SummaryJennifer Elia loves the gift that homeschooling brings her family, and explores 3 aspects of homeschooling that work perfectly with the Christmas season.
December is here and excitement and busyness are filling the air. Welcome to Advent, the divine weeks that lead up to the season of Christmas.
The crazy, exciting, and beautiful seasons of Advent and Christmas are special for every Catholic family. They are the beginning of our liturgical year and a reminder of God’s Love for the world. Homeschooling during these times is it’s own gift.
Here are some of the other gifts that I hope you take time to enjoy.
1. The Gift of Flexibility
Homeschooling is always special because of the flexibility that it offers your family. This is even more apparent during the holidays. Without a rigid calendar, our family has time to spend together, visit loved ones, and serve the community without skipping school.
It’s easy to get caught up in what needs to be done and forget that you are the chief administrator of your school. Take advantage of the flexibility of scheduling and take time to slow down. Do those special projects.
Make the visits that you have been putting off. Close school for the day and celebrate one of the great feast days of December. Spend time enjoying being together as a family and making special memories.
The lessons of hospitality, service, faith, and love are even more important than reading, history, and math.
2. The Gift of Focus
While the stores have been rolling out Christmas decor and playing Christmas carols since October, we know that we must first prepare through Advent.
Use your homeschooling time to help you do just that. Increase your prayer devotions; read the Bible together; learn more about the story of salvation. These are all excellent additions to a school day. Remember not to overdo it; use your ability to be flexible to shape an Advent school day that helps you focus on the coming Christ Child, but doesn’t make an already busy season more difficult to bear.
Perhaps reading the Bible could replace independent reading, or the Jesse Tree could be your religion curriculum for the month.
Christmas is also so much sweeter after the building anticipation of Advent. Imagine going into Christmas morning, excited for the celebration and eager to enjoy the holiday instead of burned out and overwhelmed.
Making Advent observance your priority in December will bless your holiday tremendously.
3.The Gift of Faith
Christmas has become its own world in our secular culture. There are millions of dollars spent to make it as good as all the commercials and to create the magical season devoid of any true meaning.
By preparing and celebrating as a family, we can turn our hearts and mind to the wondrous glory of this season that is so much more magnificent that any light display or must-have toy.
4. The Gift of Freedom
Aside from the freedom of time management and planning, there is also freedom from pressure and expectation. In a traditional school setting, the fever of Christmas “gimmes” is contagious. It is more difficult to have a child focus on what he gave than what he wants when even the school has them making up letters to Santa and discussing all the goodies they hope to find under the tree.
When a child is educated in a home where the traditions focus on Advent and on giving, you shape a different tradition. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that you are the one who shapes your child’s worldview. Your acts of faith and generosity will do more than any catechism (or lecture) to inspire a lifestyle of service.
In addition, it would be difficult for our children to boast of the presents to their peers the way that many other children do. They receive small gifts based on our love and their talents. Meaningful gifts that do not compare to the transitory and television inspired gifts that typically populate wish lists.
The freedom from peer pressure is a gift of homeschooling throughout the year, and especially now.