Keep Kids Focused Before Holiday Break with These 5 Tips

It’s that time of year when all the kids are excited about Christmastime and they’re not in the mood to do school. But Mom looks at her calendar and lesson plan schedule and she knows there’s still a few more assignments that have to get done before holiday break begins. If you’re in the same boat as me, then you know what I’m talking about! Homeschooling before holiday break can be very challenging sometimes. Today I am sharing five tips that help me keep my kids focused before holiday break.

Our Christmas break begins December 19th and we will take three weeks off from school. In the meantime, the kids still have lessons to complete before we can take our break. Honestly, this is one part I don’t like about the holidays. Don’t get me wrong– I love Christmas. But once November hits, the kids start to get a little antsy because they know Thanksgiving is coming up. We take about a week off for Thanksgiving and then we have three weeks until it’s time for another break. Sometimes it makes getting doing school a little challenging.

But never fear! After homeschooling for close to four years now, I think I finally found the solution to this challenge. Don’t do school for the month of December! Ha ha! My kids wish! No way! Instead I like to mix fun activities, holiday baking, field trips, and remind the kids of their academic goals to help keep them focused before our holiday break.

kids focused before holiday break

Keep kids focused before holiday break by mixing fun activities with lessons.

This is actually really important. I mentioned doing something like this with our homeschooling through the Thanksgiving holiday. In previous years, I have made the mistake of scheduling nothing but academic lessons with no “fun stuff” for the kids to do. I was so consumed with trying to get the lessons done that I didn’t even think of planning anything fun. All that did was lead to grumpy children who grumbled and complained about doing their schoolwork.

So after learning my lesson, I started mixing fun activities with regular lessons. Here are a few fun activities on our December school schedule:

  • coloring in Christmas coloring books
  • DIY Christmas ornaments
  • movie and pizza day
  • Advent chocolate calendar
  • holiday shopping

Yes, that’s right. I’m counting holiday shopping as school. Why? Because it makes a great math lesson and a life skills lesson. Now that my two older children are teens, they are learning about money management and how to buy things they need/want. We’ve actually created a holiday spending budget for the teens, so they have to learn how to manage their budget. Just one example of a fun holiday lesson!

Homeschool Edition
I bought Advent Chocolate Calendars for my kids to count down the days until Christmas.

Plan holiday baking for Home Economics.

My girls are going to love this one because they both love to bake! Christmas isn’t Christmas without holiday baking, so we have to do a few lessons on baking holiday treats. If your kiddos are feeling restless with regular school lessons, simply schedule a few Home Economic lessons and have the kids bake cookies, cupcakes, or any yummy holiday dessert of your choice. Baking lessons would also be perfect for teaching children about family recipes!

If you’re not much of a cook or maybe you’re pressed for time, that’s okay! You can still include holiday baking for your school lessons. There are pre-made desserts found at your local store. Trader Joe’s sells Ugly Christmas Sweater cookie sets. We’re going to do this next week. And you can also buy cookie dough at the grocery store. Some cookie dough, such as Pillsbury, have decorations already on the dough, for instance, snowmen or Christmas trees.

kids focused before holiday break
Include some holiday baking as part of your school lessons. Photo Credit: Pixabay

Go on a couple of field trips.

You can’t go wrong with fun field trips! Many places like your local library offer holiday-themed events. Planning a field trip or two during your final weeks before holiday break will help break the monotony of school. Plus, it’s a great way for your kids to get all of that anxious energy out. Even just planning a trip to the mall can make for an enjoyable field trip.

We are going to a holiday market in the city to do holiday shopping. It makes for a great field trip because the holiday market will be on a weekday during work hours, so it won’t be as crowded as the weekend  markets. We’re also going to the library and out to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants.


Homeschool Edition
Plan a couple of field trips to break up the monotony of school lessons.

Remind them of their goals.

Reminding your kids of the school goals is also another great way to help them get through the school days. With my teens, we have weekly meetings on Mondays. I tell them what to expect for the week, if we’re going on a field trip, and other academic information. When I remind them of the school lessons that they need to complete before break, they become aware of what they need to do. This also teaches them how to be responsible for their schoolwork.

If you have younger children, you can still remind them of their academic goals but maybe in a fun way. For instance, you can create a poster and write the goals on the poster. You can even make it a game and say for each task you check off the goal poster, you will give them a small treat. When all of the goals have been completed, then you can have a movie and pizza day.

To Do List
Remind your kids of their academic goals to teach responsibility. Photo Credit:

Do Take Time Off!!

I know how easy it is to caught up in finishing lessons and wanting to get ahead. But we all need a break. Even our little ones need a break from school, and they LOVE doing school! Whether your break time is for a week or up to three weeks, make the most of it. Take care of you and spend quality time with your loved ones.

If you don’t complete all of the lessons you had scheduled, it’s okay. Don’t stress out about it. Just make note of it and make sure you start where you left off after you holiday break.

5 Tips for Homeschooling Before Holiday Break #homeschool #homeschoolmom Click To Tweet

Trying to complete school right before the holidays can get a little stressful at times. Kids are so excited about having a break from school and having fun during the break. It is possible to do school before the break; sometimes you just have to get a little creative. I hope my tips are helpful for you! Happy Holidays!

kids focused before holiday break




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  1. Kimberly Lewis

    December 6, 2016 at 10:43

    Great tips for kids that are home schooled and even those who are not!

