December 19, 2013

Class Dismissed

It's December 19th.

I thought a lot about what to post today.  A curriculum review?  More tips on teaching Geography?  A cute Christmas craft?

But what it boils down to is this:

It's December 19th.

Most of you don't really want to hear about any of that right now. 

We are in the full swing of the Holiday season.  We are trying to juggle all the shopping/parties/traditions/card-writing/baking that this fun season brings AND trying to educate our children on top of that.  And the closer we get to Christmas the more wound up and excited our children get and the less any academic facts stick in their sweet little brains.  Homeschooling is getting a little bit crazy and some moms (cough) are getting a little short-tempered. 

So, therefore, I hereby give you permission to stop your school now.

Take a break.  It's okay.  Relax a little.

You are doing a great job.  No, really, you are.

Stephen Covey says that highly effective people take time to sharpen their saws.  This is a great time to sharpen your saw.  Your kids need to sharpen their saws too. 

I hope you will take the time to truly enjoy this season of the year.  Because it's so important.  And because with children, it can be so much fun.

Don't think about homeschool for awhile.

Especially do not think about anything you might consider to be a failure:

If you only got halfway to where you were supposed to be mid-year in Sentence Diagramming Nirvana, don't worry.  It's okay.  Just set it all aside for now and you can rework your plans in January.

If the kids never finished their scale model of the Great Wall of China made from sugar cubes, don't worry.  It's okay.

If little Bobby threw in the towel on Moby Dick, don't worry.  It's okay.

Not everything you planned last fall worked smoothly.  And life sometimes got in the way.  But your kids have learned lots, and you have all done your best.  Now it is time for a break.  

You need to rest your brain.  So do your kids.  Christmas is the perfect excuse.

Now, a word about Christmas.  If you are like me, you may have gotten all excited just after Thanksgiving and made elaborate plans about how you were going to have a Meaningful and Memorable December this year.  My menu plan was daily family devotionals and oodles of service projects with some fun crafts and homemade treats sprinkled in, all of it tying into something educational.

I way overdid it, as usual.

And now it is December 19th.  And I am giving myself permission to let go and relax and just enjoy the next few days.

We will do Christmassy things, yes.  But we will not jam-pack our schedule with every conceivable Holiday activity.  And I will take the good advice from an article that showed up on my Facebook feed recently (which I now can't find): if any Holiday activity stresses me out or makes me frustrated and grumpy we will bag it (we might be bagging a lot!) 

If we never make it through every last activity in Discover Christmas, it's okay.

If we never do gingerbread houses, it's okay.

If we end up having cold cereal for dinner on Christmas Eve instead of a Bethlehem dinner, it's okay.
Both the kids and I need some unstructured time.

It is Okay to sometimes do absolutely nothing.

That is so obvious that it seems silly saying it, and yet my Homeschool Planning Mom brain forgets it constantly.  She is always thinking how to turn every spare minute into another Lesson.  "While we eat our Christmas pomegranates please listen carefully while I explain their unique biological structure..." 

But I run out of steam.  And so do my kids.

And I'm sure you and your kids do too.

So go do something fun.  Revel in the joy of birth of the Savior.  Sing some songs, build a snow cave, stir up some fudge-- whatever makes you happy.

And then be happy.

Laugh and be joyful.  Giggle over the little delights that come in a houseful of kids at Christmas time, such as someone adding Yoda to the Nativity scene at my house (see photo at the beginning of the post--did you notice?)

Put down your homeschool mom burdens, whatever they are, for just a few days. 

You can pick them back up again in January.  They will feel lighter, I promise.

Class dismissed. 

Sarah (Birrd) and her husband (Badger) are the parents of six fun children.  They live out west in the mountains where there's lots of snow.  She loves Christmas trees with white lights, getting Christmas cards in the mail, and listening to her children sing Christmas songs.  She recently perfected a recipe for huckleberry fudge.  Take a little visit to her personal blog,  The Birrd's Nest. 

2 comments - Add a comment below -:

Anaise said...

Such an excellent post . . . and exactly why our traditional Christmas dinner is scrambled eggs.

Brianna said...

Thank you - you are so right! Merry Christmas!