Homeschooling takes work. If you’re wondering if you could possibly work and homeschool, yes- you can be a working homeschool mom!
Know Your Working Homeschool Mom Limits
Limits are a good thing. They work as boundaries to keep you from overwhelm. To understand your limits and set your boundaries, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I practicing good self-care?
Do I choose foods that nourish my body?
Would meal-prepping work for me or add extra stress?
Do I have any “tells” that help me know when I’m approaching overwhelm?
Am I losing my temper with my friends, family, or work associates?
Do I need a certain amount of time in the morning to myself before I’m on for the day?
Do I need a regular bedtime to support what I need to do each day?
Am I allowing for enough off-time or playtime?
Can I set boundaries for myself that I can provide to others and easily enforce?
What are my employer’s expectations?
Allowing yourself the grace to say “yes” when you mean yes, and “no” when you mean no will provide you with a filter for creating limits.
Set Your Work Goals
With work comes expectations. What does your employer expect from you? If you work from home, what do your clients expect of you? What do you expect of yourself? What are your goals?
Adding to your own limits, note the following:
What are my work hours?
Do I have any nights or evenings I’m expected to work?
Can I leave my work at work or will I be expected to work from home?
Do I have help with my kids while I’m at work?
Does the person who helps understand my homeschool plan?
Make Your Homeschool Plan
If you’re not sure where to start, I just want to say from the get-go, do not overwhelm yourself with this. Keep it simple.
If you can come up with 5 key things per student you’d like to cover for the year, you’ve got a solid big picture. You can add to the big picture in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you or your helper if you have one.
Things to consider:
Where are we starting? How did we end the school year last year?
What are the ages and grade levels of my students?
What are the courses I would be comfortable teaching or delegated?
What is my worldview? How does that weight my homeschooling choices?
How many children am I homeschooling?
Do we have to have traditional homeschool hours or do we have some flexibility with that?
Do I have a homeschool method I’m committed to?
Just Get Started Homeschooling
The hardest thing to do is to just get started. Pick one subject, one goal, and just go for it.
We can help.
Need a like-minded tribe to journey with? Our Parent Equipping Membership is a great place to start and our Getting Started Homeschool Printable Planning packet was created to help you create a plan, write out your goals, and your vision while keeping your home and students on track. Download it free.
Hosting a Christmas Craft Party can be a fun way to celebrate the season with a small group of friends, build community and relationships and allow your kids a way to create fun crafts that are gift worthy.
Making it Happen
Set a Date and time. Early afternoon works well. Plan on 2-3 hours for crafting and visiting.
Decide on an age range and crowd; teens only, or grades 5 and up, Mother/Daughter etc. This will allow people to choose appropriate crafts.
Ask everyone you invite to each bring a craft with enough supplies for a specific number of kids, plus a few extras for mistakes and tagalongs. Also, ask them to bring clearly written instructions and an example of the craft. This will be helpful to the kids.
For parents who aren’t naturally “crafty”, you can direct them to some fun and simple craft sites or offer ideas for “Christmas Crafts”. You may want to ask a couple of parents to bring snacks, drinks etc. if you know they will not want to be in charge of a craft.
Send the invites and include an R.S.V.P. so you can plan to have enough supplies and treats.
The Day of the Crafting Party
You might want to provide holiday music, lights, and decorations – but remember, simple can be just as fun!
Provide festive snacks, a self-serve hot chocolate, tea and coffee bar, Let others know to bring treats, too, if you are open to that. An open snack/ drink buffet works well as parents/ kids move about crafting and visiting.
Set up various workstations – card tables and chairs, areas at the peninsula and dining room table, etc. so that as people arrive, they can set up their craft at a station. Additionally, they should set up printed instructions, as well as an example of the craft already made.
If their craft requires hot glue guns, the stove, microwave or other more difficult items, ask parents (or teens) to stay at the station to supervise.
Now the Fun begins!
Parents and kids move from workstation to workstation, creating crafts. It’s helpful for the hostess to have a place for crafts to sit or dry while people visit and move about. You could have a specific spot set aside with paper plates and kids names on them to gather their crafts between stations. Additionally, have large paper bags or boxes available for people to collect their crafts in or let people know to bring their own.
Be sure to take plenty of pictures that you share after the day of the party!
Crafts don’t have to be super complex to be a lot of fun and something the kids really enjoy.
Kids love making items that they can give to family as Christmas gifts, or hang on the tree.
Expect a mess but let people know how much mess you’ll put up with. Glitter might be a no-go at your house, and that’s o.k. as long as people know ahead of time.
Soup and beverage mixes
Shadow box ornaments
You could use this as an opportunity for your tweens and teens to gain some life skills by coordinating the party with you. This makes a great homeschool group or co-op party idea too.
You may decide to do it every year. It’s a great way to share the season with others and will provide many happy memories of crafting and visiting!
