Thursday, November 3, 2016

Christmas Comes to America (Homeschool Review Crew)

 It’s almost here! I’m talking about Christmas. Part of me can’t wait to drag out all the baubles and decoration. Then there is the other part that about had a hissy after the poles directed in candy cane stripes at the local Wal-mart.

However, being a homeschooling momma means that I have to be ahead my game. This is why I was thrilled to review a Once-a-Week Unit Study:Christmas Comes to America from Homeschool Legacy.

I received a PDF download of the book. It is 45 pages of fun! I do admit that I enjoy a good Unit Study. I’ve reviewed couple of fabulous ones from Homeschool Legacy before. This time around I had some great Once-a-Week Micro-Studies to choose from, as well as the Christmas Comes to America study.

·         Pirates or Privateers: You Decide 
·         Victoria and Her World
·         Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims 
·         Many Nations 

The Micro-Studies are exactly what they sound like. They are short and fast, yet cover the information thoroughly. I simply couldn’t make up my mind, so I asked to review the Christmas study and went and purchased Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but the holidays are filled with one party, one obligation, and one event after another. This year I’m going into the season with a plan of attack. My family will be fed. We will enjoy the season AND we will still learn.

Christmas Comes to America is one of those Unit Studies that is great for all ages. As I have only one child, schooling multiple children is never really an issue for us. However, I know that there are many who have to take different ages and stages of development into consideration. This Unit Study is intended for grades 2-12. 

Another benefit with using the Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy is that they are compatible with Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girl badge earning activities.

The Once-a-Week Unit Studies are user/homeschool mom friendly.  Here is what makes them different from other Unit Studies.

Here is a screenshot of the suggested schedule. I've chopped some of it off, but you can see that isn't a time-intensive study. 

Okay. On to the Christmas Comes to America!

 My Thoughts

Christmas Comes to America explores how early settlers of America brought their own Christmas customs and traditions with them to their new home. Many of these traditions carried on into how we celebrate today. A common theme among all these countries was the tradition of the gift giver. Of course, Sharon emphasizes our heavenly Father as the true "Gift Giver." 

Week 1- The Dutch
This week we read Isaiah's prophecy concerning John the Baptist. We are encouraged to learn more about The Real Santa Clause. There is gifts to made! Hot chocolate mix and homemade marshmallows! Did you know that it was a Dutchman, Conraad Johannes Van Houten, who patented the process of extracting cocoa from the cocoa bean in the 1800's? Thank you, Conraad. 

Week 2 - The English
This week we get to make wassail and make Christmas cards! We talk about some of the more recognizable Christmas carols. The family Christmas movie I have on my list is The Muppet Christmas Carol! 

Week 3 - The Germans
Here we learn about proper concert going etiquette . We also get to make Gingerbread houses. Our devotions centers around Gabriel coming to Joseph. There is also a nice bit of trivia about Martin Luther and the Christmas tree! 

Week 4 - An American Christmas
This week I have The Best Christmas Pageant Ever on our read aloud list. We also get to string popcorn and list to the best of American Christmas Music! 

One of the best things about Homeschool Legacy is that the author, Sharon Gibson, gives a wonderful library list. Not only does she list the book and the author, but she provides the library number.
Because we just moved, I initially went through and marked off the books and movies I knew we already had. For example, I have several copies of The Christmas Carol (included an audio drama) and lots of the recommended Christmas movies. Then, I did take advantage of a few books that were 1 cent on Amazon so I would be prepared.

Unit Studies are great for incorporating all the subjects and this one is no exception. 

These activities require little or no preparation. There is some cooking involved, but these were things we like to make at Christmastime anyway.

One of my favorite parts of the study are the family devotions. While the study does talk about some of our traditions that have more pagan origins, it is wonderful to move the emphasis back to the Reason for the Season. I personally don’t have any issue with celebrating the fun and whimsical side of Christmas…as long as we are worshiping the One True King all the days of the year.

Another favorite is the emphasis placed on music and concerts this time of year. I am going to begin scouring the papers and websites for any local concerts, but we are also provided a wonderful list of musical selections to look for.

There is also a great list of fun Christmas memories to make in the back of the ebook. Some of these things we already do; like allowing Josiah to pick out a special ornament or taking a drive around to see the Christmas lights (complete with a thermos of hot chocolate!). Others I am going to add to our list. I want to host a Christmas Open House and find a fun Christmas puzzle to work on all through the season.

What I like BEST is that all of these wonderful activities are planned for me. I don't have to research or plan. I just get to have a relaxed and easy homeschooled Christmas. 

You can connect with Homeschool Legacy via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews! 

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}
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