The presents are opened. The wrapping paper is cleaned away—well, except for those scraps that the cat chased back behind the couch, or the random bow that will show up sometime in the middle of February. The tree has been taken down; the decorations have been carefully replaced in their boxes and stored away for another year.
For some homeschooling moms, the holidays are a brief break in an otherwise consistent routine. For others, they turn an orderly, contained schedule into chaos—and then somehow, when January rolls around, the normal routine must resume.
The kids are whining. For two weeks (or three…or more) they haven’t had to do schoolwork. They haven’t had to focus on anything but their own activities. And the novelty of all those new toys hasn’t worn off quite yet.
“But Mom, I want to go ride my bike some more!”
“But Mom, I haven’t finished my book!”
“But Mom, I’m almost to the next level on my game!”
And so the battles begin. Resuming school after the holidays—regardless of whether the kids attend public school or do their learning at home—is always a challenge; but at home, the allure of all of their new presents is readily accessible, and the kids are as likely to stare dreamily off into the distance as they are to accomplish anything.
There are, however, a few tips and tricks that might streamline the process.
First and foremost, let the kids know ahead of time when they will be expected to start back to “school.” If it’s sprung on them, they will be far more likely to complain than if they know it’s coming.
Second, make sure that you have a plan in place. If they’re virtual schooled, know where they are, what needs to be turned in next, and what materials they’re going to need to accomplish it. If they’re traditionally homeschooled, make sure that you know what’s coming next. If you’re disorganized, flustered, and feel out of control, they will not let you keep control.
Next, consider easing gradually back into the regular routine. If you have the opportunity, take a half day or two; or use the first couple of days back to do things that the kids enjoy doing, rather than forcing them straight back into a normal academic schedule. Online games, projects, and escaping into a work of fiction for a little while can be wonderful incentives to get back to learning.
Whatever else happens, keep your cool! Expect a few hiccups as you’re getting back to the routine, but remember, things will even out soon enough, and everything will be back to normal.