Home-School Credit and Other Christmasy Thoughts

Home-schoolers often try to find ways to give their children “credit” for the variety of experiences they encounter in daily life (and if you’re not already using this strategy you should be!)

I want to offer you some ideas for how you can use your holiday preparations and festivities as credit for just about every school subject you might think of:

  • Sing Christmas carols in the car on the way to the mall – Music Appreciation.
  • Bake Christmas cookies for a party or to share with the neighbors – Science, Math, and First Aid. 🙂
  • Comparison shop at “real” stores or online stores for the digital camera your child wants to get for their dad – Economics.
  • Do what I do and let your children – assuming they are not all still in diapers – take over the job of decorating the Christmas tree – Interior Design and Business.  (Just think…they will have to use their “negotiating skills” concerning how many light strands to use and where the ornaments should go!  Could get interesting.)
  • Forget the GPS and have your children map out the best route “over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house…” – Geography.
  • Make home-made decorations or ornaments for your own home or as gifts – Art.
  • Let them help plan what to wear for their Christmas pictures – Home Economics.
  • Have your children write and perform a Christmas play for a family gathering (or if they are on the shy side then just for you) – Creative Writing and Drama
  • Enjoy a Christmas movie marathon complete with popcorn and hot chocolate for refreshments: Film Appreciation

Or…just take a break and enjoy being a family with your own traditions and festivities.  You can credit that as: remembering why we home-school in the first place!

P.S.  About a week ago I was contacted by the New York Times (really!) asking me to write a mini op-ed for a panel they were doing on the pressure high school students are under to fill their “resumes” – not only with academic work but also extra-curricular activities, volunteer work, etc.  I happily scribbled my opinion (I have lots of opinions!) and sent it in.  So here it is: my New York Times op-ed entitled “The Home-School Advantage.”

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  • Anne, you are so smart! This just confirms the main reason I’ve been considering homeschooling for my daughter when she’s older. I feel like I could’ve learned so much more about what I actually do every day now if I had been at home watching and learning from my mother rather than at school where they taught me a lot of things I’ve never used. Don’t get me wrong, I actually loved school, the socializing and extra curricular part…but not always so much with the studies. Oh well.

    I LOVE the First Aid comment 😉 That would totally be me!

    • Anonymous

      Love your comment!

      And I wasn’t entirely kidding about the first aid. I have a bad habit of burning my fingers when I cook.

      I have to tell you a funny story. Wish I could have included this in my post but it just happened today. My daughter (she’s 26) took my 8-year old son out shopping today and at one point they saw a sign that said “hidden driveway ahead.” My son read it and wanted to know where the hidden driveway was, so when they got to it my daughter showed him. Then he says, “I can put ‘finding hidden driveways’ down for my school today.” Yes, I seem to have taught him well!

  • Dave Fowler

    Hi Anne! Fabulous list. I don’t homeschool but you can bet I’ll be doing some of them just for the fun of it. I am definitely going to get my kids to put on a Christmas play. Great idea.

    NEW YORK TIMES!!!??? Wonderful stuff!! I’m really pleased for you Anne.


    • Anonymous

      I am so glad I was able to give you some ideas of things to do with your kids! Let me know how your play goes!

      I’m not sure how I got the NYT “gig” but I was happy to participate. Thanks for the kind words Dave. And have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Sle4life

    I love this and haven’t thought about all the school we do even during the holidays. We went to the Grove Park Inn and saw other schools there looking at the Gingerbread Houses and I thought wow we are doing school and having fun! Then we made crafts and cookies and helped a friend in need! Great school day!

    • Anonymous

      Awesome! Don’t forget to write it down! Glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by!

  • We did things like that growing up as well AND school….I wish I could’ve gotten credit for all of that. 😉

    • Anonymous

      I hear you!  Thanks for stopping by Marie!

  • Thesoutherninstitute

    Great list you have put together! I’m going to check out your op-ed now. I’m visiting from SITS and want to wish you a Happy SITS Day!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much for stopping by!  I appreciate all the support from the SITS community!

  • The Lucky Wife

    I love this… really great ideas and points.  Your NYT piece gave me some things to think about as well as we consider the options for kindergarten and beyond.  We are against the public school system (unless the Lord says otherwise!) so it’s between Christian school or homeschool and may be a year-to-year decision as we evaluate different things.  I really love that your children were able to take college level courses in high school, big pro IMO!

    • Anonymous

      I’m glad that you found this to be helpful!  The purpose of my site is to help people who are homeschooling or are thinking of homeschooling so if I can help…please let me know! 

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