How to Turn Holiday Chaos into Learning

dad and daughter

As the holidays approach, anticipation bubbles up. This time of year is usually one of the best times of year for your children. Their anticipation often builds into something similar to hyperactive glee. While for us parents, what begins as anticipation and a well-made plan can quickly turn into chaos and a feeling of being completely overwhelmed.

But wait. Now throw in the responsibilities of homeschool. It’s a lot!

This year use holiday preparations and activities as learning experiences for your children. Turn them into hands-on homeschool projects to support math, history, science, art and Christian charity.

1. Your nativity scene: it’s history.

Remind your children of the true meaning of Christmas by setting up the nativity scene together. Then, let the activity serve as a hands-on history lesson: Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem, who was King Herod and what’s a Magi? There’s so many talking points about what life was like during Biblical times. For older students, these touch points can lend themselves into deeper discussions and lessons surrounding the ancient civilizations of the period before and after Jesus’ birth. (History, Bible)

2. Baking is science, cooking is art.

Chemistry is the interaction between ingredients. Art is the flavor: a splash of this, a dash of that. There are lessons to be learned. Take the core principles and showcase them at work in a setting where measurements and mixtures are paramount. There’s the application of heat, for instance, and its effect on solids and liquids. Heat transforms pourable cake batter into a solid form that’s firm enough to support icing and other edible decor. What interactions make this so? (Art & Science)

3. A lesson in Christian charity.

Charity is at the heart of our Christian faith. Use the Christmas season to involve your children in the act of giving. It’s important to look up from the demands of the season, to reorient and see behind the walls of your home and your own circle of loved ones. Who in

your community is in need? How can you help? What little bit can your family do to be charitable to those around you who are struggling to find the peace and joy that’s celebrated during this Christmas season? (Bible)

4. Christmas shopping starts with math.

Without math, we can’t budget for the gifts we’ll need using the money we have. And that’s a lesson in personal finance and responsibility. Don’t work in a silo. Let your child be a part of creating your Christmas gift budget. Together, make your Christmas shopping list, identify gift ideas and start applying your budget. Let your children do the math, see how the total shakes out and adjust purchases and price points accordingly.

Then, fold in the critical thinking component. What does staying within budget mean for the larger parameters of your family’s finances? How does this exercise benefit family needs and expenditures after the holidays? (Math)

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