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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Ask the Experts: How Do You Restart School After Holidays?


Do you find it hard to get back to homeschooling after the Christmas holidays? These experienced moms have tips on restarting with grace.

Ease into Academics…

Harder than going back to school after summer break is the dreaded back to school after Christmas and Epiphany. (At least in my family).


The holidays are over, the darkness of winter is upon us, Lent is fast approaching, and everyone is in the doldrums. Or are they? My family has done some versions of most of these to ease into school again.

Consider the age and number of children and do what works for you. Celebrate Epiphany. We, as Catholics, know Christmas begins Dec 25th, not ends. Take in all the season has to offer. Remember to fill yourself, as you can’t pour from an empty cup. Ask Mary to be with you in guiding these children and ask the Christ Child for His special blessing upon them.

Ease into academics. Do three subjects a day for a couple of days, then four, then tackle the whole curriculum. Start planning something fun for spring break/Easter. It could be as simple as a family campout in the backyard.

Make that first week back as fun as possible. Maybe we do pajama week or maybe have hot chocolate while everyone works on the floor together. Have a backwards day. Eat breakfast for dinner and dessert for breakfast.

Finally, one famous year, we held a “whine fest.” I allowed everyone to complain about going back to school for as much as they wanted for 15 minutes. Then, it was time to get going.

Kristin Brown, Virginia

Freshen Up Your Homeschool…


The holidays offer so many extraordinary opportunities for joy, wonder, and activity. Whether it be extracurricular events like co-op parties and craft fairs or family experiences like traveling to visit distant relatives and carrying on long-standing traditions, the season’s busyness tends to lift us out of our established homeschool routines (physically, mentally, and spiritually). And while that change is typically positive, returning to our homeschooling studies after the holidays can feel daunting. However, a little bit of pre-planning reduces the letdown post-holidays.

My favorite method for freshening up the school day after the holiday whirlwind is to clean the house or, more specifically, the school cabinet. I first clear the clutter before we pick up where we left off. I throw out all those old papers, broken crayons, half-inch-long teeth-mark imprinted pencils, and eraser remnants that have accumulated over the months. I reorganize the bookshelves and shake the crumbs out of the kids’ pencil boxes. Without making many purchases, I bring our school space back to how it was when supplies were shiny and new at the start of our school year.

Though I do not make any major overhauls to our curriculum at this stage, I reassess what was working well and what was not before the break. Then, I make small alterations to the schedule, reading list, or planners as needed.

Freshening up my homeschool before commencing studies goes a long way toward avoiding the post-holiday blues. And it does not require much. A couple of hours of elbow-grease, purging, and organizing reinvigorates the space and, by extension, those of us returning to schooling within it.

Tara Brelinsky, North Carolina

Find Occasions to Celebrate…

We have been homeschooling for 23 years, and I had to really think about how we have been able to keep things going after the holidays.

I am someone who thrives on a schedule, so for the most part, our school day does not change with the new year.

One thing that does help keep the kids in joyful anticipation carried over from the holiday season is that we have at least one kid’s birthday per month beginning in January and going through till June, with one more in mid-summer. Each kid has their own “advent” of their birthday and the special attention due to it.

This joyful expectation is shared among the children, even those who are now adults, and keeps the spirits up after the holidays.

Susan Brock, Virginia

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