Once upon a time I taught public school and December was a magical, stressful time of year for students, parents, and teachers. I mean, we were always running crazy with the sweet excitement of things to come, the stress of things that may not come, and juggling all those wonderful Christmas events and opportunities that we set out to do but never came to fruition because well, we’re just worn out by then.
However, since we started homeschooling, December has become that magical month and for me personally my reboot and regroup month. We typically school through the first week of December and then we take the remainder of the month off…technically. This is the month I stray from the day to day academics and fill up our days with holiday baking (aka – math, science, reading), we make as many field trips as we can (we just got back from seeing Miracle on 34th Street at Dallas Children’s Theater and coming up is Frosty at Casa), we visit Christmas displays (here’s our history and culture), and see holiday lights (we just found a local neighborhood that has Twas the Night Before Christmas story throughout the neighborhood, but in a cute Texas version – cue literary lessons) we sing songs, and well we bond. Do you know how good it feels to bond with a middle schooler? It’s awesome!
In the meantime, I’ve started a middle school group at the Center for Home Education. Unscripted, social time. We have a Bunco night the 2nd Friday of every month, we have done a Pizza and Pumpkin night where the kids carved/painted pumpkins and ate pizza, and then recently we had a Gingerbread House decorating night and more pizza. The last event we had 25 kids ages 10-13 and it was a messy, awesome night. The academic classes are great but any chances for my kiddo to talk, talk, talk is definitely welcome.
Oh yes, I mentioned this month is my reboot month. Even with all the above, I take some days out of the month to look into my crystal ball for the spring. I revisit what has worked well so far this year, what parts of our schedule will be different and prep for that, and then I look at what I need to accomplish. Also, since my daughter is athletic I have to start looking and planning for try outs in the spring. Whew! Math is about the only set curriculum I follow (Teaching Textbooks), but with the rest I use the TEKS and pull a variety of resources to accomplish it all. Sometimes it requires homework on my end to make it happen. I really think this time helps me keep my sanity, what little bit is left! 🙂
Okay, I’m off to cuddle with my Nook! Good night!