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 differently. I’m after a slow December.
(This post was originally written in 2018, yet we 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 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 challenging. 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 more complicated 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 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.
I intend 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.
Did you know that with the
Did you know that the You ARE AN Artist Clubhouse Membership provides over 800+ chalk pastel lessons for all ages plus new art lessons from Nana and themed art events throughout the year! You’ll have access to all of these Christmas and holiday lessons:
- A Christmas Star
- Away in a Manger
- Winter Fun
- Gingerbread Man and Holly Leaf
- Christmas Angel
- What’s Under Your Christmas Tree?
- Christmas Ornaments
- A Christmas Tree
- Christmas Lights
- The Grinch
- Charlie Brown Christmas
- A Map to Bethlehem
- Rembrandt Dream of Joseph lesson
- We Three Kings
- The Messiah Lessons – Angels Announce Messiah
- Clara and the Christmas Tree
- Sugar Plum Fairy
- Chinese Tea Dance
- Mouse King
- Arctic Express
- Hot Chocolate
- Mittens and a Mug
- Frozen Lake
- Winter Forest Scene with Deer
- Bird in Snow
- Plus so much more!
There are even Winter Solstice lessons to enjoy with the You ARE AN Artist Clubhouse that include:
- Fireplace (A Simple Start)
- Frost (Winter)
- Icicles (Winter)
- Frozen lake (Winter)
- Winter forest scene with deer (Winter)
- Stonehenge winter solstice (World Landmarks)
- Bird in snow (Winter)
- Northern Lights (Essential Oils)
- Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening (Master Classes)
- Winter Tree Reflection Acrylic (Master Classes)
- Snowman (Preschool)
- Skate (Winter Games)
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
My kids are particularly fond of There’s A Moose in the House, Sleeping Queens, and Exploding Kittens for some carefree fun.
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 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 OK 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 permit ourselves to slow down.
Here are a few more resources that have helped me get through those tough gray months of winter!
Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Homeschooling with Depression
Leaving Space in Our Homeschool Year
A Hard Week
12 Books to Help Children with Death, Grief, and Loss
Keeping Your Happy through Winter
If you’re looking for more Christmas themed posts, then check out these posts:
Tracking Santa On Christmas Eve: A Family Activity
Festive Christmas Chalk Pastel Art Lessons For Kids
The Nutcracker Ballet Activities and Books
10 EASY Homeschool Holiday Activities
Christmas Carol Study with SQUILT
Winter Solstice Activities & Books
25 Favorite Christmas Books the Whole Family Will Love
30+ Stocking Stuffer Game Ideas For Kids
30 Fun Nature Gift Ideas for Kids
Thoughtful Gifts for a Homeschool Mom
Gift Ideas for Kids who Love SCIENCE
Our A-Book-A-Day Advent Calendar
Christmas Baking and Making Memories
Swirl Paint Christmas Ornaments
Harry Potter Christmas Tree
Hogwarts Gingerbread Castle
20 Awesome Harry Potter Gift Ideas
30 Super Cool STAR WARS Gifts
Top 20 Doctor Who Gift Ideas
Fun Gilmore Girls Gift Ideas
Tell me, do you take things slow in your homeschool during December?
Jeniffer Do Nascimento says
I absolutely love this. We too take it slow in December. There’s just something about the month that calls for special memories, slowing down and enjoying each other’s company.
Erin Vincent says
Awe, thank you so much! It’s truly a season to savor, especially with little ones.
slow Decembers are good Decembers. 🙂 Keep the craziness at bay.
Erin Vincent says
Yes! Keep the craziness at bay! Love it.