As we move toward December, we all think about Christmas. It’s a busy time, and it’s easy to put off schoolwork. However, students in high school don’t have as much leeway as elementary students. High school courses are serious, requiring consistent attention. Skipping any lessons, or working lightly in foreign language courses, for example, can result in lower grades on tests, which ultimately affects test scores, even standardized test scores. This could be a problem when trying to find financial aid for college, since scholarships usually depend on standardized test scores. Thus, it is important for high school students to consider an organized and prudent approach to the holidays.
If the assignments you originally scheduled up to the holiday season are finished, then take time off from schoolwork as scheduled. However, if those assignments are not complete, it would be well worth it to finish them, even if on a part-time basis, during the usual “holidays.” If you planned to finish the year on a certain date in May or early June, it will be frustrating in summer not to have met your goals. In fact, in the late spring, students upset with being behind tend to do poorly on their tests.
Take a good look at each course and determine where you want to be before starting again in January. Some subjects will allow shortcuts, while other subjects will need full daily attention between now and Christmas. If necessary, go to the local college library, find a quiet study carrel, and stay there to work without interruption.
Christmas trees and nativity sets are beautiful and inspiring, but can be distracting for students who need to finish work before vacation. Moms should consider delaying the Christmas decorations until certain assignments are completed. Families will be able to celebrate Christmas without a worry if only they wait until pending assignments are finished. Consider taking only a two week break from home schooling, from Sunday, December 22, when your family puts up the Christmas tree, until January 7th, the day after Epiphany. Everyone will feel much better and won’t have the frustration of trying to “catch up” in January.
Finish your work and have a Happy and Holy Christmas season!