December is the month when people talk a LOT about holiday stress. Maybe not so much this year since Covid has prevented us from being pulled in a hundred different directions... But when you think about it, many of these get-together were more obligations that we didn’t even really want to do. So, silver lining maybe??
What happens in many homes, is that the parent is trying to make the holiday fun and meaningful, but someone - a spouse, a relative, a neighbor - says something that feels critical.
“Not doing any schooling this month, eh?”
If we’ve been unschooling a while, we may answer back,
“No more or less than any other month!”
But if we’re new, they might tap into that self-doubt that hasn’t been dealt with adequately. And suddenly, we’re thinking,
“AM I doing enough for these kids?”
And suddenly our holiday spirit comes crashing down.
But what about right now?
When you’re in the middle of a panic about what’s the right thing to do with the kids THIS WEEK?
Your Unschooling Lifeline!
THAT'S how unschoolers can help you out! It's not that unschoolers live a stress-free life. But we don't stress much about the learning. We're pretty clear that humans are hard-wired to learn - and that means our kids too. And during the holidays! Just like any other day!
I want to do a quick walk-through to show you that when you're immersed in the holidays, TONS of learning is happening!
Maybe you just need me to point it out for you.
SO let’s look at some specifics. I have a PDF for you that you can download and read along.
Holiday Learning Guide
This beautiful 10-page Holiday Learning Guide will be something you can glance back on every year for reassurance.
The holidays are full of all kinds of opportunities to learn - and now you'll have those specific subjects at your fingertips! Perfect for conquering your own fears or for quick comebacks when friends or relatives try to plant seeds of doubt!
When we think of shopping, we often think of money. So it's pretty easy to make the connection to seeing math. But let's look at the specifics of what they're learning.
- Estimating time
- Learning about budgeting
- Price comparison
- Calculating discounts
- Learning about Credit card
- Counting Cash and change back
- Researching products
- Reading reviews
- Making gift lists
- Reading store brochures
CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
- Researching products
- Reading product comparisons
- Deciphering marketing
- Learning to read the fine print
- Learning about generosity
- Communication skills with store clerks & other customers
- Patterns, symmetry, height
- Researching projects
- Reading options & how-to's
- Tool Safety
- Ladders (physics)
- Why do we decorate the way we do?
- What are the origins for this?
- Estimating how much daylight you have left to get those decorations up!
- Estimating sizes
- Cutting Shapes
- Sequencing, sorting
- Researching projects
- Reading directions
- Is there a story behind the craft?
- Mixing colors
- Learning about textures and where they come from
- Looking at crafts from other cultures
- Exploring crafts within your community
- Discussion of your own religion
- Discussion of other religions
- Learning about other cultures
- Learning about design elements
- Experimenting with new media
- Learning to use new tools
Holiday Cooking & Baking
- Measuring ingredients
- Doubling, halving, tripling recipes
- Estimating for pan/bowl size, time
- Constructing a gingerbread house
- Researching recipes
- Reading cookbooks
- Do some recipes have interesting stories behind them?
- Using yeast and how it works
- Freezing and thawing
- baking soda/baking powder
- Heat: Oven/Room temperatures
- Learning how kitchen equipment works (blenders, mixers, food processors)
- Are any recipes passed down from generations?
- Do any recipes originate in other countries?
- Decorating with frosting and candy
- What looks good and why?
- Presentation of important meals
- Time estimates
- Purchasing supplies needed
- Reading signs & directions
- Learning about litter & pollution
- Environmental science
- Correct safety supplies
- Correct clothing/shoes for activity
- Packing snacks
- Compassion, empathy, kindness
- Generosity, humility, gratitude
Look around the community to see where you and the kids could help.
It's very empowering to be able to make a difference in the world!
Relatives & Family Get Togethers
- Gift Wrapping (geometry)
- Distance: How far away are they?
- How much does it cost to mail the package?
- How long will it take to get there?
- Estimates: What's our timeline to get a package there on time?
- Funny stories about family members
- Could grandparents record readings of various family favorite holiday books?
- Conflict Management
- Learning about family history
- What are your cultural traditions?
- Figuring out time zones for the Zoom call
- Human Anatomy/Physiology in different ages
That’s a lot of learning, right?
Unschoolers live every day like this - and that’s why I wanted to share it with you.
Hopefully you can begin to see that learning really IS everywhere and this can bring down your stress level!
Maybe you’ll just be an unschooler in December!
Or if you were already on the unschooling path, maybe you can do it with a little more confidence.
Because when you are more confident about this unconventional approach for learning, it all goes so much better.
Your stress level comes way down and you actually get to ENJOY your holidays with the family!