Nearly a month has gone by —BLINK— since we checked that back-to-homeschool box. There were the first day frills followed by that confused week of is-it-summer-or-is-it-fall? As always, it’s taken us a couple of weeks to settle into our routine, working out a kink here, readjusting something over there. As the mornings have grown chillier and the forest has flocked herself in flecks of gold, our homeschool rhythm has relaxed into itself. It always does if we just let it breathe a little.
Then, yesterday, the trouble started.
I had just cleared away breakfast and was about to call the kids to the school room when my pupils ran up the stairs dressed in full pirate garb. “Arrrrggg, Mama!” they greeted me. I squinted at them. How does this happen? Do our kids have like biological clocks or something that tell them costumes are officially in season? And why do these whims never strike on Saturday?
Well, no matter. It wouldn’t be the first time (or the last) that we’ve done school in costume. But when I invited the bouncy buccaneers into the homeschool room, our preschooler informed me with a toothy sneer that “pirates don’t go to school, Mama!” She had me there. Thankfully, I was able to entice the unruly marauders to their lessons with an on-the-spot scheme about taking over the pirate world if only you pursue an education and master the advanced arts of seafaring. I don’t know. Somehow it actually worked. Shanghai averted (or at least postponed) and without me having to resort to that whole ugly “we’re starting school NOW!” business. One small step for Mom is one giant step for . . . momkind? Anyway . . . moving on.
Then this morning, the dreaded question: “What do you wanna be for Halloween this year, sister?” My eyes went heavenward as this one innocent little conversation starter at the breakfast table spiraled into the hopelessly sweet and spicy splendor of THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING! An hour passed over uneaten toast with eyes wide as the plates below. Plans were concocted regarding pumpkin carving, apple cider pressing, candy making, spooky movie nights, and elaborate costume concepts. I knew if I didn’t intervene soon, they’d be setting up Christmas decorations and typing up wish lists for Grandma. Perhaps I have The Home Depot and Hobby Lobby to blame for this madness —putting up Christmas before September was cold in its golden grave. I’m with you, Charlie Brown!
I settled the matter (for now) by setting a date for this weekend to ~Deck the Halls with Bats and Spiders~ setting a contingency in place that toast would be eaten immediately, and the holidays not spoken of again until Saturday morning. Thankfully, our kids take after my hubby and find my exasperation positively hilarious. They giggled mischievously at me but ultimately agreed, nonetheless. If nothing else, I’m a fairly convincing person.
So, here we go again, friends! I guess those back-to-school weeks are over and gone. And just like the hummingbirds, they fled silently overnight without so much as a goodbye. Suddenly we’re heading into Homeschool Holidayland and I haven’t even packed out the garden yet or processed the last of the tomatoes.
As always, my biggest complaint in parenting-life is that it all goes by too quickly. A sure sign that I have it really, really great. I guess in the end, I’m just a glutton for slow.
So, what do you say? Want to slip slowly into the season, friends, never forgetting to savor it? Join me in gently bringing the holidays into our homeschools rather than allowing them to swallow our school days or banishing them ’til after the bell. Remember, ours is a home first and then a school. We don’t have to keep our family life separate from the school room. Neither do we need to “skip” Homeschool for the month of October in order to have a Happy Halloween with the kids. In fact, our hallowed holiday may be all the better for keeping Homeschool in session! With a few festive tricks and treats like the ones I’m sharing with you below, we can have our holiday and homeschool, too!
Let’s Spice up the Homeschool Routine for a Happy Halloween! ~just a pinch~
*Please note: the ideas below are merely a MENU and NOT a checklist. Just some ideas to gently spice up your days this October. But as always, simplicity rules the day! Enjoy 🙂
1.) DRESS UP DAY!
There still may be math problems to solve or that grammar worksheet to complete but being in costume is sure to liven up the Homeschool day! Put out a basket of costumes, funky accessories, and some face paint, and join in the fun! But do put contingencies in place. 😉
Cozy up with your kiddos for a festive and spooky story time. Click here for our list of favorite BOO Books; Spooky Read-Alouds for Halloween!
4.) GET THE WIGGLES OUT WITH THE MONSTER MASH!
All I wanted was a Halloween playlist that wouldn’t give me . . . I mean the kids . . . nightmares. But as the story goes for basically everything in life (or at least mine): easier said than done. I didn’t really grow up celebrating Halloween, so I had no idea just how NOT “kid friendly” the children Halloween playlists out there are. So, I’ve gone ahead and pulled together my own *slightly spooky* playlists by age group for some soft-pedaled Halloween fun. So, in case you are also being kept busy hitting “skip” on the “corrupt-my-kid” and “please-terrify-my-toddler” Halloween playlists, maybe our alternative selections below can help break the spell.
Try one of our spooky soundtracks before settling down for school or letting loose after lessons! I’ve used my best judgement for appropriateness/scary-factor, but please pre-screen! 🙂
5.) JUST ADD HOT APPLE CIDER 😋
Homeschool lessons are just better with hot apple cider. Trust me. Sip during lessons at the kitchen table, or save for a between-subjects-break! Click here for our super easy recipe.
Create a Scavenger Hunt anchored to your kid(s) school work, click here for our free printable Homeschool Halloween Hunt!
7.) GET CRAFTY!
Painting and carving pumpkins are a given, but there are so many other Halloween crafts on Pinterest to try out with your kids, like the above spindly-legged pipe-cleaner spiders.
And consider sharing the love with a sort of “Reverse Trick or Treat” by giving a painted pumpkin or a box of yummy treats to a lonely neighbor, friend, or grandparent. Let’s start off the season with giving!
8.) HAVE A CREEPY CLASSICAL MUSIC APPRECIATION DAY (or week!)
Click here for our Creepy Classical Music Appreciation week! If you have kids over the age of six, you won’t want to miss this one! All the work is done for you, just print and click on our playlist link included in the above post and you’re set for a really cool music appreciation lesson with your kids! 🙂
9.) TAKE A HOMESCHOOOL HARVEST FIELD TRIP
Head to the Pumpkin Patch, or an apple farm, or the corn maze, or go on a fall foliage hunt!
10.) HAVE A SPOOKY GAME DAY (or afternoon)!
Board Games and Card Games are a great way to have an “Unschooling Day.” You will earn Homeschool Parent Points (which never hurts), everyone will have fun, and your kids will still be learning plenty!
Click here for our list of favorite spooky card and board games for Halloween!
Hope your October is SPOOKY and SWEET!
Thanks for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~