December is almost here, what many kids consider the middle of the school year. I know it's a tough time for traditionally schooled children and their parents because everyone is looking forward to the holidays and a break. It may be even more difficult for us homeschoolers, because we get to be with our kids 24/7 as the winter blahs and holiday excitement begin warring with each other!
Routine is vital at this time of year. We stick to our normal school schedule, which means no, we aren't taking a break to go to the mall to see Santa until school work is done, no matter how tempting it may be. Sticking to the schedule up until we “officially start our break” helps keep the jitters at bay and prevents that winter slump that hits so many of us at this time of year.
That's not to say we don't take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling to enjoy some holiday cheer! We stick to our morning schedule, or the core subjects of language arts and math, pretty rigorously. But come 11 a.m. I try to schedule in something a bit different once or twice weekly leading up to break. It may be a visit to the museum, visiting a “Santa's Workshop” kids' shopping event for a quick and fun economics lesson or baking together in the kitchen.
Finding the balance between routine and celebrations helps ramp up the excitement and combat boredom without sacrificing the school rhythm we have worked so hard the last few months to establish. After the holidays, it is much easier to slip back into schooling because of this.