It’s that time of year when the magic of Christmas meets the requirements of homeschool and I attempt to find enchanting ways to bring them together.
Perhaps I could teach lessons while wearing Christmas antlers, but I haven’t bought a pair….yet.
In the meantime, here are some ideas we are trying this season:
December Homeschooling: Games
We add a few new board games to our game collection every December. In the past, we opened one a week, but this year I just pulled them both out right at the start.
This year we added Pandemic, Ticket to Ride: Europe, and a new set of Exploding Kittens.
Pandemic was brand new for our family and it presents quite a cooperative challenge. My 11-year-old son has enjoyed it immensely and we continue to attempt new strategies.
Ticket to Ride: Europe is our second Ticket to Ride game and we enjoyed the new twists in this version. Unlike the USA version, this one has tunnels, ferry routes, and train stations. Each one contributes a new challenge to the game.
Exploding Kittens is one of our favorites so we needed a new pack of cards. Our old set makes it too easy to cheat. We all recognize the bends and folds in the Exploding Kittens cards. We added this to our Imploding Kittens set and the Streaking Kittens set is going to find its way into a stocking this year.
December Homeschooling: Literature
I love selecting a book, science topic, or historical time period for our family to dive into together. The truth is that it doesn’t happen often now that I have kids from high school to elementary school. It isn’t easy to find a topic we can all focus on together.
This year we decided to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I am reading it out loud to my younger three kids while my oldest is reading it to herself. My 8th grader is also reading the Graphic Novel version as part of her year of graphic novels.
We are using the Brave Writer Boomerang Guide to guide our study and discussion this month in addition to the following books and movies as resources:
We also purchased tickets to a musical, comedy performance downtown one night. I love when our entire family is studying the same topic and it comes together so nicely.
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December Homeschooling: Art
We have dabbled in the Winter Wonderland Mixed Media Workshop course, completing new projects this year. One of our favorites has been the watercolor ornaments. My daughter and I had a great time working on the ornaments and the Mixed Media Christmas tree.
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After seeing her art, my sons spent about 1.5 hours painting with me as they worked on their own ornament paintings. My 11-year-old enjoyed it enough that he was inspired to create more on his own.
We’ll continue working through several other art projects over the winter months, but is fun to focus on the Christmas themed ones for now.
We also own two Chalk Pastel art video lessons that we will continue working on this year. There are a few lessons that we haven’t tried as well as a few favorites to complete again with new twists.
I also joined Creative Bug and am looking forward to trying this watercolor card course. There are so many classes, including one to make a wreath with post-it notes (below), so I am sure I’ll find plenty to dabble in.
Yes. I am an art dabbler.
December Schooling: Christmas Carol lessons
This will be the first time this year that we have used our SQUILT lessons again. Last year we enjoyed the Modern Era and we haven’t made time for music lessons yet this year.
But that changes this month.
We are going to use the next two weeks to explore Volume 1 of our Christmas Carol bundle.
Volume 1 includes lessons for the following carols:
- Carol of the Bells
- Away in a Manger
- The Little Drummer Boy
- Angels We Have Heard on High
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel
These lessons are open and go so I will be ready to get started on Monday. Normally we would spend more time on each carol, but I am aiming for exposure so we will move quickly and look at 1 carol each day. Thankfully, my kids are fairly familiar with these songs.
December Schooling: Memory Making
We have made plenty of space for friends and fun this season. These activities vary from year to year, but it is important for my kids to have space for additional time with friends.
We’ve made sure to find time for:
- sleepovers with friends
- Ice skating
- art project days with friends
- our favorite dessert place (this one is for my birthday)
- art and craft sale
- mall photo scavenger hunt with friends
- decorating together
- baking our favorites
- Advent dinners each Sunday
- Great Wolf Lodge trip (first time we are doing this in the month of December)
- visiting light displays in the area
- family movie night
- fortnite fun (though this really does happen daily)
We like to do a few things that are out of the ordinary, even if they are simple.
December Schooling: Picture Books
I request lots of picture books about winter and Christmas from the library this month. Then I curl up with my boys (and anyone else interested) to read a few each day.
This isn’t a luxury we have during the year as often as we used to, so I make sure to make time for it this month.
I wrote a list of 100 Winter Picture books that I am using to make my library requests if you are interested in a few titles.
What will homeschooling look like for you in December?
Still shopping for gifts?