Friday, 2 January 2015

Holiday break Schedule


We took just a little over two two weeks off between Christmas and New Years.  We resume school on Jan 5th.  I struggle with my children at times getting them away from electronic devices.  I really restrict the times those items are allowed daily!  However in the past over school breaks I have allowed almost no restriction of said electronic devices and invariably by the middle of the first week I notice increase attitude, defiance and over all family discord!  So this time around I sat the kids down and came up with a schedule!  I really find my kids do so much better when their days are scheduled, having endless free time doesn't seem to inspire them, which really bothers me.  I have tried  so many different strategies to get the kids to be creative or just more adventuresome with their time but they don't seem to have it in them.  So I tried something a little different this time and I think it might be just what we needed!

I didn't want to take their electronics away from them completely, as I do see the value in them.  Most of what we have is educational! Normally the kids get one hour of electronics per day so they really wanted much more time to play especially with Christmas and there was a new game system under the tree!  But I wanted and needed to balance that out somehow with other activities, but still give them a chance to choose for themselves!  So I came up with a daily schedule that we stuck too most of the days.

Our Holiday Schedule for the kids

1.  Electronics which included DS, Wii U, and computer could be played between 10-12 and 3-5 only...a total of 4 hours which I thought was more than enough time, although my kids would disagree.  Luckily watching TV is not something my kids spend a lot of time doing unless it is with my husband and I in the evening watching educational programs.

kids play room is in the basement--ignore their mess--I rarely venture down there :)!

2.  Piano practice must be done 30 each day

The only activity we kept up with during the holiday break were the kids piano lessons

3.  Exercise 30 minutes per day which included playing outside or stretching exercise in the house

Kids got a new skateboard and are learning to use it

MarioFan is not a fan of standing up on the skateboard at the moment so he uses it as a sled to ride down the sidewalk!

Yes I actually made my kids do some stretching exercises every day...I am a mean one so my kids say
Since returning to the states we have been very remiss in finding exercise programs for the kids to attend.  While in the UK they had swim lessons, martial arts and horse riding lessons.  We just haven't been able to find time, money and energy to resume those activities with all the other things we are doing!  Something we are trying to work on as the kids do need more exercise!

4.  Dog training and playing 30 min per day.  We are working on teaching our new dog basic commands and leash training.

leash training

shaking paws 

learning the stay and come command-- Luna is doing very well:)

5.  A creative pursuit per day for 30 min of their choosing

as a family we put together a puzzle

I have provided the kids with lots of options but this is the one area where they struggle, despite my best efforts being creative is just not their passion.  For MarioFan I showed him a lego project he could attempt to build and pulled out some wooden projects I bought ages ago, but so far no initiative has been taken on his part:(.  Firedrake at least will work on her drawings and her creative writing story.  We have had a couple of new games played that the kids received for Christmas and those went very well.  This continues be a area that needs to be worked on with MarioFan because if it isn't electronic he isn't interested:(  so frustrating for me!

6.  Reading for 30 minutes a day--a book of their choosing.  Thankfully both kid love to read so this is an easy one for them to want to do:)

So that was our schedule however it was flexible and there were several day when we did other things, like see the Hobbit movie or go to the Botanical gardens to see their light display!  Overall I was pleased with it and will definitely be trying this again during our next school break!


  1. This sounds really organised. I could do with something similar for the holidays.
    Happy New Year!

  2. You are such good parents and I think this was an awesome way to handle the Christmas break. I find too many parents including my own children that let my grandchildren just veg away on electronic devices. There will be a price to be paid at some point by doing this.
    Blessings to you all for being organized and doing great activities.

  3. Hi there! I loved discovering your blog, and really appreciated this post about your holiday schedule. We always struggle with keeping *some* learning going on, lol, and getting back to the grind when the holiday break is over. :)

    I just wanted to let you know that I thought other homeschoolers would enjoy your post as well, so I shared it in a secular homeschooling community on G+ that I belong to. You can find that group here:

    If you aren't already a member of that group, it's worth a join. Great info, tips, and resources shared. Hope to see you there! :)