And just like that, the year is coming to a close, and the end-of-year hustle and bustle is upon us. If you’re like me at this time of year, homeschooling tends to get lost in the shuffle of preparing meals, travel arrangements, buying gifts, and more. But humor me and forget all about your to-do list for just a moment. Now, reflect on what this time of year is all about and I bet a few key themes come to mind. For me, it’s hope, giving, and family. As you turn your attention back to the realities of what lies ahead these next few weeks, I wanted to share some ideas on how to keep homeschooling going while also making sure what’s truly important this time of year, rises above all the noise.

Delegate Your Homeschooling Instruction

When you take on the role of a homeschool teacher, it’s easy to forget that the instruction doesn’t always have to be done by you. In fact, your students may benefit just as much as you by learning from someone other than yourself. During busy times, I ask my spouse, relatives, and even homeschool group members to help me tag-team my children’s homeschool activities. When I’ve exhausted my usual back-ups my go-to for homeschool instruction is actually Time4Learning! The online curriculum covers the core subjects of math, language arts, science, and social studies through fun, engaging activities my kids enjoy. Say goodbye to homeschool mom/teacher guilt!

Unconventional Learning

One of the many reasons families choose to homeschool is to give their children the opportunity to learn at their own pace. In most cases, there isn’t a schedule that we must follow. That’s one of the things that makes homeschooling so special. Students can take the time they need to achieve a real understanding of a subject and it can be done in any form or fashion. Textbooks, online curricula, or even real-world scenarios. For example, tying lessons back into the December theme, I usually like to make treats and drop them off for our local first-responders around this time of year. While my kids and I are baking a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies, I can usually knock out a math, science, and literacy/communication lesson with them at the same time. Here’s my secret recipe:

  • Math: I ask my students to double the measurements in our recipe.
  • Science: How in the world, do all these soupy ingredients mixed together, make a solid, crisp, delicious cookie? I’m personally still trying to figure this one out, but it’s also a great way to learn chemical reactions.
  • Literacy and communication: What a perfect time to practice reading, and writing! It’s also a great way to demonstrate what happens when you don’t follow directions or miss a step in the recipe — it can wreak havoc on the outcome of your baked goods.

Themed Unit Studies

A final suggestion for homeschooling as you round out 2016 is to use a unit study that covers the core subjects while also narrowing in on the season’s themes. If you are in need of some extra lessons or activities for your children, I’ve already done the legwork, and you can download that PDF below. Luckily, there are so many different ways for my children to learn outside of the standard textbooks and curricula. And isn’t that the beauty of homeschooling? Learning anywhere at anytime. When I incorporate education into an everyday lifestyle, my children tend to forget they’re actually learning!

Giving, Hope, and Family

Download a list of handpicked lessons pulled from our award-winning curriculum that tie into hope, giving, and family for your unit study!