Christmas is coming! Homeschooling has so many sweet perks this time of year. Namely, we can set aside some or all of our regular schooling routine and devote ourselves to preparing for and studying Christmas. There are so many opportunities during this season for children and families to grow together and in faith. The possibilities are endless. The traditional school way of life really can’t offer such a luxury. That being said, what resources are available to lend us a hand this Christmas season? I’m glad you asked! I’ve compiled all of the resources you could need for a pretty extensive Christmas unit study. (oh, if you are looking for that giveaway it is at the bottom of the post).
Please note, this post does contain a couple of affiliate links. I am an Amazon Affiliate and a Homeschool in the Woods Affiliate.
The best source for the history of Christmas would certainly be in the New Testament Gospels in the Bible. Particularly Matthew 1 & 2, and Luke 1 & 2. What the Bible doesn’t teach us, however, is how the various traditions and customs usually associated with Christmas came from. After all, Christmas itself isn’t referenced in the pages of scripture.
One of my family’s FAVORITE New Testament Studies is the Hands-On Activity Pak from Homeschool in the Woods.This study brought out details of Jesus’s life and the early church that I had just not paid much attention to before. Mine and my children’s faith was depended during this study. I highly recommend it. It might be a study you find you’ll extend into the new year as well.
If you are looking for a child-friendly website that explores some of these questions like Why do we have Christmas Trees? or what Christmas is like in other countries then you will like want to visit Why Christmas.com. Among the topics covered beyond those I listed are some very good explanations of how Christmas came to be on December 25th, games, activities, and other child-friendly pages I’m sure you will enjoy.
Lifeway has a succinct article on the origins of Christmas traditions. History.com also has some short videos on the subject. I found this thorough website about the story of St. Nicholas. And here is a second site that you can compare.
Curious about Advent? Here is an article that explains it well. Would you like to incorporate an advent wreath into your holiday traditions this year? This website describes exceptionally well how to do so. It also suggests related scripture readings and prayers for each night.
Geography is one subject I tend to forget to include in our studies. Confessions of a Homeschooler has a FABULOUS and FREE Christmas Around the World unit study that makes this easy peasy!
The History of Christmas will give you a rundown of Christmas traditions from around the world, country by country. It might be interesting to compare what you find to the things listed on The North Pole.com.
Reading and Read Alouds
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you will likely be familiar with just how much my family adores our read-aloud time. My children are all accomplished readers who no longer NEED Mommy to read to them. However, reading-aloud has created wonderful shared experiences for my children and I. Our stories have created a family culture that we adore. The Christmas season is ideal for snuggling up on the couch with some cozy blankets and a favorite book. Here are some suggestions. Click on the image to visit Amazon.
Yes, you can incorporate science into your Christmas studies. Lemonlimeadventures.com has a great list of Christmas Science Experiments you must check out! Science Sparks does at well. I noticed one I know would appeal to my oldest boys! We’ll be making a gingerbread house and testing it for strength. Oh, what messy fun yummy that will be!
Christmas is the perfect season for real-life math. Whether it be multiplying fractions to double a Christmas cookie recipe, or using division to figure out how to lay the cookies out on trays for friends and family, the possibilities are endless. Older children could do quite the studying on the economics of the holiday season for families and businesses. Or build a Christmas Tree Geoboard! Do you have any tangrams collecting dust? Bust them out and do some Christmassy exercises with them. Either way, I think the Christmas season is an excellent time to set aside our usual math curriculum for a week or two and explore math in other ways.
Christmas music is so beautiful. At least up here in the northeast it is about the only time of year you will hear Christ-centered music in public places. Yes, I’m the dork that tears up in the baking aisle at the grocery store every December over Silent Night!
Our FAVORITE study during this time of year is Maestro’s Classics The Nutcracker. It brings together all of the elements (music, instrument, story, and composer) of any good music study. It is easy on me and delightful! Perfect for getting a little educational time in while driving here and there. Plus their study guides bring everything to a much deeper level if you so choose to use them.
Yearroundhomeschooling.com has a great article about how to study Christmas music either by composer or era. SQUILT is another resource I’ve recently found and love! It is a homeschooling curriculum that makes music study easy. They have a beautiful Holiday centered resource I love.
Similar to an Advent celebration, a Jesse Tree is a wonderful way to use scripture and show how the prophecy of the coming Messiah was fulfilled. Refer to Isaiah 11:1-10 for the scripture verses referring to the Jesse Tree. MyJessetree.com is probably the best go-to source on this topic.
On the Homeschool in the Woods website, they give you a bit of information about a popular form of entertainment in the 18th century. It was Shadow Puppets. They have a free PDF download to help you make your own Nativity Shadow Puppet play. Click Here for “The Nativity Story” Shadow Puppet Play!
Proverbs 18:1 says, “An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.” In Psalm 119:36, David writes, “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.” Jesus summed up the commandments to this one rule, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” While we should strive to teach our children to live this way all year round, the Christmas Season reminds us just how essential it is.
Give your time. Encourage each child to choose a project. Perhaps you create some ideas and have them draw them from a hat. Or tackle a family project. Here are some ideas:
- Go caroling at a local nursing home.
- Make blankets for pregnancy center
- Organize a bottle drive or canned food drive for a food pantry
- Knit or crochet warm hats and mittens for those in need
- Rake a neighbor’s leaves
- Send a note of encouragement to someone who could use it.
- Through our church’s food pantry we can adopt a family and anonymously provide them with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner plus gifts. Shopping for this is so much fun.
- Our church has an Angel Tree ministry. We take an angel and provide a gift for a child whose parent is not available to provide them a gift this year.
2017 has flown right by and Christmas is already in the air! The giving season is upon us and I have partnered with 22 other bloggers to give TWO families $500 Paypal cash in the 4th annual Christmas Blessings Giveaway!
Our hope is to bless two families this year by allowing them to fulfill their kids’ Christmas wishes, pay off a bill, or to help build up their nest egg. Whatever the money ends up being used for, our prayer is that it helps to lessen any financial burden and/or fills a specific need.
You can earn a lot of entries using the Rafflecopter form below. I know it can seem tedious and time-consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it? I think it is! Plus, if all of these generous bloggers didn’t participate, we wouldn’t have been able to have such big prizes! So I hope you will take the time to go through each entry. Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow.
The giveaway will run from Monday, November 13th through Wednesday, November 22nd (ends at 11:59pm EST). Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. You must have a Paypal account to win.
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