Tag Archive | A Very Shiny Christmas

Christmas In Our Homeschool

We have always based a lot of our curriculum around the seasons and holidays and Christmas has always been a month long unit for our family. This year I took a bit of a different approach. While the little ones still did the group binder with its worksheets, drawings and colouring pages the twins were in charge of their OWN notebook. Surprisingly enough, with some whining and complaining we still managed a project that we ALL feel proud of. Lots of independent mini reports were written up and even ideas of things to paste in their books on their own were brought forth!

Of course I have a long list of resources and I am going to share them for my benefit as well as others… Movies first!

  • the Muppet Christmas Carol, I found a great worksheet set thanks to IPA Productions that deals with the original story for the twins that tied in nicely with the movie. We used the movie as an accessible medium to introduce the story and then they read the condensed version in these worksheets HERE. There is a cute colouring page for the movie HERE from Coloring Wallpapers.
  • Veggie Tales – Saint Nicholas, A Story of Joyful Giving
  • Veggie Tales – It’s a Meaningful Life
  • Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Books! (sorry no links… but hopefully with name and author you can stumble upon them… this post is simply too late as is!)

  • The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Demi. This was a great introduction the origins of Santa without ruining the magic for anyone as the book ends with the tradition being continued on after Saint Nicholas’ passing by a boy in the village who was chosen to continue his work.
  • Christmas by Trudi Strain Trueit
  • Christmas Around the World by Emily Kelley. We love this book, each of the twins chose THREE countries and summarized the traditions they have into on brief paragraph that I spell checked and then they copied into their notebooks.
  • Christmas by Natalie M. Rosinsky
  • O Christmas Tree by Jacqueline Farmer
  • Christmas by Alice K. Flanagan
  • Celebrate Christmas by Deborah Heiligman
  • A Short History of Christmas by Sally Lee
  • Merry Christmas Everywhere! by Arlene Erlbach and Herb Erlbach
  • Twelve Days of Christmas in Minnesota by Constance Van Hoven
  • Christmas Traditions Around the World by Ann Ingalls
  • Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett… this was a random mid unit find at the library. The art is AMAZING!
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
  • The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
  • What Star is This? by Joseph Slate
  • City of Snow, The Great Blizzard of 1888 by Linda Oatman High
  • The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • A Child Was Born by Grace Maccarone
  • The Heron Christmas Carol by Frances Tyrrell
  • My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
  • What is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams
  • The Christmas Story by Jane Werner
  • A Very Shiny Christmas by Debbie Guy-Christiansen
  • A Pussycat’s Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Santa’s Snow Cat by Sue Stainton
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Shook Hazen
  • Santa is Coming to Texas by Steve Smallman
  • A Porcupine in a Pine Tree by Helaine Becker
  • Christmas Is… by Gail Gibbon
  • A Kenyan Christmas by Tony Johnston
  • The Nutcracker by Bethany Snyder
  • The Gingerbread Man by Dawn Bentley
  • Recordable storybooks read by Gammie – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Night Before Christmas
  • And a lovely British book mailed by a friend of Favourite Christmas Stories from Brown Watson publishers

Hanukkah, while not the most important Jewish holiday IS the one closest to Christmas and the best known generally so we did cover it briefly. Here are our books.

  • Hanukkah by Rebecca Pettiford
  • Hanukkah Around the World by Tami Lehman-Wilzig
  • Hanukkah by Lisa M. Herrington
  • Chanukah Lights Everywhere by Michael J. Rosen

You can find some terrific printables on Teacher Vision HERE and a Hanukkah mini book thanks to Family Education HERE.

Of course we covered Polar Express, both the book and the movie. The little ones did parts of a lapbook I had purchased years previous but we supplemented with worksheets… pages from a party kit by Houghton Mifflin Books HERE, Scholastic.com had some resources HERE, and activities and lessons by Busy Teachers Cafe HERE.

  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

We covered a lovely range of topics from symbols to world traditions and including Santa Claus and reindeer. A supplementary fact page about reindeer HERE thanks to Kids Play and Create. I also have some resources I have acquired from Currclick:

  • The History of Candy Canes HERE. We also watched how candy canes were made on The Kid Should See This HERE
  • Christmas Symbols Lapbook HERE

Want a little info about Boxing Day? We got ours from Ducksters HERE.


I hope these links are helpful… late as they are posted!! IMAG1959

Reindeer for the Win

December 11-12

So the snow is still here, and the sunshine, and a laundry list of things to  get done… including multiple trips to the post office, library and stores… I look forward to not only finishing my Christmas shopping but my immigration collecting. Don’t get me started on the post and crossing customs… grrr…

NOW they want to live outside in the snow!

Though Emanuel and Trinity opted for educational games on the laptop I love PBSkids.com

Anyway… Reindeer… well a start on them! We had a great freebie from The Simple Homeschool. Ken read the kids portions of the booklet that came with and then they worked in pairs on some of the worksheets.

Working with Daddy

I got together everything we needed to make a candy cane reindeer like I did in grade school. We didn’t have the traditional colours of pom poms but I love the end result. In the meantime Trinity and Emanuel were more than willing to make a few more candy canes and help put all of them on the tree… with Echo assisting of course.

Proud decorators

Miss Echo assisting

Trinity and Emanuel worked on their colouring of reindeer… Education.com and Activity Village (both on right) have some great printables with our theme in mind.

Coloured by numbers!

Activity Village had a favourite Christmas themed video on their site for the 11th of December… who doesn’t love Christmas penguins???

Our book for the day? A boardbook from previous Christmases… A Very Shiny Christmas


The 12th is an interesting date… 12/12/12… we didn’t really do anything special for the day but it is interesting to note. Though a friend on Facebook had a good point in while this is the only time this date will exist in our lifetimes that ALL dates are the only dates in our lifetime… I slept well past noon as this cold and sore throat finally caught me up… BUT Ken had the kids busy finishing their foam creations. Houses and ornaments and all…


Then the boys were back out in the sun and snow working on their Igloo… it is becoming quite the structure. Which means it was time to reinforce a very important rule – we do NOT go into the igloo ALONE, you HAVE TO be in pairs at least! They are very industrious about it!

A full out snow building now!

Trinity and Emanuel made MORE beaded candy canes… which of course had to go onto the tree.

So pretty

Our candy cane reindeer were finally ready for they debut as well. I bet MOST of us have done this as children as well!! 

Candy Cane Reindeer creation

My family

The detail on the one I made. Those are mint chocolate candy canes!

With my voice rather non existent Ken did the book for the day – A rather humourous one called It’s Christmas, David! Hopefully the next day I can do the two books we got advanced copies of and get those reviews up for our seasonal books!

Story time with Daddy

It’s Christmas, David!

We have gotten some really lovely picture Christmas cards… all from family (after all we consider the Novak family family too). I love getting cards, and I want to say a big THANK YOU! I am not sure that we will be able to send one in return this year to everyone… but next year I will have my list and you will be on it!!!

We had a slightly more complicated set of Christmas themed instructions to work on from Art for Kids as well – reindeer! I am rather impressed by Gavin’s rendition, inspired by the instructions and one of our Christmas books we had lying around.

A full out picture

 With the pipe cleaners already out Gavin and I worked together to make a wreath with a pretty bow. 

Very festive

With worksheets to be completed and Christmas to get ready for our house is a busy and increasingly festive one. This will be the kids’ first Christmas Day with Nana and Baba and our first here in Minnesota since we were first together! It is all so very special! I warn you all though – the post Christmas entries are going to be PICTURE HEAVY!!!!

Busy babies

This entry was posted on 19/12/2012, in Uncategorized. 1 Comment