Learning Christmas with Countdowns

countdownfull_thumb%255B1%255DAre you extra busy this time of year?  We are!  Our calendar is filled with Christmas program rehearsals, a holiday workshop, caroling, and parties.  We’re decorating, crafting and baking.  And of course, there’s light displays to drive by, extra shopping, and gifts to wrap and deliver.  Oh yeah, there’s homeschool lessons, too.

Not only are we counting the days down until Christmas, we’re counting the days left in our semester.  I know some homeschooling families that take off the month of December, as nice as that sounds, it isn’t for us. We keep on learning through December, and we have about two more weeks of homeschooling before we’ll be ready for a break .   However, with the added busy-ness, regular lessons won’t give us the time we need to pursue the activities that make this time of year so special.

Below are  the online links to Advent and Christmas countdowns that we are using for quick lessons that are helping us check off our daily subjects.  Not only have the kids been liking these (probably because it’s extra computer time and the studies are short), I like them too.  It’s wonderful to have a break in lesson planning and to devote my “teacher time” to all the activities December brings.  It’s fun knowing that we have surprises waiting for us to learn about each morning.  And since these resources are brief, we have the afternoons for all those extras.

For Bible references and a little related trivia each day until Christmas – http://www.jamtrust.org/resources/adventcalendar/AdventCalendar.html

Learn Something “Christmassy” every day for 25 days  –  http://www.whychristmas.com/adventcalendar/

Countdown with Math –  secondary grade levels (6-12)  –  http://nrich.maths.org/11330

Countdown with Math – primary grade levels (1-5)  –  http://nrich.maths.org/11078

For Science, a Chemistry Countdown  –  http://www.compoundchem.com/2014advent/

Unlock a New Game Each Day Until Christmas  –  http://www.noradsanta.org/

World Geography and Cultures  – Read about Christmas traditions around the world  (We used this as a study link last year and it’s great!)  –  http://projectbritain.com/Xmas/calendar/index.html

Liverpool Museum has a historic display to share each day – http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/christmas/advent/

I hope you enjoy your final learning days until the holiday break.  I wish you Merry Christmas Homeschooling!

betty jo



Learning Resources for Special Days in December


With it being already the 2nd of December, I thought I’d go ahead and post the learning resources for part of December.  I’m quite behind with getting it finished due to Thanksgiving, decorating, and designing our Christmas studies.  I’ll update as I can, but at least this gives us a start on December’s special days learning.

For the list of Special Days in December  http://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/11/26/special-days-in-december-2014/

Random Acts of Kindness Calendar (these suggestions won’t require much planning or cost much)  – http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/random-acts-christmas-kindness-printable-advent-calendar/

December Prayer Calendar –  https://cherilynngamble.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/december-2014-prayer-calendar-for-children/

Daily Writing Prompts –  Learning Resources for December’s Special Days


Wonderful list of December resources and activity ideas  http://www.franw.com/2013/12/december-activities.html

This is my collection of Advent resources from last year.  Each one of these helped make everyday until Christmas more special  http://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/12/06/countdown-to-christmas/

Also this time last year we studied Christmas traditions from around the world.  It was an awesome study.  We used these resources  http://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/?s=melting+pot

President’s with birthdays in December

  • Dec. 5 – Martin Van Buren born 1782
  • Dec. 28 – Woodrow Wilson born 1856
  • Dec. 29 – Andrew Johnson born 1808

December has several important historic events -

  • Slavery and Abolition (Dec. 2)
  • California Gold Rush (Gold discovered at Sutter’s Mill Dec. 5 1848)
  • Bill of Rights (Dec. 15)
  • Boston Tea Party (Dec. 16)
  •  Battle of Wounded Knee (Dec. 29)

These are topics for educational films found here  http://www.havefunwithhistory.com/HistorySubjects/index.html

December’s Daily Specials

Dec. 2 – Missionary Mary Slessor born 1848 – Find a biography suitable for most any reading level  http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/biorpslessor.html

Dec. 2 – CT Studd born 1860  Pick one of these biographies to read  http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/biorpstudd.html

Dec. 6 – Mitten Tree Day – Read the delightful story here  http://www.wegivebooks.org/books/the-mitten   Then donate a pair of gently used or new mittens to a clothing charity.  Also, if you have any mixed matched mittens (I know we do)  don’t toss them, use them for these cute mitten puppets  http://craftsbyamanda.com/2014/03/easy-mitten-puppets.html

Dec. 6 – St. Nicholas Day  –  Biography, Traditions, Games, and Stories  http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/home/

Dec. 7 – Letter Writing Day – How to Write Christmas Letters and Printables  http://www.blessedbeyondadoubt.com/write-christmas-letters-free-templates/

Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 1941 —  Interactive timeline and map  http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/multimedia/interactive/pearl-harbor/?ar_a=1

Dec. 9 – Petrified Forest National Park established 1962 –  http://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm

Dec. 11 – Northern Lights Recorded for First Time 1719 –  http://www.kidsastronomy.com/Aurora_article.php

Dec. 12 – Poinsettia Day – Make some out of paper tubes, paint, glue, and glitter  http://craftklatchwithmona.blogspot.com/2012/11/christmas-flower-ornament-recycling.html

Dec. 16 – Missionary Amy Carmichael born 1867  Read her biography  http://www.faith2share.net/Mission/Missionaries/AmyCarmichael/tabid/275/language/en-GB/Default.aspx

Dec. 17 – Missionary Isobel Kuhn   Read a short biography about her http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1901-2000/the-kuhns-rainy-season-bible-school-11630767.html

So that’s it for today, but check back later in the month for the rest.  Enjoy your December learning and remember to make every day special!

betty jo

How Holidays Are Made and Other Christmas Science Lessons

Betty Jo:

As I was preparing our Christmas season lesson plans, I checked this post from last year to see what I already had and WOW! There’s several we didn’t cover last year. This is going to make it easy. All the links seem to still be working.

Originally posted on Still Learning Something New:


Our Christmas studies have been going well.  We’ve been covering Christmas themed Bible, social studies, math, foreign language, music and language arts lessons since the beginning of December.  However,  science studies have been lacking.  For our final week of learning of the semester, we’ll be focusing on science but will still be keeping our Christmas theme.

How It’s Made is a science discovery site which features short videos.  Here your family can watch how glass ornaments, artificial trees, yule logs, skis, nutcrackers and other holiday related items are made.  http://science.discovery.com/tv-shows/how-its-made/videos/holiday.htm

Made How is a “new to me” site.  While exploring there, I found helpful articles  explaining the background, materials, design, and manufacturing of  popular holiday items.  This site doesn’t have an index or search bar, so I’ve linked to each item individually below.

Candles  http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Candle.html

Bells http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Bell.html

Artificial Snow  http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Artificial-Snow.html

Fruit Cake http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Fruitcake.html

Model Trains  http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Model-Train.html

Glass Ornaments  http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Glass-Ornament.html


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