December has arrived! Consequently, the Thanksgiving break you just had is fresh on everyone’s minds. You’re ready for a long winter’s nap. And you are not alone! This time of year is ideal for slowing down, creating memories and traditions. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be an exception to this rule. It’s time to explore cultures, customs, and celebrations! Whether you’re staying home or traveling during the holidays, there is something for you to learn.
To begin, consider why people say “happy holidays” and dive right into that concept for December homeschool. Regardless of your religious affiliation, December is an educational gold mine. It’s a time to learn what holidays others are celebrating worldwide. The last few weeks of the year are packed with culture, diversity, and enrichment. There’s so much to learn!
Tried and tested December homeschool
Firstly, print a blank calendar. There are a lot of websites to choose from that provide blank, printable calendar templates.
Next, search online for “December Global Holidays” or something similar, and add them to your calendar. Whether you do this with your little learners, or without is up to you. You’ll be surprised how quickly the dates fill up. Also, you’ll be surprised how quickly interest too is piqued as you go.
Next, research. Many of these December holidays have symbols, objects and recipes that are traditional to them. Although you can find all the information you need online, pencil in a trip to the library on your calendar. Obviously, the library is an excellent idea for a homeschool field trip.
After that, decide which holidays you’ll focus on. Whether you choose one, a few, or all of them, you’ll learn a lot. Tie in geography, politics, history, and creative writing etc along the way. Furthermore, do some family history research and discover your own heritage. What, how, and where would your ancestors have celebrated? Discover their legacy and introduce your kids to them.
Delve deeper into your own beliefs and family practices. There is a lot to learn!
December holidays and celebrations to explore
Again, many holidays are celebrated globally during December. In a quick online search, these celebrations came up:
Saint Nicholas Day
Feast of Our Lady Guadalupe
Yule / Winter Solstice
Saint Stephen’s Day
Holy Innocents Day
December homeschool strategy
During December, I adopt a relaxed approach to homeschooling. We get cozy, and our pace slows. As kids get older, we dive deeper into these holidays whilst revisiting this unit study.
It’s easy to forget but reading together, following instructions, baking, crafting, looking at an atlas, playing games, etc., all involve significant lessons. Even though they’re having fun, they are indeed learning. This is something I remind myself of periodically.
Furthermore, kids learn that there are other ways of thinking. Everyone is different, and there is more than one way to celebrate your beliefs. That is a profound concept with global citizenship at its core. Ultimately, knowledge is empowering. That’s a gift worth giving. In addition, what we learn from our kids by giving them access to these learning opportunities is priceless.
Read the PBS article How to Teach Children About Cultural Awareness and Diversity here.
Finding the right homeschool resources
You’re not a guru. The good news is, you don’t have to know everything, or even anything, about these holidays, to explore them. As a result, immersing yourself in a topic and learning together is one of the unique perks of the homeschool lifestyle.
Compile your holiday list, see what books are available, print worksheets, and gather ingredients for any recipes. Invite family and friends to share their traditions. Create a questionnaire and ask questions about holidays they observe. Connect with others.
Resources are readily available. That is to say, websites dedicated to a specific topic are full of reliable information. Not to mention, they’re easily accessible to you. For example, learning about Saint Nicholas? Check out the Saint Nicholas website: www.stnicholascenter.org. Interested in Advent? Christianity.com has that covered. Go to the source of these practices and customs.
Use Youtube for educational videos and to hear traditional songs. Also, keep an atlas on hand to look up locations as horizons are broadened. Are audiobooks part of your homeschool? December is a wonderful month to immerse yourself in some festive stories.
To sum up, embrace diversity and culture within your December homeschool. It’s the most wonderful time of year! The education we give our kids is important; this is when they learn compassion, empathy, and kindness – the greatest gifts of all. December is an opportunity to look outward no matter the curriculum.
Does your homeschool strategy change during December?
How do you incorporate other cultures into your lessons?