Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

Celebrate the Simple!

By Maryann Turner
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #26, 1998.

Pin It

Maryann Turner


Have you ever needed a good reason to buy a ton of books or games? Or a good excuse to take some time to cuddle and read in front of the fireplace?

The holiday season is the perfect time to take advantage of the variety of opportunities to share the joy of learning with your children. Just like a special secret among pals, that joy can be shared and treasured forever. All you have to do is take the time to read that special book together or actually play those games that your children received for Christmas.

It's easy to get caught up in the myriad of holiday activities and miss the simple pleasures, but the season is rich with windows of wondrous natural learning adventures. From Christmas carols to thank-you notes, real-life learning activities abound. All you have to add is excitement and fun, and that shouldn't be too hard during the most exciting time of year.

What can you do to enrich your holidays? First of all, look for and take advantage of the many "unschool" type learning opportunities of the season. Maybe your church is planning a Christmas drama or Thanksgiving skit, offering a perfect opportunity for your children to acquire some drama experience. As I mentioned earlier, Christmas caroling offers a new bent on your music lessons. Baking and making gifts can add to your art class, math class or home economics talents.

Don't forget addressing Christmas cards and gift tags! What better way to exercise our children's academic muscles than to have them send thank-you notes and holiday greetings? Even a letter to Jesus can enhance the understanding of the holidays, and give an added boost to language skills.

Instead of taking time off for the holidays, use the holidays as the focal point of your school year. Plan on using a couple of months of holiday time to enforce the basic areas of education. The opportunities for practicing reading, writing and math are innumerable.

When choosing gifts, choose wisely! With so many fun, educational choices out there, you can use your gifts as a springboard for filling the coming months with learning the easy way . . . by doing what children do best . . . playing! From books, puzzles, and games for the little folks to telescopes, microscopes, and models for your older children, you can assure yourself of your children's continued enthusiasm for exploring and expanding their interests.

On the other side of the tinsel-clad coin, don't get so caught up in outside activities that you lose sight of the real reason for the festivities. Spend lots of time discussing Christ's birth and immersing your children in the holiness of the holidays.

Don't allow dust to gather on the new games that you spent hard-earned money to buy. Get down on the floor and play! Share their excitement!

We often get so caught up in the "have tos" of the holidays that we don't allow ourselves time to let the peace of the holidays control our decision-making, and we end up overextending ourselves timewise and financially. Then Satan gets his foot in the door, and we lose our focus on the joy of Christ's birth. Instead, take time to listen to your children. Take time to smile at their excited chatter. All too soon they will be making memories with babies of their own.

Creativity and imagination makes the holiday spirit special. Take advantage of the excitement! Start building traditions that last from generation to generation. Don't worry about the time you lose academically during the busy season of celebrating; instead celebrate the knowledge your children will acquire doing the simple things that define our holiday traditions.


Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

Time4Learning Spanish For You

Articles by Maryann Turner

What is Unschooling?

Education Just Happens... Does It Really?

Getting Ready for College in the Early Grades

The Most Significant Scientific Discovery of All

What is Our Job as Parents?

This Land is God's Land

Doing It All Can Do You In!

Unexpected Gifts

Community Service?

You Don't Have to Be Perfect... Just Smile!

Play Ball!

Celebrate the Simple!

Popular Articles

I Was an Accelerated Child

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

The Charlotte Mason Method

University Model Schools

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Getting Organized Part 3

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

The History of Public Education

Teaching Blends

Character Matters for Kids

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

Montessori Math

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

AP Courses At Home

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

Who Needs the Prom?

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

A Reason for Reading

The Benefits of Debate

The Gift of a Mentor

Phonics the Montessori Way

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

How to Win the Geography Bee

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

Classical Education

Laptop Homeschool

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

Critical Thinking and Logic

Start a Nature Notebook

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

Myth of the Teenager

Bears in the House

Combining Work and Homeschool

Narration Beats Tests

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

Teach Your Children to Work

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

Shakespeare Camp

The Charlote Mason Approach to Poetry

Whole-Language Boondoggle

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books