When my children were younger, from Thanksgiving through the New Year we’d put away the regular textbooks and enjoy Christmas School. Christmas School covered all the basics, just with a Christmas theme.
Every year we’d listen to and watch A Christmas Carol. My favorite reading of this Dickens classic was done by Patrick Stewart. Although Patrick Stewart has starred in many, many movies and television series in his career, his solo rendition of A Christmas Carol really made the most of his Shakespearean beginnings. As he reads this timeless tale, his accent and his effortless way of moving between characters bring the story to life without any need for visuals.
Over the years, we’ve probably watched and critiqued every movie adaptation of A Christmas Carol as well, including the ancient musical one starring Mr. Magoo. My husband is partial to Bill Murray’s Scrooged, but I like tradition. Give me Patrick Stewart or George C. Scott any day!
Another fun Christmas activity is to learn about traditions. Why do we decorate with poinsettias? Why do some people put candles in the window? And what’s with the pickle ornament? Along with learning how to do the research to answer these questions, we learned a lot of geography and history. Because we could never agree on which tradition to study, we wrote the traditions on little scraps of paper, folded them up, and tossed them in a jar. When we wanted a study topic, someone would reach into the jar and off we’d go! We’d research, map, summarize, and write our information. And, of course, there’d be a fun art project to go with each one!
During Christmas School, math always involved food. We’d double and triple cookie recipes. We’d calculate how much food we needed when guests visited. And Jared would open his “candy store” each year a learn how to count money and make change.
I miss Christmas School. Colleen is a senior in high school, and Jared is in middle school now; so, our lesson plans have to be a little more rigid these days. Doubling the chocolate chip cookie recipe is old news. In fact, they both could probably rattle the recipe off the top of their heads without even thinking about it. Well, if I can't do Christmas School, I can at least write about it!
Thanks for stopping by! Are you having trouble sticking to your normal curriculum this time of year? I have a friend whose school year runs from January to October with “summer break” falling at the holidays. How smart is that?!! What do you do for school this time of year?
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,