It’s the last day of our blog hop and our topic for today is homeschooling. Let’s face it, as busy as we are, homeschooling during this season can be challenging!! I usually try to lighten up our schedule, reducing our elective classes to a couple of days per week. We always take the entire week of Thanksgiving off, and usually we have a 3 week Christmas break. This isn’t a big deal for us, we just school until we finish everything that needs to be done, and we get to enjoy more of the holiday season together.
I also try to focus some of our instruction on the holiday season. Usually we take a break from our regular bible studies to study something more topical. Last year, we used two unit studies from Notgrass for this purpose. The first, was Celebrate Thanksgiving, which had 15 cross-curriculum lessons focused on the history of Thanksgiving and included making a “Thanksgiving scrapbook” which was pretty cool! For Christmas we used Celebrate the Savior which consisted of lessons focused on the events surrounding Jesus’ eventual birth. With this study, my boys made a “baby book for Jesus” which I know is going to be a keepsake for years to come!!
In addition, I am always on the lookout for “freebie” activities on line that I can use, and sometimes you find some good ones. I usually add these in on days where we are feeling that “holiday slump” and we aren’t very motivated to do school. I also check out as many holiday books from the library as I can, and use these for read alouds. This year I am looking at holiday unit studies from Hands of a Child. We have used some of their unit studies in the past, and we enjoy them and they are very affordable. I will probably try to download at least one by the end of the month.
In addition, my husband and I like to do a special focus family devotional that runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Last year we used Celebrate Jesus at Christmas by Kimberly Reese. It’s a really nice family devotional that incorporates the figures from your nativity set as they journey to Bethlehem. I also used the book, The Angel and the Christmas Rabbit, which is just amazing!! It has 24 advent stories, told by the main characters, as the angel tries to think of a present he can give to baby Jesus for his birthday. I got both of these books from my library last year, but I am going to order this one for myself!! In the past, we have also done a Jesse Tree, and I just used resources I found on the internet for that!!
For this year, I have been searching my library again, and I have a few books in mind for our devotional activities. I will probably start checking some of them out soon to see which ones I want to use. Some of the ones I am looking at for now are:The ADVENTure of Christmas, by Lisa Whelchel, Momma’s Enchanted Supper by Carol Dechant and Let Every Heart by Thomas Pless.
Of course, we always read some of our old favorites from our picture book collection, like Merry Christmas Little Mouse, and The Polar Express. For me, the focus of our holiday homeschool is really about celebrating the amazing things God has done for us, and enjoying as much family “cuddle time” as we can. If you have any great ideas for unit studies or books I can use, leave me a comment and let me know!! Be sure to see what all the other crew members have to say about homeschooling during the holidays by clicking here:
I hope you enjoyed this special blog hop! Be sure to come back and visit me as I post my random thoughts and musings about all things home and homeschool. Have a blessed holiday season!