It is very hard for me not to go overboard for Christmas. However, one of my goals for this season is to keep it simple so that stress will not rob me of my joy. Keeping that in mind, here is our homeschooling plan for December 2011:
Bible Study & Activity
- Read Luke 1 - 2
- Operation Christmas Child - get the children to help fill a shoebox with gifts and donate it to children in need. A great book to go along with this would be Miracle in a Shoe Box by Franklin Graham.
DAYS BY THEME
Most of these ideas I got from Easy Fun School's Christmas Symbol Unit which can be found here. It is a full unit with 25 days of learning based on Christmas symbols. I am transferring the ideas we will use here just for the sake of my personal organization.
Gifts- Read Matthew 2:10-11 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
- Discuss how the wise men worshipped God before giving gifts to him. We need to make sure the worship comes before the shopping and gifts. How can we make this happen?
- Read: The Gift of the Magi by O.Henry
- Phonics - Use four parts of a gift to write words with a particular sound (the sound would be written on the bow). Obviously, as seen in the pic below, this could also be used to write math sentences.
(via First Grade Parade)
- Craft - Have the student write and draw a picture of the best (non-toy) gift of all:
(via First Grade Parade)
- Christmas trees symbolize that our God is eternal and we have eternal life through his Son when we put our trust in him.
- Read: Luke 2:52, 2 Peter 3:17 - 18
- Discuss: How do we "grow" as Jesus did?
- Sing "O Christmas Tree" (one of our favorite Christmas tunes around here!)
- Craft - Make a popsicle stick Christmas Tree. Directions here.
- Phonics - Use a Christmas tree to spell out words. Use the entire word written on the "stump" of the tree.
Shepherd's Staff- The candy cane is a symbol of the shepherd's staff. The colors symbolize the blood and purity of Christ.
- Read: Psalm 23:1-5
- Discuss: Jesus as our shepherd.
- Discuss: the legend of the candy cane.
- Do: Hang candy canes on your tree. We do this every year and we never call them 'candy
canes' anymore. When people come to visit, we ask them to take a shepherd's staff off of our
tree. Then we tell them why we call it that and what the colors mean. It is a beautiful, non-
offensive way, to share your faith with others. (from Easy Fun School)
- Craft: Make a soft and scrunch candy cane (do this with the toddlers). Instructions here. I'll probably make this cane a little smaller and add the poem found here.
- Make candy cane playdough and wrap it in mason jars for gifts for Merrick's friends. How-to here.
Star- God proclaimed his truth in creation by lighting up the heavens with a star that announced the
birth of Christ the King.
- Bible: Look up scriptures that show other ways God has revealed himself through creation.
- Do: Study stars. What are they? What are some of the constellations?
- Craft: Paint with Christmas cookie cutters (toddlers can paint with us!). Maybe even use these star paintings to make gift tags.
- Read Luke 2:6-7
- Discuss - Where were you born? What were the surroundings? How do they compare with those of Jesus? What would you think about Jesus if he had been born in a palace? Why was he born in a stable?
- Make a gingerbread nativity scene. Here is a web site with a template for the manger and a recipe. Here is another option that may be a bit more kid friendly.
- Read Luke 2:7, 11-12
- Make a bowl of ornaments with 25 different names for Jesus. Instructions here at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar. Lots of other Christian Christmas crafts (for Momma!) there as well.
- Use this reindeer handprint craft for a phonics or math activity. Similar to the gift idea above, we could write number sentences or phonic phrases on the legs
- Writing activity here. I like winter because...
- Hot chocolate addition idea
- Gingerbread alphabet writing worksheet here at Kindergarten Crayons
- Gingerbread phonics activity and printable here at First Grade Parade
- Great gingerbread activity ideas over here at Babbling Abby including these:
- Make a birthday card for Jesus
- Make a Christmas card for a friend or family member. Great printable here. Another idea using thumbprints to make reindeer here.
- Make handmade ornaments
- Baby Jesus Haystacks - several recipes here.
- Candy Cane Cookies - recipe here.
- Worksheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Christmas Tree Shapes here
- Fun way to get out the wiggles here at Oopsey Daisy Blog
- Great ideas here, including the Christmas light pom pom color match
Misc (aka things I couldn't resist including, but not sure if I will EVER get to them)
- Handprint snowman ornament idea here at eighteen25
- I soooo want to make something like this with the children this year:
- Would LOVE to make this plate from First Grade Parade
- Nativity Mural - turn this bulletin board into an art project (possibly on a canvas?)
- Probably the most precious Christmas plate I've ever seen (which could easily be painted on a canvas as well):
In addition to all these ideas and links, I have a folder full of free Christmas downloads from Teachers Pay Teachers. I won't link to every one I downloaded for the sake of time. But, if you head over there and do a search for Christmas (then sort by grade level), you will hit the jackpot, I'm sure.
Oh well. So much for the idea of simplicity, am I right?!?