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What Does a Christmas Unit Study Look Like?


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Many years ago I decided that for a few reasons, school had to “look different” around the holidays. For one, the kids were just too antsy; for another, I had too much preparation to do!

how to build a christmas unit study

Rather than just take all that time off (and thus make our school year stretch longer into the summer), I’d take a look at incorporating our family’s holiday prep with school.  Thus was born my Christmas Unit Study!

This has now become our favorite time of the school year.

Christmas is probably the easiest holiday and/or theme around which to start creating a unit study. Here are some subject areas and activities you can use to give your kids some practical applications:

math ~ baking/cooking, figuring postage, budgeting

language arts ~ Christmas word games; holiday-related vocabulary lists, word-searches; journaling holiday activities, reading holiday literature

research skills ~ any type of research: family traditions, music/art/literature of the season, celebrations in other countries

science ~ weather-related studies, the solar system, water cycle and climates

fine arts ~ researching music/paintings of the season, attendance at holiday performances; learning carols/music, decorating, making ornaments, gifts or cards

history/Social Studies/geography ~ traditions in other lands, researching music/paintings of the season, Middle East/countries referred to in the Bible’s Christmas narrative

life skills ~ volunteering, budgeting, all Christmas preparations

My unit study was broken up into 15 days, giving us 3 weeks of school and 1 week off between Christmas and New Year’s. Because our family celebrates Christmas as part of our Christian faith, each day had a Biblical Focus, where we located and read either a Messianic prophecy from the Old Testament or a New Testament portion about Jesus’ birth.  Math lessons centered around shopping, baking, budgeting or postage, and when there was not a practical application scheduled, they did a lesson from their workbook.  Easily included each day was a Fine Arts and Life Skills activity as well, which included helping get presents wrapped and mailed, sending out Christmas cards, and community or church volunteer work.

I realized that by becoming part of the family’s Christmas preparations, and putting the emphasis on helping others, the kids were learning very valuable life skills! Each day wrapped up with a science and history/social studies/geography activity; followed by “seasonal” reading and journaling, or diary-writing.

By taking the time to find the educational value of our activities, the kids also come to realize that all of life is and can be a learning opportunity when approached the right way. The bonus to everyone is that mommy stays sane and happy, so we’re all able to enjoy Christmas!

If you’re new to the concept of unit studies and want to try this one on for size, please contact me and request a FREE copy of the day-by-day activities and schedule I use for my Christmas Unit Study. It’s in a convenient PDF format, so it’s easy to download and print out. No strings attached! Just shoot us an email, and ask for the FREE Christmas Unit Study…

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Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
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4 Responses to What Does a Christmas Unit Study Look Like?

  1. Su Ann October 13, 2015 at 5:27 am #

    Morning! I am trying to use the email link to request the Christmas Unit Study and it won’t work. Help! thx

    • Pat October 13, 2015 at 7:20 am #

      Good morning, SuAnn!
      Thanks for requesting the Unit Study…check your email ;-)!!!
      Have a great Christmas, and enjoy preparing for the holidays…

  2. Mrs. AOK October 8, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    Your Christmas unit study sounds like fun! I actually has a similar plan last year when I homeschooled.

    • Pat October 13, 2015 at 7:21 am #

      Really? I’d love to hear what other activities you included!!!

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