We love to celebrate Thanksgiving. At our house it means dedicated days to enjoy each other’s company, visiting, cooking and eating. While there are certain recipes that we always make and certain things we often do, we are always on the look-out for new ways to celebrate together! Traditions are important because they give us a sense of belonging and community. Holidays help us remember our values as well as personal and collected history. Here we’ve gathered 25 things to do to ensure that your Thanksgiving Holiday is a delightful day of gathering with friends and family!
25 Ideas for Celebrating Together
Breakfast: Set out a simple continental breakfast, a lovely quiche or pumpkin muffins, orange juice, and coffee to fuel the troops till the feasting begins.
Board Games: Are de rigor when we get some time together- especially when we get together to celebrate Thanksgiving and other holidays! Some of our favorites are; Bananagrams, Codenames, Trails and Rails, Eclipse, Risk, Agricola and, of course, Settlers of Catan!
Books: When our kids were younger, we’d set out a Thanksgiving Day basket full of books, including; Eating Plates, Sarah Morton’s Day, Samuel Eaton’s Day, On Plymouth Plantation, Tapenum’s Day, The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving, Squanto’s Journey and If you Sailed on the Mayflower – to name a few!
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: You’re never too old for Charlie Brown and friends! You’ll get a brief overview of the first Thanksgiving in 1621. Snoopy then serves up a holiday feast which includes buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and ice cream sundae.
Corn Kernels: Put five kernels of corn (candy corn, works too if you don’t have access to real kernels!) by each place setting, in honor of the first Thanksgiving, and have everyone go around the table and name five blessings they experienced this year.
Create a Cornucopia: Create a cornucopia for your Thanksgiving centerpiece or buffet table. My mom used to have a simple cornucopia basket that we’d decorate each year with leaves, pinecones, and flowers! The meaning of cornucopia comes from the Latin words “cornu” meaning horn and “copia” meaning plenty. The cornucopia is a common harvest symbol associated with plenty. If you can’t find a basket one, bake an edible one out of bread! A quick internet search will help you find a plethora of ways to create a beautiful and edible centerpiece!
Cyber Monday: Along with other on-line companies, True North Homeschool Academy has some amazing specials coming up that you are not going to want to miss!
Food: We love good food, are all busy and have some dietary restrictions to work around. Sometimes our Thanksgiving table looks traditional and sometimes not so much! Each year we tweak, plan and prep for a few days before the big day so that there are plenty of left-overs to feed the masses over the weekend and we can spend more time visiting.
Give a Toast: Before the meal begins, raise your glasses and honor the occasion. Giving a toast lends a festive air and is a lovely way to celebrate Thanksgiving and all that you are thankful for!
Gratitude Garland: Have a basket of pre-cut, fall-colored construction paper chains and pens near-by so people can write down what they are thankful for. Start linking up and create your décor as you go- add to the chain over the holidays!
Hostess Gift: Take along some Tupperware if you find yourself a guest during the Thanksgiving weekend and help your hostess out with storing and sharing yummy left-overs! Leftovers are just a natural extension as we celebrate Thanksgiving, so we always make plenty so we will have enough to nosh on the rest of the weekend. Of course, a delicious side dish, flowers or homemade preserves would also be a lovely hostess gift.
Maker Space: Set up a simple craft table with a tried and true holiday craft like the Thanksgiving apple or Handprint turkeys. These crafts are simple and fun to create!
Place cards: Create beautiful place cards for the table so everyone knows where they belong. Write an encouraging note, scripture verse or a blessing on the back as a keepsake.
Ping-pong or Air -Hockey: These are fun diversions and a great way to get multiple ages and stages interacting together. Both beginners and your super talented people can visit while they play.
Pray Together: Join hands and pray – your prayer can be a simple one, a collective one, or a traditional one. You can find traditional prayers online, or pray through a Psalm together. You could even print these out for each place setting ahead of time.
Take a Hike: If the weather is nice enough, get outside after the traditional turkey and take a hike. Encourage the littles to find as many colors in nature as possible, or to identify various sounds. If you have enough of a group, play a round of flag football or ultimate Frisbee.
Tell Family Stories and Sing Songs: Every family has its share of fun, wild and wonderful stories! Tell about the time you had the canoe misadventure, or your latest vacation, or about when Grandma was little. Stories are a wonderful way to bond together and re-visit shared history. And don’t forget the joy of the sing-along. When I was little, no visit to my Grandparents was complete without a trip to Aunt Dolly’s house, where we would all gather around the piano and sing together. Church hymns are wonderful, but simple rounds and camp songs are delightful as well.
Thankful Tree: Create a thankful tree with branches, spray painted if you like, and “planted” in a decorative pot. Set out construction paper leaves and markers and have friends and family write down what they’re grateful for on a leaf, then attach to the branches.
