What is the best part of homeschooling in December? What is your favourite Christmas tradition? What is your best time-saving trick for Christmas? What do you do to keep your focus Christ-centered in the midst of the busyness?
The best part of homeschooling in December is that you don't have to do it. 🙂 We finish the 12 weeks of our first "semester" by the first week in December and then toss the official stuff until after New Year's. We can then work hard at keeping the anticipation and focus Christ-centred. We do an inductive advent study every evening and make ornaments for our Jesse Tree. Our time-saving tips for Christmas are to start early and take it slowly. With school work out of the way, we have time to bake a little bit every day or two. We have time to make ornaments and decorations for the tree that give it a homey feel and there's always time to talk while baking and doing crafts. This also gives us time to make Christmas gifts with meaning and keeps us out of the madness of the stores. And while we work, it's always nice to put on Christmas music (like Handel's Messiah) and call it music appreciation. 🙂
This year we are trying to bring our Victorian era study into our Christmas holidays as much as possible. We are planning on building a gingerbread Victorian village, making Victorian ornaments for the tree, as well as Victorian crafts and gifts for everyone. To stay Christ centered throughout the season, we try to really remember the reason for the season, make as much as possible as opposed to buying, and by staying out of the stores the closer we get, the more we can remember the reason why we are celebrating such a treasured holiday. I have also encouraged the kids this year to choose one special gift to make for each sibling, something that takes time and shows the heart put into it.
Our favourite traditions continue to be our Nativity Night where we invite believers and non-believers to dramatize/improvise the Christmas story. The neighbours love it and it is usually the only time many of them hear the true story of Christmas. We also have a time of sharing the reality of what that means today. We love to go carolling in the neighbourhood with a group of friends and neighbours. Just last year we went to feed the homeless on Christmas Eve. That was incredible. We hope to be involved again this Christmas. Time savers...my daughter writes our Christmas letter. This year her brother will add a bit and we are doing that by way of a blog.
One of my favourite traditions is that we have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve and sing Happy Birthday to Him. One new thing we are trying is making homemade calendars for the grandparents for Christmas. We will create art appropriate for each month, then each calendar will be put together with a mixture of art from each child. If it works as well as I hope it does, it will become an annual tradition! We have an Advent wreath and a daily devotional book we do to help keep our home Christ-centered. We are also trying a Jesse tree this year
From the December 2009 NLHS newsletter
"Clip art from PicGifs.com"