Happy Home Schooling! This eLetter (Terry’s Terrific Learning Connections or Terry’s Tender Loving Care) is meant to encourage and inspire families homeschooling their children. (*If you would like to opt out of receiving this email, simply click the button at the bottom of this eLetter to unsubscribe.)

Christmas is just about here. No matter what year it is, time marches along. Christmas is a relatively short season – as is Summer. I try to appreciate each and every day.

I hope your family is enjoying the season – making memories together, practicing baking and making gifts, and giving to others. (If life has been too busy / overwhelming / full of sickness / _______ (you choose the descriptive word) and you don’t think you are going to be able do everything, take heart. You don’t have to do everything! Christmas is Cumulative!

I’m going to share a couple more quick and easy links for Christmas and New Year’s, but I’m also going to focus on “Celebrating the Joys of Home Schooling”, too. (After the fun and excitement of Christmas, January and February can be a letdown. With a little bit of planning, that doesn’t have to happen!)

Here are a couple of quick Christmas Printables:

Christmas I Spy

One of my sisters introduced me to Name Cards for special occasions. It’s a simple way to celebrate the people we love and make a holiday meal just a little more special. I thought this idea was sweet.

Christmas Name Place Cards – with jokes for added fun!

2022 is also fast approaching. There are a lot of fun New Year’s Eve ideas for families.

Here is a simple version of FUN New Years Eve Ideas for Kids and a pretty elaborate version (with lots of links and printables) New Years Eve Countdown for Kids – 12 Activities

(Take a look and choose the one – or part of one - that best fits your family at this time. There are some really neat ideas in the second one, but our family never needed hourly ideas. I mostly chose 3 or 4 ideas (plus made appetizers for New Year’s Eve – and it really depended on the ages of our kids as to how elaborate our evening was!) I do LOVE Countdown Bags, however, and have used them often through the year. They were great for breaking up long trips, too – we often drove 25 hours straight twice a year with the kids.

I also love these Year in Review Printables. I really hope she does one for 2021, but I am sharing it to inspire you to do these with your kids. What a neat idea to do year after year.

This Birthday Printable is a neat idea, too. Why not print off enough for all of your children and put them in your Home School Planner? Save them in a binder or notebook, and compare year after year.

Happy Birthday Coloring Page

So, I am thinking ahead to January and February – which can be blue months for homeschoolers. I really struggled as a new homeschooler in January and February the first couple of years. It was cold, boring and I was *blue*. Then I heard a veteran homeschooler share at a home school support group meeting what she did to avoid the January Blues. After Christmas, she went full speed into homeschooling and life – and just breezed through January and February. By the time they hit May, they were just about done their homeschool year and the kids spent a ton of time outside.

I seriously took that to heart and kept myself (and the kids) busy homeschooling, crafting, reading, cleaning (to be honest!) and more in January and February. After the flexibility of Christmas and December, it was nice to get back in a home school routine. Here are some links that might be helpful as you look towards January.

How to Set Reading Goals

This could be a great blog to read as you think about the next 6 months of homeschooling your children. By the end of January, you will be halfway through your formal homeschool year. How many books do you want your children to read in the next 6 months? How many do they want to read? What a good discussion starter this could be.

It also mentions starting a book discussion club and digging deeper into books. What about inviting other families in or doing one on Zoom? Be flexible about how you will meet. Zoom might be easier in the winter months – with the cold and driving distances. All it takes is a mom being willing to host and ask questions.

I love Pam Barnhill and her Morning Basket Idea.

What is a Morning Basket?

January Themes and Resources Your Kids Will Love

Pam Barnhill also suggests Nature Study in January and has a lot of ideas (make an ice wreath, learn about snowflakes, do an art project based on winter birds and more) that might work on the warmer days. (There are some homesteading homeschooling moms that share on the WISDOM Facebook Page and it does not matter how cold it is, they – and their kids – are outside looking after their animals and enjoying the outdoors. That is encouraging for the rest of us!)
 She also shares about Faith Themes, Food and Family Themes, Books perfect for January Learning AND Crafts for January Learning. So many ideas.

January Activities for Kids (Snowman, Penguins, Snowflake)

There are so many fun ideas for Elementary kids here. Do as many or little as you wish.

10 Things that Make a Great Homeschool Day

This was such a lovely read. A great reminder of what makes our homeschool days work. Everything from Readalouds to Project Time to Playing Games to more. What about a Game Challenge for January and February? Keep track of the games you play and celebrate when you hit your goal! You could also include Lego, Art, Crafting and so much more. (AND take a day off when you want to do a movie marathon with the kids. Making memories and bonding with our kids is also important!)

AND for those homeschooling older kids:

Teen January Writing Prompt Calendar
How do you get teens writing? Here is one idea – a printable calendar with writing prompts.

100 Great Things about Homeschooling

This is a great list of 100 reasons why it is great to homeschool. You might need to read it over a couple of times or make your own list with your kids. Write or type it up nicely and decorate it. It’d be great to have on the fridge for a reminder!

And the WISDOM Booklet of the Month is: Games that Build the Brain

Why not make use of the games you have or the games you got for Christmas? Play together often in January as a family AND have fun!

(Email and let me know you would like this booklet – or others! I’ll get them out as soon as I can!)

Happy Homeschooling and Merry Christmas!