Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Doing Nothing in a Festive Way

I've discovered a few set-backs to Home Education that I hadn't anticipated.  This time last year we were all at school, but Youngest and I were mornings-only, so I would bring him home at lunchtime, put him to bed for a nap, and then get the lights up ready to surprise the older boys when they came home from school later.  This year I don't get that lovely sense of looking forward to their delighted response.  However, we do have a lot more time together to just enjoy all the loveliness of the season, so I figure I can't complain really!  Also, as they are at home all the time they have persuaded me to put the tree up sooner that I usually would.  That's not such a bad thing either - I just know from experience that I usually get fed up of the decorations cluttering up the house within a couple of weeks, so it does mean I'll need to be patient, waiting for my 'undecorating' day.

The other drawback I discovered after writing my previous post: apparently the seasonal slow-down is not only common, but it seems that rather than Home Edders being all jolly at this time of year, 'tis the season to be "wobbly".  Of course, we are a pretty jolly lot - why wouldn't we be?  We get to immerse ourselves in the season as much as we like, without having to run around sorting out last-minute nativity costumes, gifts for the school staff, and enough Christmas cards for every child in the class/ school, as well as trying to persuade tired grumpy children that they do want to get up when it's dark, go to school in the cold and not come home until it's dark again.  But - the wobbles, so I am told, are really common at this time of year.  I wonder if that's a result of the slow-down.  Certainly in this house our HE experience includes a lot of getting out and about, experiencing nature etc - and I think that inevitably brings a greater sense of being in tune with the seasons.  So as I wrote previously, we have slowed down, are doing less trips out and group activities, cosying down more at home, doing more passive learning such as on the TV or computer - all of which makes it feel like we're not doing much of value - and there's no quicker way to bring on the wobbles, or make you question your ability as a home educator, than to assess your progress in terms of "haven't done much lately"  Well, the upside to that is that thanks to the lovely online communities, I am now aware that it's a common HE phenomenon - so it makes it much easier to roll with it, and give in to the desire to just hibernate.  It's just a season - and seasonal living is the most natural way to live.

So this week we're indulging ourselves in Christmas preparations.  So far we've been making LOTS of cards (it's really lovely to have the time to make them ourselves)...

my favourites are the ones at the front, made using the paper we marbled ourselves

We've been looking again at the First Christmas (using DVDs, our Playmobil nativity set etc - we liked this Beatbox version on Youtube); we've decorated the tree...

We've made Christmas biscuits from this book...

We've learned about some Christmas traditions (my current favourite one being that naughty Dutch children don't get coal in their stocking, they get taken off to Spain!); we've drawn Christmas pictures (like this one of "Fat Santa" by Middle)...

We've read christmas stories; we've listened to Christmas music and learned some Christmas songs (especially Eldest, who loves singing along to the radio)... we've even lit Christmas candles to complete the full five-senses experience! 

And if you're having a "done nothing" kind of day & are feeling inadequate in comparison to that impressive list, let me reassure you that I didn't think we'd done anything either until I wrote it down, so maybe you've done more than you think too - but even if you haven't, don't worry: it's just a seasonal thing.  Pour yourself a glass of mulled wine or raid the selection box and just enjoy your hibernation... see you in the Spring!

PS Just after I'd posted this blog entry the boys found the tinsel that we haven't used anywhere yet this year, and they started playing with it. Middle and Youngest are making letters, numbers, words etc out of it on the floor.  So of course I had to post some photos... how very HE!



  1. Wow, once again it seems that you could have written this post for me! I am definitely having a seasonal "wobble" and feeling like we haven't done very much lately, but it's good to know I'm not the only one. I feel rather as if time has run away with me this year, and I can't catch up - having J around has had a huge impact on my Christmas preparations but at least I have learnt that I will just have to be better prepared next year!
    R x

    1. Aw, I'm glad to be able to help encourage :) I'm definitely going to need to up my preparedness next year too! xx

  2. Our educational event of the day was watching a robin being killed by the neighbour's cat. I picked it up later on, we stroked it and laid it down under some bushes.

    Now we are having an ineffective discussion about a new desk from Ikea.

    1. lol! (poor robin) We were similarly gripped recently by watching our neighbour's cat successfully stalk and catch a squirrel! They don't teach that in school!
      Wishing you success in your desk-hunting endeavours... xx