Homeschooling during the month of December can be challenging. Homeschooling during December, while packing up an entire house and planning on moving three days after Christmas can be beyond stressful! This year, I’ve decided to give my stress level a little break, but still provide a wonderfully fun, yet educational three weeks for my son.
Like many homeschooling moms (and dads) I tend to focus most of my daily lesson plan on math, reading and language arts. With my son’s learning differences, some days just our math studies seem to take up most of the time! The subjects that I tend to let slide the most are history and art. With all the projects that need to be accomplished with our move, I was starting to feel very anxious about dropping the ball on school. The idea came to me about filling up the next three weeks with some sort of history unit that would also lend itself to some fun art projects. That’s why I’m so excited about the new Christmas DVD from What’s in the Bible?, Buck Denver Asks Why Do We Call it Christmas?! We’ve had our copy for about a month and I’ve planned on watching the DVD throughout the season anyway. Instead, I’ll use this fun DVD is our jumping off point to learn about the history of Christmas and the many traditions that have been attached to this time of year!
If you also struggle to compete for your child’s attention with the twinkle lights on the Christmas tree, this might be something to think about in your own home school. Their minds are already on Christmas, why not take advantage of that fact?
The first week we will be studying the history of the early church and the Mass, the celebration of the Eucharist and why we combine “Christ” and “mass” to get Christmas. I’ll throw in some coloring pages that can be printed off the computer and even add a brief viewing of our wedding Mass, so my son can see the way the Eucharist is still celebrated in other churches. We’ll also be looking at Advent, the wreath, the color of the candles and why we celebrate this season of preparation.
I’m really looking forward to our second week’s study of St. Nicholas! Many Christian parents wonder how to take the focus off of Santa Claus during Christmas; instead it might be so much better to equip our children with the historical facts about where the idea of the modern day Santa came from, and why, for some of us, it’s ok to include both Santa and the Nativity in our holiday decorating. I think that will nicely lead us into the third week’s study of present day traditions, while we find out where they came from and why we still enjoy doing things like hanging our stockings by the fireplace and decorating our Christmas tree.
Finding art projects that complement our study should be easy. I’m still working on that piece of the puzzle, but the time it takes to prep for our weekly lessons is greatly reduced and the other kids can help (they won’t mind since it’s all about Christmas!) This will hopefully leave me the time and presence of mind to accomplish what I need to before moving day arrives. And I’m sure my kids will appreciate a less stressed mom!
Unfortunately, this year I’m not going to be able to give my kids a usual Christmas season, full of our own traditions. I’m really sad about that… but I think learning about Christmas and covering its history over the next three weeks is a plan that will make for a few fun hours during this wonderful season of anticipation and celebration!
What are you doing in your homeschool during the month of December? Or even if you aren’t a homeschooling parent, how do you celebrate Christmas and teach your children about it? Let’s share some ideas…
Lisa Strnad is a contributing writer/blogger to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She is a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville,TN. Follow her personal blog posts on www.talkinglikeagirl.blogspot.com.