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5 Reasons Why We Take a Holiday Break From Homeschooling

5 Reasons Why We Take a Holiday Break From Homeschooling

In the early years of homeschooling, we schooled non-stop! Or so it seemed. I would take just a day or two at Thanksgiving, a week at Christmas, and we would even school (although lighter and differently) through the summer. As years have gone by I have changed our schedule in a few different ways and for a multitude of reasons.

5 Reasons Why We Take a Holiday Break From Homeschooling from Starts At Eight

Reasons Why We Take a Holiday Break From Homeschooling

So how has our schedule changed here around the holidays?

We take a full week for Thanksgiving and 3 weeks for Christmas. Let me tell you why we started breaking more for the holidays.

1. Burn Out Sets In

We start school at the beginning of September and go full force until Thanksgiving. After months of going full steam ahead a break is much needed. Timing it out with the holiday season is a great way to maximize our break time.

2. Extra Activitiesย 

At holiday time there are always tons of extra activities to participate in from fun holiday performances to service projects, parties and more! Taking extra time off allows us to do these fun and unusual events without being stressed about the school work at hand.

3. Family Traditions

10 Family Christmas Traditions from Starts At Eight

Taking extra time allows us to slow down and enjoy so many family traditions we have accumulated throughout the years. We do things like cut down our Christmas tree, decorate each tree together and reminisce about years past, set up and take fun holiday photos, snuggle up with hot coco and a movie or book, and take days to shop with each child. Here are 10 Family Christmas Traditions that we enjoy each year.

4. Baking

All of my children love to bake (and I do not). Despite this, every year at this time we ALL look forward to the holiday baking.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Vegan Snickerdoodles from Starts At Eight

  • No Spread Sugar Cookies – I love this recipe because they truly do not spread when cooked. This always made it easier for little ones who like to cram too much onto the pan, and it really keeps the shape you create true to form.
  • Meringue Clouds – My teenager has become obsessed with meringues and by adding red and green they become a festive Christmas treat!
  • Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies – I grew up loving Chocolate Crinkle cookies during holiday time! While they don’t seem particularly just for Christmas, that is the only time we had them. Thanks to some friends we found this vegan recipe that we love even more than the original!
  • Chocolate Kissed Gingerbread Cookies – I grew up with gingerbread cut outs. These to me are even better because I love chocolate more than frosting!

5. Holiday Crafting & Fun

We enjoy snuggling up with a good book, or watching a holiday movie, but we also love doing some fun holiday crafts and activities. Here are a few things we have enjoyed!

5 Days of Christmas Books from Starts At Eight

Gingerbread Man - Printables, Activities, and More! from Starts At Eight

A Fun Alternative

Not sure you want to take a complete break? How about some fun holiday learning instead? Check out this Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study {There is a FREE unit to try first!}


  1. Catherine
    Dec 11, 2015 @ 15:53:42

    We are the same way! I love taking a break around Christmas. It totally helps us to enjoy this busy season. Also the break gets us geared up, and excited for some more school after the holidays. It is nice to hear other homeschoolers do the same thing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Melissa
    Dec 05, 2016 @ 09:19:35

    Breaks are so important for all of us. There’s still so much learning going on during the holidays. Thanks for sharing!

  3. HideTheChocolate
    Dec 05, 2016 @ 09:45:44

    We aren’t completely breaking, but we have gotten a lot more relaxed about our Christmas homeschooling.

  4. susanhomeschooling
    Dec 05, 2016 @ 13:06:16

    Yes! Burnout is definitely something that happens when we don’t take proper breaks. Our family has always taken the month of December off for homeschooling, and we have loved it!

  5. Crystal Parker
    Dec 08, 2016 @ 22:04:44

    Yes. I think I’m about ready for a bit of a break.

  6. Ria
    Dec 08, 2016 @ 22:30:26

    I totally agree with you! I am finally just loosening up with our homeschooling and this year, I’ve decided to take the whole December off! It’s awesome!

  7. Callie L
    Dec 13, 2016 @ 10:32:48

    We definitely need a break at Christmas, sometimes throughout the year I will even schedule every other Friday off (once-in-awhile). Burnout happens so easily here, especially with a husband who works at home, I feel like he is constantly monitoring whether we are working enough. This may just be me being paranoid…lol, my ILs don’t agree with our decision to homeschool and I think this wears on him. I am learning to not care. This holiday I am also reading the book Teaching from Rest, and this is helping me to stop doing this for other people, and get back to my why. It’s such an easy trap to fall into, you have some great recipes and craft ideas. We are definitely going to try the meringue’s! Thank you for such a great reminder!

  8. Heidi
    Dec 14, 2016 @ 08:54:11

    Thank you Callie! It’s true that we have to learn to tune others out. We know what is best for our children and it is easy to let the opinions of others get in the way of that.

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