Friday, November 7, 2008

Eight Ways to Enhance Any Language Arts Homeschool Curriculum at Christmas Time

(Illustration by Susan R. Smith)

1. Make up a story to tell your children over a period of days or weeks during the month of December. Swiss Family Robinson began as a series of stories that Johann David Wyss told his children bit by bit, each night at bedtime. As a parent, you can capture your children’s hearts and imagination with the retelling of the Christmas story and stories of your childhood Christmas memories.

2. The Long, Long Christmas Book Train. Around the ceiling in your homeschool room, put a large construction paper red or green train car each time your children finishes a book in December. Challenge your children to read enough books in December to make the caboose and engine meet or fill up a whole wall! When the Christmas train goal is met, throw a Christmas train themed party with another homeschool family.

3. Name that Christmas “Stuffie.” Give each of your children a $1 small stuffed animal or “stuffie” for your December homeschool mascot. Spend an hour thinking of names for your Christmas “stuffie.” Each child makes up their own list of 20 or 50 creative “Yuletide-themed” names, depending on the child’s age. Then, have them eliminate names and come up with their most favorite.

4. “Read to me by Skype.” Have an older homeschool student, cousin, aunt, or grandpa skype or telephone each day during December and read your younger child a Christmas theme story. If you have older children, have them call up a younger homeschooler each weekday in December and read to them.

5. Don’t get out of your regular Library habit. Your children could easily stay home during busy days and use the internet, but they also need to visit the library in person. Stay and read at tables. Do a Christmas craft, if offered. Gaze and gawk. Dawdle through the aisles.

6. Writing enhances reading. Reading also enhances writing. There are many opportunities for a child to write around the “Holy-Days.” The lost art of letter writing can be found again, when your kids write letters to each relative.

7. What you do; not just what you say. Even during the busy month of December, Mom and dad need to read each day to set the “reading is important” example.

8. Cereal Book Club. During December invite some homeschool friends over to your home for a Cereal (Serial) Book Club. Each child brings a box of their favorite healthy cereal to share and a copy of an assigned book in a certain series with the topic of winter or Christmas. Each child shares the book’s name, two amazing facts about it, and reads their two favorite pages of the book aloud. Encourage all the children to finish the other books in the “cerealies” (series).

By Cheryl Moeller

Cheryl is also the author, along with her daughter, Melissa of the book,
Baby Saves Christmas, juvenile fiction with homeschool characters.

Cheryl has also written a curriculum (that's only $3.00) for preschoolers called

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