Tips for Homeschooling Mamas

When the Holidays Make You Feel Like a GRINCH

‘Tis the season.   The crazy has already begun.  Events to attend, crafts to make, activities to do, books to read, gifts to buy, on and on and on.  My social media feeds are loaded with all things Christmas.  I’ve been both a partaker and contributor to some of those things myself, but it’s enough to make you crazy.  It’s enough to make you feel that you aren’t doing enough.  It’s enough to make you set aside your curriculum for at least a month while we try to duplicate everything we’ve seen on social media.  It throws us off our schedule, and adds more stress to moms everywhere who are trying to give their kids the very best education, and still maintain super mom status.  It doesn’t have to be like that.  For the most part, it’s business as usual around here with us leading up to Christmas.  It hasn’t always been that way.  I had been trying to do it all for several years.  It wasn’t until last year, I decided the Grinch, Santa Clause, or even Baby Jesus were not going to steal our homeschooling efforts.

When my worldview changed, the way I looked at Christmas changed.  Christ and Christmas were at odds.  I had been busy following our typical traditions,  fitting Jesus in with all the tinsel and wrappings.  It wasn’t working well.  While I had been aware for sometime of how some of our “traditions”  had pagan undertones, what was new to me was when I started studying my Bible differently.  I started to see which parts were specifically to me.  I learned from my apostle, Paul, that the birth of Jesus was only mentioned once (that I know of)  in his writings.  (Gal. 4:4)  I found that as a believer, I should be much more excited about what Christ did for me on the cross, not in the cradle.   The real gift is the death, burial, and resurrection, that I remember for more than just a season.  So, when I understood the familiar Christmas Story in Luke 2, I should have not stopped there, but kept reading.  It was more important for me to turn my focus to the resurrection, not the birth.  I was finally relieved not to feel like I had to find a way to make a memorable Christmas for the kids, stress myself out all month, while teaching biblical truths that were once unclear to me how to make it fit.

Now, this season is a lot less stressful.  I don’t have to shelve my curriculum, plan a month of activities, fill an advent box, or start the new year feeling behind.  My plan for our December schooling this year is to take one day to play  games, watch a movie, and just have a fun, laid back kind of day.  I think it is good for both mom and kids one day each month, to break away from the usual routine and use games, art supplies, and a special activity to change things up.  Will we also get together with a small homeschool group for an afternoon to learn  how other countries celebrate.  We will still suspend our schooling for several days for a much needed break.  On the 25th, we still exchange gifts, look at the lights in our town, and have get- togethers with family.  I will have a big feast on Christmas day, (I do love to have a Grinch-theme), and enjoy their new gifts with them.   And that’s it. Aside from a couple of days, and late night internet shopping, things will be business as usual here.  My family and friends who tease me about being a Grinch, will see me less “grinchy” this season.  It’s not because my heart has grown three sizes –  it’s because I’m not trying to fit it all in, and  I’m no longer struggling balancing fact from fable.

Whatever your traditions are, I encourage you to enjoy the gift of salvation this Christmas.  If you are unsure of what that is, read 1 Corinthians 15:1-4,  and believe it.  Slow down, and take in the WHOLE story.  You don’t have to turn your homeschooling efforts upside down for a month. You don’t have to plan your lessons and activities around one day.  Paul didn’t have the desire to, and neither do I.  The “Reason for the Season” lasts all year long.

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