I can’t believe it is almost the last month of the year, but I’m so excited to slow down and enjoy the Christmas season! Every year we take a break in December from most of our subjects and do a fun Christmas study together. We still complete math and language arts, but history, science, and geography gets put on hold until the new year begins. This leaves us more time to craft, bake, relax, and enjoy our time together during the Christmas season rather than checking off all the boxes in our curriculum.
Today I’m sharing our plans for December (a bit early) to give you some ideas and allow you time to prepare for your homeschool. I’m sharing all we are using for our Advent study, Christmas study, crafts/activities, and chapter books my older kids will read. At the very end I’ll also give you a break down of how we tweak our schedule and fit these things in for schoolwork in December. ALSO, at the end of this post are my gift guides for kids!
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Every year we do an advent study together and with younger kids I have learned that SIMPLE is best! This year we are using The Advent Storybook by Laura Richie that covers one bible story throughout the 25 days leading up to Christmas Day. The stories are just one page long, beautiful illustrations, and has a great discussion question at the bottom to talk about the story together and how it relates to their lives. You can also get the Advent Storybook Coloring Book that goes along with each story. My kids are very big into coloring, so they will love to color each page (or ornament option) that coordinates with the story while I read it to them.
We also have had these beautiful Pip & J Papery Jesse Tree Ornaments that we hang on our tree each day during advent. After we read/color a story each day, my kids will hang the coordinating ornament on the Christmas tree.
We are going to be doing a novel study on The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and I’m SO excited! This was one of my favorite books growing up and I can’t wait to share it with my kids. This technically isn’t a Christmas story, but it is very wintry, magical, and has biblical connections, so I think it will be amazing to do during December. Thankful for my friend Cassie @homecenteredlearning for sharing all of this she has used in past years, we will be using this Narnia The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe Unit Study by Hearth Magic. It goes through each chapter with copy work, vocabulary, art projects, notebooking, crafts, and recipes. The art projects looks so fun as well as the recipes that go with the chapters to bring the story to life!
This study is mostly for my older kids (ages 7 and 9) who are also both in the Nutcracker ballet again this year. We have a very busy schedule with rehearsals and performances and a 30-minute drive to the theater each day, so I thought this would be a great time to listen to the audiobook for the unit. We will listen to 1-2 chapters each day and complete any projects or notebooking on those chapters the following day for school. We won’t be doing everything in the guide, but will have the freedom (and time) to pick and choose what we want to do for each chapter.
I also purchased this amazing companion book for myself to go along with the unit study: A Family Guide to Narnia- Biblical Truths in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. The Chronicles of Narnia books are full of biblical parallels and this book breaks down each chapter helping you find those connections within the story and scripture to go with them. I’m really excited for this book to help me connect things for my kids and enrich our study.
To go along with our study I got this amazing read aloud poster from Ruby Reads Books! This poster is actually two pieces; one piece is the wardrobe door, that you cut out and paste on top of the larger story board poster. My kids will love to color this as we read the book and fill in the character portraits, vocabulary, and quotes. You can also purchase the Peg Doll Kit that comes with everything you need, and instructions, to paint your own characters and be able to use them to move around on the storyboard as you make your way through the book. I can’t wait to use this and kick off our study by painting the characters!
*Definitely check out her other read aloud posters in her shop! This will be our 3rd one and they are so much fun to go along with your family read aloud!
We will also start our unit by reading a favorite picture book, Finding Narnia by Caroline McAlister, about the life of author C.S. Lewis and his brother. You don’t have to have this book to do the unit study, it is just a favorite of ours we will read before we begin.
Winter Bundle Volume #4
The new Winter Bundle Vol. 4 from Home and Haven is here and it is all about the NUTCRACKER!! These bundles are SO amazing and such a great deal for everything you get. This bundle has 150 pages of handwriting, LA, Math, puzzles, and coloring pages for PREK-6th grades. Also included is a 3 week Nutcracker Unit Study and printable crafts!
For the month of December we only do one math or LA lesson per day, alternating each day. I also add one of these fun bundle pages for my kids each day for practice or review. Example: one day we will do a full LA lesson and 1-2 fun math pages from the bundle; the next day we will do a full math lesson and 1-2 fun LA pages from the bundle; repeat. So each day we are only doing one full lesson of a subject, but some fun pages of the other for some additional practice or review. Switches things up and my kids think these pages are so fun!
This bundle is 50% off until Friday only! (11/10) You get everything for only $25 or you can use code: CHRISTMAS for an additional $5 off at this link!
I also grabbed these printables that I think will be so fun to do as we get closer to Christmas. The Nativity Escape Room takes kids back in time where they will learn about the key events of Jesus’ birth by decoding puzzles, answering questions, and breaking secret codes! It says for ages 8 and up, but I think my 7 year old could easily do it as well. The Nativity Scavenger Hunt is another fun one where kids learn details about the Nativity story by searching for answers to questions on posters you hide throughout your home. These are both print and go activities and can be completed in just one day. We will probably do these in the days leading up to Christmas to keep my kids busy. The links above give you more details and sample pages.
My kids and I have really been enjoying diamond kits this fall. We love to turn on music or an audiobook and put these kits together. (They are very relaxing, and addicting, for me too 😆) If you have never heard of how these work, you are sticking small “diamonds” to the exact number-color combination on a sticky canvas/picture. You have a pen with a sticky tip to help you pick up the pieces and place them on the sticky canvas. Basically, like painting by number without painting. I thought it would be fun to buy a large diamond kit of the Christmas Nativity to leave on our table throughout December and work on together. We can turn on music, sip some hot cocoa, and work on this together whenever we want. When it is complete we plan to gift it to my mother-in-law for Christmas! I also purchased a few snowflake ornament diamond kits that my kids can give as gifts too.
If you have a lego lover and are using the Winter Nutcracker Bundle above, this might be fun to add to it also! I bought this Christmas Nutcracker lego set for my son as a gift for his hard work in the Nutcracker.
Everyday my kids have an independent reading time, about 30-45 minutes per day. For December I chose some fun Christmas chapter books they can read during this time each day. While my big kids read these, I spend time reading all our favorite Christmas picture books to my younger two. (I’ll have to share our favorite picture books in another post!)
My 4th grader daughter is an avid reader, so I grabbed her these 3 books to read during December for independent reading. Nutcracked by Susan Adrian, the Little House Christmas Treasury by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and The Never Girls: A Fairy’s Gift by Kiki Thorpe.
Those are the Christmas school plans for December and we are all so excited! Here is an example of how we will use all of that in our day:
Morning time– Advent Storybook: I will read them one page/story while they color the coordinating page.
School lessons– LA or Math lesson and a fun printable page from the Winter Bundle. (Switch LA or Math every other day.) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe lesson- any art project, notebook page, or activity we would like to do from the chapter we read the previous day.
Afternoon– Independent reading 30 minutes, rest of the afternoon free to play, diamond kit, craft more, bake, anything!
Evening– Nutcracker rehearsal or performance: Listen to the audiobook of The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe on the way to the theater.
I can’t wait to slow down and have most of our days open to relax and enjoy all the fun Christmas activities we want to do, without having to check the boxes in any curriculum. I hope this post gave you some great ideas of what you want to do in your homeschool, or ideas to save for next year. I pray you all have a peaceful and meaningful Christmas season together. These are the days we cherish the most!
P.S. Holiday Gift Guides!
These are some favorite things my kids have played with and loved for years, or a few things on their wish list this year! I hope this helps make your holiday shopping a little easier!