The holidays can be a busy time, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to incorporate Thanksgiving and Christmas into school without delaying the overall school year or rewriting the lesson plans. It’s actually easier than you think to incorporate both the activities and the message of the holiday season into your school! A few tweaks here and a little extra thoughtfulness there can go a long way toward turning academics into lessons that bring the hearts of you and your children to life.
Tips for Holiday Lessons
Check out these tips for incorporating lessons of Thanksgiving and Christmas into your holiday routine.
Find passages on thankfulness. Spend a few minutes during Bible time focusing on one each morning through the month of November, leading up to Thanksgiving Day.
Create a Thankfulness Tree, covering it with colorful leaves of things you’re thankful for each day. Spend your prayer time thanking God for what’s written on each leaf.
The Christmas Story
Replace your Bible reading with the Christmas story. Spend the holiday season memorizing the familiar passages about the birth of Jesus and the visits of the shepherds and wise men. To make it even more fun, turn this into a mini pageant for a Christmas family gathering!
Drive lessons home and take care of that gift list at the same time by making Christmas gifts that correspond with what you are learning.
- Research plants you can pot in the winter, then get the seeds, a pot, and potting soil and start it growing as a Christmas gift for a friend or family member.
- Create clay dough ornaments in the shapes of the animals being studied.
- Create an original piece of art based on an artistic style or artist being studied.
- Write an original story or poem similar to a literary style being explored in language arts.
- Find projects that require measuring and calculating fabric or wood to help practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as area and perimeter.
Put away the math books and instead do some real-life math. Assign your children the task of figuring out the ingredient amounts needed to double or triple a favorite recipe of cookies or candy. Then bake up a few batches to give out to local first responders, your librarian, the mailman, your pastor, or anyone else you can think of who might need a little extra smile during this busy season.
Learning to Plan
Incorporate your children into holiday party planning. Teach them how to lay out a menu, prepare a grocery list and go shopping, and problem solve seating arrangements or food layout.
Find a missions organization that works in the region you are studying in history and geography (or locally if you are learning about US history). Learn all you can about the missions work in that area. Find a way to support the work either financially or by volunteering your time. Instead of giving teacher gifts at church or co-op, give a bag of homemade candy, cookies, or caramel popcorn along with a note expressing that your family has supported that particular ministry in their honor.
Add a prison ministry experience to your government or civics studies. Find out what is required for participating in a local prison or jail ministry. Visit bookswithamission.com or read Prison Heroes 101 to learn how to send life-giving books to prison inmates for Christmas.