Hello, December my old friend…I see you’ve made it around once again. Usually, the thought of you sends me into a blind panic. There is always so much chaos that you seem to bring, like a whirlwind of activities, parties, get-togethers, and pressures to make everything MAGICAL.
This year things will be different.
This year I’m pursuing you in a different way. I’m after a slow December.
(This post was originally written in 2018 and yet, we’ve experienced so much loss again in 2020. I hope you find a bit of encouragement and inspiration here.)
Pursuing A Slow December
The holidays are here, folks…
Panic attack party of one!
Rather than filling our holiday schedule with loads of stress, I want to focus on that space in-between…that white space…that quiet space.
You know the space I’m talking about?
The one where your soul feels well-fed and content.
Processing a December of Loss
I discovered this need for slow and space after we had a family emergency just one day before December began last year. It left our family rocked and not quite sure how to process or proceed.
The sadness overshadowed our lives and joy seemed in short supply despite all the merriment going on around us.
This year I am already feeling the heaviness, and the cold, and the melancholy feelings. Though we still have several weeks before December begins. Yet, like many who have experienced loss, this time of year can be hard. Not only for ourselves, but for our little ones as well.
Take it easy on yourself and your kiddos if you can.
Some seasons of homeschool and life are harder than others.
How to Homeschool in December
I’m not going to receive a medal for pushing myself and my kiddos through December with loads of busy. On the contrary, I may end up with anxiety-ridden, worry-filled, upset kids.
Not to mention a mom left feeling broken.
Let’s not judge ourselves based on everyone else’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
Better yet, let’s not judge ourselves at all.
You’re not doing anything wrong if you don’t have a perfect table set or homemade cookies!
Pop some Pillsbury cookies right out of a can and call it good.
Or just grab a package of your favorite cookies from the grocery store shelves!
Perhaps, instead of focusing on all the things we’re not doing, we can focus on making things easier on ourselves and focus on the things we ARE doing.
My intention is to bring more joy, love, and cozy feelings into our own home without all the added stress.
Yeah, let’s do more of that!
December Homeschool Plans
Read Alouds and Audio Books
Snuggling with my kiddos when I can and read aloud. We like to choose from picture books, Christmas books, or children’s literature…whatever excites them! Here are some of our favorites:
- Favorite Winter Books
- 25 Favorite Christmas Books the Whole Family will Love
- 35 Favorite Read Aloud Books
Did you know that audiobooks count? Yep, audiobooks can help make things just a little bit easier during your December homeschool. Many a time I have pulled up a book with our Audible subscription and the kids listened for hours! Did you also know that you can try Audible AND receive two FREE Audiobooks?
Here are 70 of Our Favorite Audiobooks!
Around the World Stories has also been a Godsend for this weary mama. Halloween candy hangovers, time changes, and cranky kiddos stuck in rush hour traffic have all been eased by these delightful stories!
They are also a great way to learn more about other countries and cultures.
Pursuing A Slow December
Art and Music
I look to art to help my kiddos with their feelings. It’s amazing how healing art can be. It allows them to focus and get out emotions buried deep inside…that sometimes you didn’t realize were there.
Did you know you can pair art with the Christmas Carols you’re already listening to in the car? Of course we have a constant stream of Christmas music playing in the background of our home throughout the month too.
Alexa, play Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Last year we enjoyed pairing our Holiday SQUILT music lessons with Chalk Pastel Art! There are Nutcracker and Christmas chalk pastel lessons that are just amazing and the kids are looking forward to them again this year.
There are even Winter Solstice lessons to enjoy as we approach the shortest day and longest night of the year!
Loads of puzzles and games help us get through the holidays or any other stressful time. Games don’t judge. They are fun and supply loads of learning opportunities! Plus, games provide a wonderful way to build family connections. Here are a few of our favorites:
- The Art of Strewing Games
- 50 Favorite Games the Whole Family will Love
- Playing with Language Games Your Kids will Love
- Exploring Art: Art Games and Books for Kids
Watch Documentaries or Christmas Movies
Curiosity Stream has been an amazing addition to our homeschool this year. Plus, it is super affordable! Only $2.99 per month and my kids have access to thousands of quality documentaries!
But don’t feel like everything has to be educational!
Enjoy some Christmas movies and hot cocoa with the kids. They tend to fun and light-hearted…just what some of us need during the holiday season.
By leaving space in our December I hope to teach my children that:
- It’s OK to take things slow.
- Learning STILL happens in those unplanned spaces.
- Processing our feelings takes time.
- It’s more than fine if you don’t want to join in with what everyone else is doing.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Some seasons don’t go as planned…
- I am always there for my kids in whatever way that they need me.
Remember, allow for plenty of grace as you muddle through this December. It’s OK to allow space during this busy holiday season, and magic still happens without all the chaos and stress.
Do what works best for your kiddos and your family this year. Even if that means doing less. Don’t be afraid to say NO to the things that don’t bring you joy.
And the joy! There is much to be had when we give ourselves permission to slow down.
Here are a few more resources that have helped me get through those tough gray months of winter!
If you’re looking for more Christmas themed posts, then check out these posts:
Tell me, do you take things slow in your homeschool during December?