Homeschooling Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. I often come across questions on social media or through email that I feel would best answered in a newsletter, because I feel so many can benefit from the answer...

This question was on a Facebook Homeschool group:
I've been toying with the idea of taking December 'off'. Does anyone else do this? I want to have FUN! I want to bake, sew, all the things we never seem to have time for. I'm scared to let go! Maybe we'll at least do math every day. Anyone else here take December off?"

Have fun in December! However, you do not have to give up homeschool to enjoy the Christmas season!  In fact, I recommend against giving up both homeschool and home management routines. Those who give up their routines often have a difficult time getting going in January. Then come 26 December, "Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again. 

Christmas time is not the time to be hurried and rushed ! I reccomend seeking for hygge instead. 
Remember, that hygge is warmth, living well, security, coziness, comfort, reassurance, family, fellowship, friendship, and simplicity are frequently used to describe the concept of Hygge.”

In December, do Christmas as homeschool, building Lost Arts skills, enjoying the cultural arts, and serving. The great thing about homeschool is we get to include anything we feel is worthwhile learning and experiencing. We are not limited by what schools do. When I was a child in the early years of elementary, we did not do pre-school. Kindergarten was non-academic. Christmas programs were religious. I remember doing a nativity play about the Three Christmas Trees when I was in third grade. We sang Christmas carols, not just holiday songs in our school choir. It was all part of school. When we studied other countries we learned of their religious beliefs and even made their food in our classrooms. It was all part of the academics!

When you boil down the Three Rs, whether it be:
"Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic"
"Reading, Reasoning, and Reciting"
"Research, Reason, Relate, and Record"
No matter which approach to home school that you choose, it is not difficult to substitute Christmas themes through cultural arts, reading classic stories, writing in a Christmas Journal, and even doing Christmas math, in lieu of what you normally do.

If you look and think about it, there are many subjects to study dealing with Christmas!

One Dozen Ways to Homeschool through the Christmas Season

1. Scripture Study

Read and discuss Old Testament prophecy and New Testament passages about the nativity, gratitude, charity, forgiving, and service. Scripture reading and discussing requires no prep time. Just open and share! Enjoy reading and discussing these topics in December.

2. Art
Appreciate viewing and studying (Charlotte Mason style Picture Studies) classic nativity and Christmas themed art. 

3. Music
Appreciate classic hymns of Christmas and Christmas carols, some are centuries old.  Learn to play Christmas themed music on an instrument or learn to sing Christmas Carols.

4.  Literature
Enjoy reading treasured classic Christmas stories and excerpted Christmas passages from classics. 

5. Poetry
Listen to, memorize, recite, and appreciate Classic Christmas poetry.

6. Penmanship
Write Christmas lists & baking lists, create Christmas tags, write thank you notes, sign Christmas letters, sign Christmas cards, copy quotes. scriptures, poems by hand and even keep your own special Christmas Journal.

7.  Social Studies or Geography, History, and Culture
Study Christmas traditions around the world and the history behind the carols.

8. Living Science
Make a study of snow. Keep a weather log. Take winter nature walks. Collect and study nature, such as: tree studies, winter birds, pine cones, seed pods, even night time constellations!

9. Living Math
There is so much of contextual, hands on, experiential math that touches Christmas!
Counting of links in a chain, cookies, Advent days, and Christmas Cards.
Fractions in measurements for baking.
Decimals in counting, giving change, saving for a gift, or for materials to make a gift.
- Telling time, calendaring, and time management.
Mensuration of measuring fabric and weighing packages.
Creating a Christmas budget, shopping for needed materials, handling money and giving change.
Learning to read thermometers, such as-- candy thermometers, meat thermometers, and weather thermometers.

10. Home Economics
This is part of math too! Activities such as holiday baking, crafting, sewing, making decorations, upcycling, and making gifts, all come under Home Economics and all use math!

11. Shop Class
Make useful gifts and decorations of wood, wire, glass, beeswax, or ceramics, etc. Ask for wood scraps at construction sites. These can be sanded and used for toy blocks, add decorative knobs for a jewelry hanger, or a close pin for a recipe card holder. Pinterest has lots of Christmas craft ideas using things found in most homes. 

12. Preforming Arts
This season is usually full of many opportunities for the performing arts! Carol to shut-ins. Act out the Nativity. Attend Christmas Concerts and Christmas productions. For those who wish to stay at home, there is a plethora of Christmas themed music, concerts, and productions available online. Grab the popcorn and enjoy an evening together at home with front row seats!

All of this can be done very matter-of-fact, very playful, fun way, low stress, very hygge and what is also important, they are learning, moving forward, and do not even realize it is school! 

In fact, the first seven items can be found in our Classic Christmas Devotional! You're half way there!!!  You can use the Classic Christmas Devotional as part of your Christmas curriculum.

The Christmas season offers all the above and more. Mom can keep Victory Journal of all the school she did with the children. While the children think they are enjoying a Hygge Christmas, having month off, and are keeping a journal of their Christmas Vacation!

Savvy mom!

Enjoy the Journey!!!

A Classic Christmas Devotional

We invite you to enjoy this new Christmas family tradition!
Celebrate Christmas all month long!
A Classic Christmas Devotional is a 31 Day Anthology of over 240+ pages  KJV Bible based content, designed to be used as a daily devotional to focus our hearts and minds on Christ and Christmas. Daily Bible verses, quotes, the Spirit of the Season Challenges (a Christmas focused activity each day), poems/carols, and classic Christmas stories. Bonus- Christ Centered Family Christmas Traditions: From Our Home to Yours.

Click below to learn about our Classic Christmas Devotional.

Sample Day 1 ~ Each day begins with a Classic Christmas Art work with Credits below, followed by scripture, a quote, The Spirit of the Season Challenge, a Christmas Carol or Hymn, or Poem, followed by a short Classic Christmas Story. Then after all of the days, we share our Family Christ Centered Christmas Traditions. So you have Art appreciation, poetry, literature, music, foundation for devotions, plenty of copy work of either scripture or quote, and daily activities. This is a great start for Homeschooling Christmas or a daily Family Devotional.  
See Below:

Day 1

The Annunciation
1879, by Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), British Pre-Raphaelite Artist.

“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”
~ Luke 1: 30, 31

"Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God."
~ By George F. McDougall

The Spirit of the Season Challenge
Prepare for Christmas by placing an empty manger on display with straw in a container next to it.
When someone has rendered a good deed or service, the receiver of the service gets to place a piece of straw in the manger. [Then on Christmas Eve, place a baby Jesus doll in the well filled manger.]

Away in the Manger
By James Ramsey Murray 1841-1905

Away in a manger,
no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus
laid down His sweet head.

The stars in the sky
looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, 
asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing,
the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus,
no crying He makes;

I love Thee, Lord Jesus,
look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle
till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever,
and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children
in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to
live with Thee there.

The Gift of the Magi 
1905, by O. Henry (William Henry Porter 1862-1910)

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating... (The full story is included in the Devotional)

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