Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Christmas lesson plans

My lesson plans are starting to come together for December.  We have about 20 children's books for Christmas, but I will only be concentrating on a few of them formally.  For the little ones, I will be doing four literature-based unit studies based on the theory of FIAR but only taking two or three days for each book.  We will be doing The legend of the Poinsettia by Tomi dePaola, Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto, The Legend of the Candy Cane, by Lori Walburg, and The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg.  I was able to find unit studies already prepared on the Internet for all of these books.  They are  here and here.

I also plan on concentrating on Sandra Claus by Douglas Clark Hollman.  Although we do not do Santa Claus in our family, this book does a nice job dealing with adoption issues and questions that my little ones might have.  I like to throw in an adoption book here and there into our regular reading to give them lots of opportunities to talk about their feelings openly.

Another book that I love is The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado.  This book is wonderful, because it is about a little crippled lamb that can not keep up with the flock and must stay in the stable for the night.  He is very sad that he is left out and an old cow says, "Don't worry, Joshua, God has a special place for you."  Indeed, He does.  The crippled lamb lies next to the baby Jesus to keep him warm.  I love this book and then talking to my children about how they, as we all do, have a special place with God.  God does not make mistakes and my children's disabilities, as seen by us here on Earth, are just part of God's plan.

We will also concentrate on The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciehowski, which does a lovely job of explaining the miracle of doing for others.  As we do service for others, our own burdens are lifted.  Through Jonathan Toomey's work on making a nativity, his world is slowly opened and his burdens lifted.  We will read this several times during the month, including the night that we put up our nativity.  I find that this book helps decrease "the wanties" that commercialized America has bestowed upon our children.

In addition, we will be doing a mini one-day unit study on hot chocolate and making little one-serving jars for our elderly neighbors.  This is a great way for the kids to give to others and be able to deliver their gifts in person. 

We will also do lots of fun science and art projects about Christmas and winter in general. 

The big teen will take part in some of our science and art projects and be reading and writing a creative essay or book reviews on The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, The Shoemaker's Gift: A Russian Tale, and Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti. Hopefully I can find the CD of Amahl and the Night Visitors that is missing somewhere in my house.  He is also busy rehearsing for the church Christmas play.  He is the angel Gabriel this year.

Well, that is the general plan.  I am sure things will be added and subtracted as we go along.



  1. Can I please use your lesson plans? JK but really, where did you find the online lesson plans for the little ones? I love what you came up with. I am trying to be a little more hands on global and less formal. It is a difficult step for me to make on many levels. Thanks for sharing.

  2. All your books sound great! I might have to try to find some of them!

    A unit on Hot chocolate how awesome! I love that! Hey, I have a delicious and easy crockpot recipe here


    You could put this in the crockpot while you make up your powder mixes and it would be ready for you to enjoy at the end of your unit!

    Have fun!

  3. I love your ideas. I have not sat down yet and made a plan for December just vague ideas. I might try to find some of the books you mentioned. Hope you have a wonderful month. :)


  4. The lesson plans at your house always sound like such fun. I love the way your kids wanted to do school on Thanksgiving. Mine were happy to have a day off!


  5. Some of those books sound great!

    By the way, how cool that you saw the gingerbread houses too! My in-laws pastor a church in Marion, so I'm in that area often. If I had known, we could have met!

  6. These sound like great plans! I too may have to check out some of those books, and the hot chocolate unit...mmmmm yummy:)


  7. We have some of those books and they are good!



  8. We just read Legend of the Poinsettia. What a beautiful story. My little ones were captivated. They had never noticed poinsettias before. I can't wait for the next time they see one to get their reaction.

    Merry Christmas,


  9. I'm finally catching up! I've wanted to tell you how much I loved your post about Mother Culture. I read A Charlotte Mason Companion before I homeschooled, back when I had just one child. I have to say that I appreciate the whole concept of Mother Culture much more now than I did then! :) I realized that I only read books about adoption or special diets or special needs. I love those books, but I miss reading "lighter" books, too!

    I've gotten some great ideas for school from your blog. Thanks so much!

    I wanted to say more, but the kiddos are in high gear! lol

    Have a great weekend!


  10. as you have so many good ideas. I might pick up the book the Legend of the Poinsettia as a read aloud while we are on the road... We will be away for 3 weeks! I hope to keep blogging though while out of town.

    May this be blessed and Spirit-filled season to you and your family!



  11. Wow. You are so organized. Those all sound great. We have The Crippled Lamb. I love that book, and the pictures in it. I wish some of your ambition and organization would rub off on me. : )


  12. We read Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, tonight.

    Max Lucado writes beautiful books.

    A good list you have put together!