Is It OK to Take Time Off from School for the Holidays?

Raising Arrows
Is It OK to Take Time Off from School for the Holidays?

The cooler weather is beckoning to you.  The falling leaves are begging you to ignore your studies and go outside just to breathe in the colors.  The hearth calls you to gather round, snuggle up, and read another book aloud to the children.  And with all your might, you want to listen.

But, you are afraid.

Afraid that if you take the holiday season off from homeschooling, you will lose your momentum, your children will fall behind,  you will once again lack the consistency you are certain you need in order to truly teach your children anything of importance.

Will your child get behind or will you lose momentum if you don't homeschool during the holidays? No! In fact, you need to slow down!

Because you are so afraid of losing momentum or falling behind in your homeschooling plans, you trudge along all through November and December…ignoring that inner sense that this is a season of slowing down. A season of thankfulness. A season of wonderment. A season that requires you to soak it all in in order to truly enjoy and learn from it.

You push through, and while you didn’t lose your momentum, you lost something else…you lost what is good.

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41-42

God created these seasons.  This is a season of harvest and thanksgiving flowing into a season of anticipation and realization.  

Do not miss what is good.

Do not let this be a season of anxiety and trouble.  Keep what is necessary ever in front of you, ever in focus.


Yes, yes it IS ok to take time off from school for the holidays.  

But even better than that, why not use this season to listen, and to glean, and to draw nearer to the Lord?  Why not meld the beauty that is Thanksgiving and Christmas with wisdom and understanding?

This is still homeschooling!

In fact, it is some of the BEST homeschooling!

How to Holiday Homeschool

Several years ago, I put together a Holiday Homeschool Planner. I have a Thanksgiving Planner and a Christmas Planner, but you can buy them as a set HERE.

These are the very pages we use to plan out our holiday homeschooling activities for November and December. It gives me a place to gather ideas and find out what the children have enjoyed from previous years.

Some years we have ONLY done Christmas School in December, meaning no extra math or science or other subjects, but as my kids have gotten older, I have found a new rhythm that works well for us. I’ll share it below, but I want to encourage you to not be afraid to take off completely for a month (or more) and give yourself room to truly enjoy the Thanksgiving and Advent season!

Every morning, during the course of the normal school year, we do what we call Morning Time. During the Holidays, this is the slot where Holiday Homeschooling goes. You can read more about what this looks like in my post Autumn Homeschool Ideas and also find other ways you can fit Holiday Homeschooling into your day!

I choose a few resources I want to use during the holidays (there are so many wonderful ones to choose from!), and I gather supplies, and give myself grace to do as much or as little as I can manage that year.

By the way, my Holiday Homeschool Planners have some of these ideas included in them, and you can also find more ideas in my post: Holiday Homeschool Traditions

In October, we add in a few Autumn ideas to our Morning Time (like the ones I share in the post above).

In November, we do Thanksgiving themed activities and lessons like our Pilgrim Walk

and our Blessing Tree

A Family Blessing Tree Craft |

We have also found several lovely Thanksgiving themed Morning Time lessons like The Character of Thanksgiving – a 12 day study of the character and lives of the pilgrims and natives.

The Character of Thanksgiving

Another favorite is A Gentle Thanksgiving – a 24 day study of gratitude with poems, artists, hymns, and more!

We also spend as much time as we can out of doors during the holiday season, exploring and observing the nature around us.  We are viewing the world through a lens of thankfulness as we watch it give of itself to bless us, exactly as God created it to do…no longer perfect, but still in working order, because He loves us.

Taking a Total Break from Homeschooling at the Holidays

You may choose to do NO school during the holidays. That’s ok too!

But, I can almost guarantee that while some of the things you choose to do with the margin and space you create in your time off may not “look” like school, they most certainly are educational!  

As you decelerate your life, you will find that education does not cease.  In fact, in many cases, you will see that true wisdom accelerates as you slow down because you have the time to see it, savor it, and retain it.

So, please, take time off.  Give the books a rest, if not for the entire season, at least for a day or two a week.  Study a hymn, count your blessings, take a walk, listen to His voice, be thankful.

It is necessary.

It is good.

Will your child get behind or will you lose momentum if you don't homeschool during the holidays? No! In fact, you need to slow down!

Originally published in November of 2015. Updated in November of 2022.

Is It OK to Take Time Off from School for the Holidays?