    1. Jennifer

      December 6, 2016 at 15:15

      I agree, Kim. These tips can definitely be applied to students who are not homeschooled.

  2. All Babied Up

    December 6, 2016 at 12:23

    The holidays can be such a distraction. This is great advice!

  3. Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms

    December 6, 2016 at 14:26

    These are such great tips! It is hard for me as an adult to stay focused during the month of December, so I can understand why it is hard for kids!

    1. Jennifer

      December 6, 2016 at 15:16

      Ha! I know what you mean, Vicki! LOL

  4. Chloe

    December 6, 2016 at 15:45

    Cooking is always a great one to do over the holidays as during the school term it is hard to take the time to really learn the skills involved in cooking!

  5. Melanie Smith

    December 6, 2016 at 16:07

    Thank you for these tips! They are really helping me with my boy.

  6. Sarah-Louise Bailey

    December 6, 2016 at 20:08

    These are very helpful tips and you are right, kids tend to think Xmas as early as November and lose focus on their school activities. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Jen

    December 6, 2016 at 21:19

    I love the idea of baking! We don’t get home until late, so I was thinking about making a batch of cookies and letting them cut out one cookie per night, then decorate it! Great list

    1. Jennifer

      December 7, 2016 at 02:12

      That’s a really good idea, too, Jen! We are doing our first baking lesson tomorrow. My daughters have been asking me when are going to start baking. I know they’ll love it tomorrow!

  8. Amie

    December 6, 2016 at 22:42

    Good tips for even those who aren’t homeschooled!

  9. Lois Alter Mark

    December 6, 2016 at 23:27

    These are all great tips. It can be so hard to stay focused with the excitement of the holidays coming up!

  10. tara pittman

    December 7, 2016 at 00:27

    What great ideas. I can only imagine teachers at this time of the year have to be creative.

    1. Jennifer

      December 7, 2016 at 02:13

      Thank you. Yes, I feel like I have to always put on my creativity hat when it comes to creating new activities for my kids. 🙂

  11. Christina Aliperti

    December 7, 2016 at 02:43

    This is the time where it can be hard to stay focused. These are awesome tips to help.

  12. Azlin Bloor

    December 7, 2016 at 03:26

    Fabulous post, and always great to meet another homeschooling mum. I also have 4 kids, love your tips. We’re moving house this week, so got a different kind of focus going on!!

  13. Elizabeth O.

    December 7, 2016 at 04:12

    This is why I admire parents who homeschool. They always have activities up theor sleeves to allow the kids to learn while having fun! I think it’s awesome that you’re making sure they are still learning during yhis busy season.

  14. Ana De- Jesus

    December 7, 2016 at 07:27

    I like that you link the activities to Christmas. That way kids can learn and have fun in the festive season while doing it!

  15. Annemarie LeBlanc

    December 7, 2016 at 09:49

    I have high regard for parents who homeschool their kids. It requires the highest level of patience. Your tips are the best! Mixing fun activities with academics will make learning more fun.

  16. Tina B

    December 7, 2016 at 15:53

    I love that you included holiday baking here! Wonderful tips, thank you so much for sharing!

  17. Amber Myers

    December 7, 2016 at 16:55

    These are great ideas! We don’t homeschool but I know lots of people who do.

  18. Aaronica Cole

    December 7, 2016 at 19:51

    Girl. I so needed to see this!!! We start homeschooling next week and unprepared may be the understatement of the century! I can’t wait to check out your other posts!

  19. Kathy

    December 7, 2016 at 21:44

    I love all of these ideas. My girls and I love to bake together. We’ll do a lot of that during the holidays!

  20. Eileen Kelly

    December 7, 2016 at 22:31

    I love your activities. Kids need to make a field trip.I love that you bake with them too. Its an important skill.

  21. Darina

    December 7, 2016 at 23:02

    These are some really great tips. will share with some friends of mine. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Laura

    December 8, 2016 at 10:27

    This is a great list! I haven’t started my homeschooling journey with my little guy yet but we will be in less than a year. Any tips and tricks I can find to make things a little easier and go smoother are helpful. I love that with homeschooling you can take field trips whenever and take breaks and just be flexible. 🙂

    1. Jennifer

      December 8, 2016 at 14:32

      Thank you, Laura! I love that we can go on as many field trips as we want. It makes for a great learning experience and also it’s so much fun! I wish you well with your homeschool journey. Let me know if you ever need any help!

  23. Joanna

    December 9, 2016 at 06:29

    I have to admit that you have some brilliant ideas. I would have never thought to count holiday shopping as math lessons, or baking as economics. Good job!

  24. Enricoh Alfonzo

    December 9, 2016 at 10:18

    Brilliant and creatively crafting choices, looks like so much fun!! I totally get what you mean about this festive time of the year.

  25. katrina gehman

    December 13, 2016 at 23:52

    those are such cute ideas. i love the crafts! i’ll have to do a few with my kids.

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