Sunday, November 30, 2008

Assessing November

November and December are historically our worst homeschooling months. I pretty much know they will be far under par compared to my usual expectations. Even though I know that it's OK, and that we will end the year just about exactly where I would like to, I can't help but feel the pressure come this time of year. Since November is the time of year for us to have many extra family get-togethers, get things prepared for Christmas, practice extra for the early December recitals and concerts, celebrate 3 of the 5 kids' birthdays, and have Thanksgiving, we forgo the typical schedule and checklists more often than not. As you can see in the picture, we started off the month of November going on a trip to Branson to get us all geared up for the holidays.

Losing some of the structure and normalcy during these months, and replacing it with a lot of family fun and holiday traditions makes January something to really look forward to. I certainly come "back to work" with a new excitement, ready to take on any challenge. So, I try to just enjoy the change and then be ready to dive back into the routine at the new year. I try. It's not easy though. The loss of structure brings with it some of the downfalls of summer break... kids getting to bed too late, a bit more bickering, and some frustrated mom moments in the chaos. But all in all, it is the way our school year usually goes. And real life is what we're really all about, isn't it?

So, until January, enjoy... making and decorating cookies, snuggling together to look at big beautiful picture books about the nativity, being Santa, helping little ones work on their handmade gifts, taking that holiday family picture, making red and green paper chains, encouraging the little maestros as they nervously prepare for recitals, sewing those Christmas pageant costumes, drinking hot apple cider and hot chocolate around the Christmas tree, visiting Grandma & Grandpa, listening to the Chipmunks Christmas CD over and over again, reminiscing of holidays past, and telling your wide-eyed 3 year about baby Jesus. There's really nothing better than that... not even homeschool.

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