Practice
To keep up math skills over the holiday, I plan to have my kids practice on IXL for 30 minutes each day instead of working in their math books. To them, it’s more fun than a math lesson, and it keeps up their skills.
Watching educational videos over a break is another way to keep your students’ minds sharp over a break. There are many available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Numerous Facebook groups offer suggestions, as well as Pinterest boards. I find that a holiday offers a chance to study something different or to go more in-depth on a current topic of study. We’ve been studying astronomy this semester, so perhaps we’ll take time over the break to watch some space movies. There are some recent historical movies such as Race, 42, and Free State of Jones we’ve also wanted to watch. My daughter loves learning about animals, so she may watch some of 72 Cutest Animals on Netflix or Animal Journeys on Amazon Prime.
My personal favorite thing to do over holidays is taking time to play games. I’ve written about different types of games you could use in your homeschool (link). A break offers a chance to play longer games without feeling like you’re taking time away from studies. Perhaps we’ll attempt Risk this Christmas break! I know we’ll probably put together a large jigsaw puzzle too.
Field trips can be tricky during a holiday break. Depending on when local schools are off, you might want to avoid some places that are likely to be crowded. Last spring I made the mistake of taking the kids to Museum of Science and Industry on Chicago’s spring break. That’s something I won’t do again. As long as school is in session, field trips are a great way to take a break from everyday homeschooling. Look for local opportunities to add to your studies.
Michelle Habrych enjoys taking a break from regular homeschooling to enjoy “fun school” with her kids.