The month of December, with all of the holidays and hype, can get crazy for homeschoolers. And I have learned in my twenty+ years of homeschooling, that just pushing through the plans usually ends up with us throwing in the towel at some point and me feeling like a failure (again). What I always wanted in the early years was a simplified homeschooling rhythm for December.
Really, it’s more like the lessons just fizzle out at some point. And come January, when I look back at where we left off, I’d always be disappointed in myself.
But what if we set up the month of December for success in our homeschooling? What might that look like?
Rather than planning full lesson blocks during this holiday season, how about a simplified rhythm.
The usual Waldorf main lesson block rhythm is a three-part lesson in a two-day rhythm. (Want more on this? Read Rhythm is (Always) the Answer.)
Instead, about 8 years ago and for my third child, I finally heeded the advice of my mentor, Barbara Dewey of Waldorf Without Walls, “Don’t plan any main lesson blocks for December.”
And then, I developed this simplified lesson structure for December so that I wouldn’t feel like it’s all or nothing.
How to Create a Simplified Homeschooling Rhythm for December:
- Warm up with a few songs and verses.
- Read a story aloud for the whole family.
- Make gifts (handwork projects) or holiday crafts.
So simple. Much less stress. And a set-up for success!
Here are a few examples of this simplified rhythm.
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Pick a few songs and verses, and then try one of these ideas:
- Read Sun Bread and bake bread. The recipe is in the back of the book. (See how simple this is!) If you have multiple ages and some older kids, you could have them work on cutting vegetables for a hearty soup. One of our new family favorites The Early Family’s African Curry. While the bread is rising and the soup’s in the crockpot, go out for a winter walk. And return for a warming winter meal.
- Read The Quiltmaker’s Gift and do a simple quilting project to give as a gift. Check out this easy potholder pattern.
- Read Trees of the Dancing Goats and make ornaments. (In the story, the ornaments are carved and painted wooden animals, but you could make any kind of ornament.) Here are lots of felt ornaments you might want to try.
- Read The Long Winter and knit scarves or hats or gloves. This could stretch over weeks, reading this chapter book and knitting. Here are some Easy Scarf Knitting Patterns for Beginners.
Want more book ideas? See my list of over 50 books, Favorites Winter Holiday Books for Reading & Giving.
Join a wonderful community of homeschoolers inside Homeschool with Waldorf and get the support you need! Handwork + Stories (the perfect rhythm for December) is just one of the masterclasses inside this mentorship community full of learning, group coaching calls, and planning sessions. Join anytime, no long-term commitment.
Just remember, creating a simplified homeschooling rhythm for December will lead to happier holidays.
Let me know what you come up with!