Many people love independent study because of the flexibility in scheduling which sure does come in handy during the busy holiday season. Amidst shopping, baking, caroling, family, travel and all that December holds, how do homeschool families everything done, and keep your independent study students on track? Here are 5 fun activities to help you homeschool through the holidays.


1.  Learn Math While Baking

What’s a holiday without baked goods? There’s always been an easy segue from baking to math lessons. What better to learn fractions than mixing ingredients for a pie? Toss in a lesson on Fahrenheit and Celsius, a sprinkle of estimating and voila, some delicious cookies topped with nuggets of wisdom.

If building gingerbread houses are a part of your holiday tradition, bring some geometry into it. Cutting shapes, making sure they fit properly, figuring out the surface area and volume…you get the idea.

There are many math concepts that can be taught through the holidays and not just in the kitchen – budgeting, holiday countdowns, money sense and more.

2. Making a List & Checking It Twice For Language Arts

If your children haven’t written a letter to Santa yet, now’s your chance to teach them the proper format for writing a formal or informal letter. This would also be an opportune time to teach students how to address an envelope as well. They can also use this skill to write thank you notes to gift givers and help you with holiday cards.

Holidays are also a time for lists – there are holiday cards lists, party supply lists, grocery lists, wish lists, and checklists. Students will not only practice their outlining and penmanship skills but the ever useful skill of prioritizing as well.

Also in the language arts realm are the thousands of wonderful holiday books. Check out your local library for a great selection to borrow or we’ve always been a fan of Costco for their holiday book selection.

3. The History of Holidays Around The World

Expand your child’s world view by studying how cultures around the world celebrate the holidays. has a great list of holidays year-round and a brief summary of each for you busy homeschool parents. See it here.

Or bring it closer to home and study how Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Diwali has been celebrated from the colonial times until now.


4. Science

Greenery plays an important part of many holiday traditions here in America. What would Christmas be without a Douglas Fir? Our porches would look a bit less festive without the bright and cheery poinsettias adorning our doorstep or the mistletoe hanging in the hallway. Conduct a study on these different types of plants.

There are only a handful of areas in Southern California that get snow and snowflakes, but we are lucky enough that most of those places are within driving distance. Study snow, snowflakes, weather. Grow crystals and make them into ornaments or candy. Or do a holiday science experiment that spans the month and have students report back on their finding in January.

5. Arts

Holiday crafts and music are no-brainers for the holiday season. Making ornaments, decorating the house, singing carols, participating in a holiday production, creating crafts…the ideas are endless. Pinterest is has a wealth of resources and ideas for holiday arts and crafts and I know some of you have had holiday music playing in the background since Halloween.


Learning doesn’t have to stop during the holidays. Keep your student’s minds and hands busy during the season so that going back to the regular school routine won’t be quite as painful in January.