Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I've Been Feeling a Bit Guilty This Month

You see, we've done little to no home schooling since Thanksgiving.

And I felt really guilty about all of this, until I realized that even though we haven't cracked open the books in a while, and the notebooks and pencils are collecting dust on the desk in the living room, we have indeed had great learning experiences.

I've discovered that the Holidays have offered so very much to my family, giving us opportunity to use the season as our textbook. Annika has been busy practicing for the church pageant (in which she volunteered for a speaking role) and rehearsing a solo she will sing with the adult choir on December 24 (and yes, I am VERY proud!). Our family continued our tradition this year of adopting a charity for Christmas. This year, we chose to give to the Crisis Nursery, and all of the kids really got a lot out of picking out presents, clothes, and toiletries for needy kids and their families. I was absolutely astonished at their generosity and genuine interest in the charity, and I know they will remember how proud they all felt as we dropped off our packages long after the Christmas season has ended. For the first time, Annika and I also volunteered our time ringing bells for the Salvation Army. Although she seemed a bit embarrassed that her mother kept belting out Christmas carols to the shoppers passing by, she thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent together and asked if we could volunteer again next year.
We've spent many mornings baking Christmas cookies to give to neighbors, putting up decorations, stringing popcorn garland for the tree, and stuffing envelopes for our family Christmas letter, and we've spent just as many evenings curled up on the sofa reading books like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (highly recommended) and retelling the story of Jesus' birth.
Now I know what you're thinking, and yes, many of you do all of these things and more, and still manage to send your kids off to school each day or successfully continue your schooling at home throughout December.

But for me, taking it easy on the traditional schooling has really allowed our family to admire all the magic this season has to offer and gives pause to what it is we are truly celebrating this month, and I refuse to feel an iota of guilt over it.

Besides, I figure we have plenty of snowy January days to revisit those textbooks.