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Holidays, Homeschooling and Less Stress!

I am so excited to introduce an amazing guest author this week- Marilyn Rockett. Her book, "Homeschooling at the Speed of Life" is the new Homeschooling Book Club title! Today she offers us her advice on how to have a less stressful holiday season while homeschooling. Please find her guest article below:


A homeschooling mother has more to do on most days than almost any other human on the planet. Then the holidays arrive! Disorganization adds stress and frustration to what should be a happy time. Perhaps these ten principles will help you “stress less” as you celebrate this joyous season.

See God’s Perspective: In the bustle of life, we forget to see things from God’s perspective. Focus on people rather than on all the things you think you have to do.

Take Time to Plan: Ecclesiastes 8:5b-6a tells us that a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure for everything. Write down what you want to accomplish and plan to do those things.

Reevaluate Your Plans: When you see that a particular plan or activity is not working, reevaluate for changes.

Establish Priorities: Prioritize as you write down your plans. You probably don’t have time to do everything you want to do, so wisely choose those activities that bring a peaceful celebration time. Which things are most important? Do those first.

Set Goals: This is easier to do when you establish priorities. Add one holiday activity per day into your schedule (bake, wrap gifts, decorate the tree, address cards or write a Christmas letter, etc.).

Simplify Your System: Shop online, cook less or cook ahead and freeze food, drop any thoughts about a “perfect” holiday and just enjoy the things you do. Stop formal schooling in December and “school” using holiday activities and crafts.

Lighten Your Load: Drop activities that are stressful to you. They aren’t worth the anguish. Enlist the family’s help with cleaning, baking, and decorating. It is good training for your children, and this isn’t the time to do it all yourself!

Establish a Tradition: Your children will remember simple, meaningful traditions. Every year we had a particular breakfast casserole on Christmas morning that I made the night before and just popped into the oven the next morning. My husband always read the Christmas story from Scripture before we opened gifts. We still do those two simple things and our grown sons look forward to them when they are home for Christmas. Choose a simple activity and do it every year.

Slow Down: Why do we believe we have to cram in so much during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season? “One half the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quick and not saying no soon enough” (Josh Billings, quoted in Little Things, The Peter Pauper Press, 1969). Slow down to eternal speed and enjoy your family!

Savor the Season
A. A. Milne (creator of Winnie-the-Pooh) says this about organization: “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up”* In order to display God’s glory through our homes and families, we don’t want the season to be “all mixed up.” With simple principles, you can reverse what could be a stress-inducing time. You and your family will reap the peaceful rewards of a joyous holiday.

Written by Marilyn Rockett

*Marilyn Rockett is a “graduated” homeschool mom of four grown sons and Mimi to six homeschooled grandchildren, teaching for fifteen years before the Rocketts ran out of sons to teach. She is a contributor to multiple books and is the author of Homeschooling at the Speed of Life, her latest book that provides encouragement and organizational helps with a scriptural emphasis. For more than twenty-five years, Marilyn has worked in the homeschool community locally, statewide, and nationally and has contributed articles to many publications. She is currently a regular columnist for Homeschooling Today® magazine. Visit her website at www.MarilynRockett.com or contact her at Marilyn@MarilynRockett.com

Get the Homeschooling Book Club title today! Treat yourself to a holiday break book- "Homeschooling at the Speed of Life" by Marilyn Rockett.

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