Our Holiday Schooling Traditions
It was always exciting to see their interest grow as, each year, they understood more and more the importance of the season.
For language arts, we would incorporate these topics into dictation, handwriting, and writing. Having the kids write papers on gratitude seemed to result in a better atmosphere.
As a family who loves to create in the kitchen, we spent many hours listening to Christmas songs while baking.
How did that translate into school? Well, I couldn’t check off math, science, or history in my planner, but I did see more important education occur.
The kids learned how to cook, measure ingredients, and follow instructions while singing and laughing. They also developed traditions and relationships that could not be learned from a textbook.
Charlotte Mason would be proud.
I asked my team to share how they mesh homeschool and holidays. Here’s what they had to say:
Being a ministry family means that mid-November through Christmas break is a busy time. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for great holiday lesson planning. But, several years ago we started a tradition that is easy to implement and doesn’t require extra planning. Using Robert J. Morgan’s Then Sings My Soul Special Edition, we read stories behind favorite and new-to-us Christmas songs. We also pick an Advent devotional or calendar to go through together.
Incorporating holiday themed books into our reading is such a fun and easy way to tie in the holidays with our homeschool lessons! One of my favorite holiday projects is one that we do every year around Thanksgiving. I look for some kind of “thankfulness” project to do, whether it’s just a simple list of the things we are thankful for on the whiteboard or a more elaborate art project. It’s a good attitude check for all of us (even mom!) to focus on just how much we have to be grateful for.
I always plan our year with some extra time off from normal school work around the holidays. We spend time reading some of our favorite holiday books such as Squanto, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, A Christmas Carol, or Carol Bird’s Christmas. We do special baking projects and crafts, which we often use to minister to others during this time. At Thanksgiving we study thankfulness as part of our Bible lessons. We have learned Christmas carols and gone to sing at assisted living and nursing homes. We have also volunteered with non-profits, been involved with our homeschool group’s Christmas program, and helped pack shoeboxes with gifts for needy children.
We have an Advent calendar that my mom passed down to me. Before school, we read a Scripture and devotion, sing a hymn, recite a memory verse, and hang an ornament on the tree. Also, a local church has an Advent organ concert series; once a week, we enjoy Christmas carols played on a large pipe organ followed by refreshments.