I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed my November. I did not do anything December related – no shopping, no decorating, and no over-planning. We seemed to have an unusually vivid and longer fall season than I can remember in the past. The pretty leaves seemed to hang onto the trees and proudly display their colors until last week. We took some time to learn to identify trees in our own backyard. We visited a drive-thru animal park while we were at a Bible conference, and a couple of weeks ago travelled to the beautiful mountains of NC for our Thanksgiving.
And then came December. December seems to equate a different feeling – for me anyway. Panic would be a word to describe some of my past Decembers. Extra events to attend, extra groceries to buy, and many extras to check off my to-do lists. I have recently been able to overcome most of the panic feeling, but as I sit here and type, I look over to my calendar and wonder if I paid the bills last week. With the extra tasks of the month, it’s easy to let the mundane, but necessary things get overlooked.
On the flip side, December has began to bring a season of content. There’s something about the cool, quiet evenings when I can sit and just think about the season, the past year, and the year ahead. With less than 15 days before the big day, I suppose I should turn my attention to shopping, planning, and paying those bills!
The Holidays With Teens
Christmas with teens has a much different feel than years past. No longer is our living room full of dolls, pirate ships, and tricycles. Our Christmas Eve doesn’t consist of putting together toys late into the night. As a mama, it makes me sad that they don’t stay little forever. They are growing up as intended, and we’re still making great memories. In fact, one has already happened this year.
I put up our tree a couple of weeks ago, and later that evening we were sitting around watching Wheel of Fortune. My husband and daughter caught a whiff of something like body odor. Our daughter even teased and shamed her younger brother into getting a shower. He came out smelling like Old Spice, and they could still smell the odor. “It’s coming from the tree”, my husband complained. He and our daughter started sniffing individual ornaments, pulling them off the tree, and placing them in ziplock bags. After removing about a dozen from my already modest tree, they confirmed it was the plastic on the ornaments. The odor was possibly coming from being exposed to the high temperatures of the attic. I still cannot smell whatever they smelled that evening, but we sure did have a good laugh about it, and it’s probably something we will mention every Christmas.
Homeschooling Through December
Every homeschooler’s December looks different. Some go all out with daily activities and crafts to coordinate with the season, others set all schooling aside altogether and pick up in January. With the exception of Fridays, we will not be doing anything very different from any other day of the year. It works well for our family to stick with our daily schedule, and limit seasonal activities to Fridays. Last week, we played themed games at home, then had a party at our co-op. This week we will sing at the nursing home, then maybe try an art project, or recipe. Whatever you do, or don’t do – don’t stress over it. My kids have seen me at both extremes, and now that I’m on the backside of homeschooling, I’ve finally found something that works!
I hope that my monthly “News Flash” has been an encouragement to you whether you homeschool or are just thinking about it, or just here out of curiosity. We are a normal family that does normal things. At least I think we are. We don’t own a farm, my kids don’t play 13 different instruments, and speak 4 different languages. We are us. Homeschooling is what we do.
Merry Christmas, and best wishes to you during the holiday season!