It’s almost Christmas, and for me, home educating at Christmas feels like we aren’t really doing very much! I think it’s a natural time of year thing – the children have all been a bit under the weather with lingering coughs and colds and we are at peak Christmas excitement at the moment.
We have finished up lots of bits and pieces and I took the decision to not start anything new until after Christmas now. We have two big projects to get our teeth into in the new year – our science fair project and the dinosaur project for their speaking and listening group. I also want to start the second Sassafras book with them (anatomy) and really crack on with both their English work and have to do a fair bit of planning around that for both Daniel and Emma.
They have, of course, asked to do things and Emma has been busy getting on with her maths work and Daniel has been reading (as he always does!) as well as dipping in and out of workbooks and the such. We have been super busy with Christmas crafts and I am glad we have had these to keep the children occupied as we have all been a bit run down and lethargic this last week or so.
We have still been attending the various groups that we head to, and these run until the week before Christmas – and we, of course, have plenty of extra Christmas things booked in – including a trip on the Santa Steam Train, a visit to the Halle Orchestra and the Lowry theatre to see the Stickman play.
I am trying not to stress about just how much there is still to do for Christmas day – there are presents to buy and wrap, the food shopping to sort and children to keep entertained! Damian and I both have various social engagements booked in and I want to try and keep up going to the gym too if I can, in between all of this!
The children have really enjoyed the lead up to Christmas, so far, and the nativity scene has been a big hit with them; with Daniel adding things to it and moving the figures around as we advance to Christmas day. They’ve made lots of decorations for the house and have been busy colouring in some of the fab pages from Mrs Mactivity – we have a stack of these and the dot to dots printed out and they all access these at various points in the day. It’s nice seeing them take these independently and work on them to create cards and pictures.
Next week we have a bit more time and I plan to look at the Nutcracker in more details with them. I think Daniel might have a chest infection so I think it will be a trip to the Doctor to get that checked over and we will plan some quieter time in using the nutcracker as inspiration. Getting outside in the cold sets Daniel’s cough off instantly, as does running around at his sports groups so I think we will do a mini project on the Nutcracker, with the aim of this feeding into a visit we have planned to the Royal Northern College of Music in January to see a Nutcracker performance; a gift Damian and I have bought them for Christmas.
It feels like we are busy, but not really achieving very much and I have to remind myself that home educating does see natural peaks and troughs in the work we do – a lull at this time of year I suspect is pretty normal and I know that when we pick up again after Christmas it will be full steam ahead into our bigger projects…. I just need to plan the detail of our work for after January and into the spring. I’ve got a few ideas but just need to finalise them and do a bit of reading and planning over the coming weeks.
Do you find there’s a natural lull in your home education at certain times of the year, and what are your new year plans?