Set the Table: Put a leaf in the table, pull out the tablecloth and set out your best dishes. Don’t forget a centerpiece, napkins, and lovely place setting cards. Put on some soft background music and light candles, then gather together to talk, laugh and enjoy a beautiful meal together.
Show Gratitude: Set up a letter-writing station complete with beautiful stationery, colorful pens, and stamps for easy mailing to truly celebrate Thanksgiving by honoring those who have enriched your life in the past year! Give everyone time to write a letter of gratitude to a special friend who has blessed them this past year. A wonderful activity and sweet takeaway of the day.
Serve: Donate coats to kids in need, serve in a soup kitchen and donate to your favorite charity, such as Blessing Bethlehem!
Turkey’s Away:WKRP’s Turkey’s Away episode is still funny, after all these years! “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”
TV: Of course the Macy’s Day Parade is a Thanksgiving Day staple, along with afternoon football. If neither of those of your cup of tea, check out the National Dog Show!
Video Chat: Visit with Far-away Family and Friends! You can use Zoom free for 40 minutes at a go! Of course, it’s not the same, but when your married kids live half a country away, it is the next best thing!
More Celebration Ideas
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? We’d love to hear about what you do to make the holiday memorable!
Virtual Field Trips are a great way to see the world, even if you are on a strict schedule or tight budget. With today’s technology, field trips can be just a click away. I’ve compiled a list of Virtual Field Trips below. Some are fun, but all are guaranteed to bring learning to you!
Get ready to reclaim Field Trip Friday (or any other day of the week, for that matter) with these 26 virtual museum resources. Create engaging, active learning with fun virtual field trips.
This round-up style list of virtual museums has something to learn and explore for every age and curiosity. Have fun as a family or invite a group of friends to hang out together because these are perfect for home or small learning communities that are gathering digitally to learn and use the world as their classroom. Where will you explore first?
Explore the United States with these Fascinating Virtual Museum Tours
Virtual Geologic Field Trip to Griffith Park – if you’re interested in geology and earthquakes, take a look at this site. It was developed for use on its own or as an introduction to an actual field trip to Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Perfect for an earth science project or presentation.
What’s in the Sky – this resource links page is great for kids working on an astronomy report or just wanting to learn more about the sun, moon & stars for fun.
Museum of Natural History– this room-by-room walking tour of the museum is so fascinating and engaging. There are many exciting artifacts to look at and cultures to explore. Perfect slumber party activity for creating your own “Night at the Museum.”
Discovery Education Field Trips– Discovery Education offers various free, interactive tours designed for elementary school students. There is so much to choose from!. Use the drop-down subject search box to tailor-make your virtual field trip.
Use The World As Your Classroom with Virtual Museum Tours at 11 World-Famous Museums
No passport is required! Learn about all kinds of things from the best museums in the world. From art to artifacts, science firsts to exploring Mars. It’s all right at your fingertips. There is no better way to inspire and encourage a broad worldview than by visiting museums and outdoor exhibits that allow for inquisitive exploration. Now, thanks to technology, you can give your child the world right in your own living room.
Museums to Visit Online
Le Louvre – Studyingart this year? Check out this World Famous Museum! So many resources and so little time. It’s perfect for art project ideas, artist studies, and art appreciation.
Secrets of Easter Island This is a beautiful website put together by Nova and PBS. It includes a tour of the island and the game Move a Megalith. So much fun!
Virtual Farm Tours: Learn more about the wonders of agriculture with your students through this panoramic tour of farms in Ontario.
Reach the World at home resources. Each of these kid-friendly journeys follows the experiences of a stand-out Reach the World traveler as they dive head-first into an exciting new country and culture. Super fun for geography & country studies!
Holocaust Museum TourFind pictures, video, and art from the Holocaust Museum. Use the virtual tour along with teaching resources and survivor stories as you help your family understand the tragedy of the holocaust.
Tour the Sistine Chapel – explore the paintings on your computer. This is the same dizzying experience as doing it in person … but without the neck-ache. Being able to zoom in and see the detail of these amazing panels is actually better than being there in person! Grab your sketchbook and spend the day in Vatican City!
The Great Wall of China Virtual Tour– this 360-degree tour of parts of the Great Wall is impressive. You can advance on the wall as if walking. Jump on the stationary bike or treadmill and visit China for PE class today!
Ancient Greek Mythology Virtual Tour – studying the Ancient Greeks or mythology? This interactive virtual tour of the Acropolis in Greece is perfect for learning more about this ancient culture.
Explore an Estuary – if your students are studying the tides, ocean, or water dwellers, this is an excellent site. Explore habitats, migration patterns, and climate impact using any of the resources from all over the USA.
Can’t get enough of these virtual field trip options? Don’t worry; we have more suggestions and companion resources for you! I’d love to hear how you incorporate virtual field trips into your homeschooling! Share your favorites in the comments below!