In my 15 years of homeschooling, the quarter or period involving Christmas seems to be the fastest and in some sense, the most distracting. Well, “distracting” , if you have this knack for wanting a list of worksheets complete, pages done and chapters completed. However, if you embrace the period, find season specific lessons that you can weave into your daily “must learns”, if you try to highlight your own family traditions and involve your students in its preparation and celebration, you can actually have such a rich, no matter how rushed it ca be, Christmas Season.
Here are a few things you may opt to do:
- If you have Bible Study/ Christian Living as a subject you can:
- As early as early November, to start focusing your Bible Studies on the Birth of Jesus. You can easily google the top Old Testament prophecies about the birth if Jesus. You can also tie this up with Chrismas songs that are based on such verses. I can hear “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”, “What Child is this” or “Immanuel”. You can print the lyrics and study them together. If any of your students are playing the piano, you can look and search for simple piano pieces on Christmas. Or you can teach your students or you can all learn a new Christmas song.
- You can divide the days of December in reading the New Testament Verses related to the Nativity.
- You can watch the Nativity Dvd or any other Christmas story in parts.
- You can choose important concepts/character traits manifested in Christmas story and search other Bible verses or famous sayings to support these. Examples are love, humility, grace, service. sacrifice, joy and the like
- Share your blessings with others this Christmas. There are many ways to do this .
- Prepare gift bags in your car with Noche Buena staples like fruit cocktail, cream, spaghetti noodles, cheese, tomato sauce, canned meat, and sweets. If you find yourself in traffic or in parking ( make sure you don’t do it when there are too many people who may overwhelm you and your car) , then give them away a few days before Christmas. Or it can be gift bags for kids with treats and useful items
- Choose a ministry or non government group that focuses on the poorest of the poor. Check with your church or even with your homeschool provider. You may check visionsofhopefoundation.org and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to organize your family or your homeschool support groups for a Christmas activity or project with former and current street children all over Metro Manila or nearby province, Laguna.
2. “Decorate” your other subjects with the Christmas themed activities and projects.
- For History, you can research on the how certain traditions/beliefs came to be… Christmas gift giving , Christmas tree, Santa Claus (that’s if you’re off the mystery already), reindeers, mistletoe. Include Filipino Christmas traditions as well.
- For Art/ HELE.
- Christmas Card Making ( we did this year after year after year)
- Baking of Christmas Cookies and Gingerbread House or cookies
- Making a Filipino Parol – We used Japanese paper instead of cellophane.
Click here on how to make a Christmas Parol tail.
- Creating your own Christmas Belen using recycled cardboard, boxes, acrylic paint and polymer clay.
- Involving your students in helping around the house (wrapping gifts, making tags, making DIY gifts or decors)
- If you have several children, give each one some money or they can use some of their savings to give simple gifts to their siblings, grandparents and even helpers at home. They can learn how to plan, budget, purchase , wrap, and write a dedication. If you have a bit more budget, involve them in purchasing simple gifts for their other teachers (MAPE, homeschool provider advisor, and sports coaches).
3. Find good Christmas themed materials for Read-A-Loud.
I am thinking of doing Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with Gino this year.
Please share me with us other ideas you’ve done as well:) We brought out the Christmas pillows and as I began changing the covers, you could hear the oohs and ahhs from the younger kids, and see the grin from my almost adult boy. Christmas, don’t come so fast, we want to prepare our hearts and homes as we seek to celebrate the real purpose of Christmas.