There are many, many things that need to be done during a typical homeschooling day. There are lessons to teach, of course; and assignments to grade; lesson plans to make…and there are the household chores. Cooking, and cleaning, and laundry have to be done. Younger children must also be cared for. It’s a precarious balance on the best of days.
Then the holidays approach. Suddenly, there are dozens more chores added to the usual to-do list. There’s holiday shopping, and baking, and decorating. The kids have been invited to holiday parties. There might be more cleaning than usual, if you’re hosting holiday events of your own. And then, of course, there are all of the holiday activities that your kids want to complete. Special field trips, crafts, even lessons…it’s enough to make a homeschooling mama’s head explode!
Can you do it all? Can you juggle all of those different activities without letting something drop?
Or do you get through the holiday season only to realize that there are mounds of laundry in the laundry room, your kids are a week behind on their lesson plans, and you haven’t graded assignments in so long it’s pathetic?
For most moms, the answer is no. No, you can’t do it all. No, you can’t take on one more thing on top of an already-full schedule. No, you can’t make the holidays extra-magical while still maintaining everything else. You just can’t do it! However, there are some tips and tricks for making the holiday season a bit more manageable.
Prioritize. What do you really need to get done? Laundry has to be done on a semi-regular basis. If you let the kids’ lesson plans get completely out of control, you’re the one who has to catch them up later. On the other hand, no one is going to notice if the only holiday decorations you manage to get out are the tree and the stockings; and unless your house is the only house on the block with no lights out, why sweat it?
Simplify. Choose one thing you can do each day to make your life a little bit easier. Have a holiday party to attend? Which is easier: carefully decorating five dozen reindeer cookies…or picking up a box of sugar cookies on your way past the grocery store? For some moms, the answer might actually be baking the cookies—depending on the age and number of your children, the grocery store may be a daunting place—and if so, go for it! On the other hand, if the idea of spending that much time in front of your stove—even enough time to make a batch of drop cookies—makes you break out in hives, why not save everyone some stress and just buy your treat? A nice veggie tray is almost always appreciated.
Relax. What’s one thing you can do today that will just relax you? If it’s sitting back and watching a Christmas movie with your kids…do it! If it’s taking a long, relaxing bubble bath, or reading a chapter in your book, try to find the time for that, too. Write it into your schedule. Taking time for you is one sure-fire way to make sure that the holiday season goes smoothly—because otherwise, you’re going to come out of the season stressed-out, frazzled, and desperate for it to be over!