December is a jam-packed month already with tons of fun activities. How do you handle them all? My pro-tip is to make all the fun holiday activities your school and drop most (or all) of the other subjects for a month of organic learning together. Our nature study, liturgical living, food, books, and learning ideas will get you started for a month of family learning fun.
Nature Study In December
Brrr. Cold weather is settling in and animals are burrowing down for their winter nap. This month’s nature study is about getting warm and cozy and all the plant life that comes with the Christmas season. Fortunately you can bring it inside to study!
- Mistletoe – Learn more about mistletoe here.
- Holly – Get inspired to paint some in your nature journal.
- Poinsettia day (12) – Read The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola. Make a Poinsettia collage project.
- Evergreens – watch this identification video. Draw an evergreen into your nature journal and add some facts you learned. Easy drawing (three ways) or more advanced drawing.
- Hibernation – find out more here. Read Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner.
- The Winter Solstice (21) – Read more about the reason for the seasons here.
- Full Cold Moon
Faith Themes In The Month of December
Advent continues as we prepare our hearts and homes for the Christmas season. Don’t miss some of the wonderful feasts that happen this month to add variety to our seasonal celebrations. And remember — Christmas starts on December 25 — you have plenty of time for your celebrations. No need to pack it all in before then!
- Advent continues
- St. Nicholas Day (6) – The St. Nicholas Center has a TON of resources for celebrating.
- Immaculate Conception (8)
- Our Lady of Guadalupe (12) and St. Juan Diego (9) – Find out more here. Mexican food is perfect for either of these feast days!
- St. Lucia (13) — Our simple celebrations often included a paper candle wreath and canned cinnamon rolls! (see photo)
- First Day of Christmas (25)
- Feast of the Holy Innocents (28) – Learn the “Coventry Carol.”
Food And Family Themes In December
I kept this category light because there is so much food this month. Check out the loaded french fries recipe for Bacon Day on the 30th. My kids love it and it is a welcome change from the traditional holiday fare on our tables this month.
- Gingerbread – My favorite recipe with butterscotch pudding. Less “spicy” for kids.
- National Maple Syrup Day (17) – Find out how it is made.
- Bake Cookies Day (18)
- Oatmeal Muffin Day (19) – a “healthy interlude” this month
- National Eggnog Day (24)
- National Candy Cane Day (26) – Read The Legend of the Candy Cane: The Inspirational Story of our Favorite Christmas Candy by Lori Walburg
- Bacon Day (30) – We love bacon almost any way, but this one is a fun favorite.
Books Perfect For December Learning
The holiday season does not lack a variety of books. Maybe some of our favorites below are different than the ones your family enjoys.
- This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
- Nine Days to Christmas by Marie Hall Ets
- Moosletoe by Margie Palatini
- The Night of Los Posadas by Tomie dePaola
- St. Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins by Jim Forest
- The Nutcracker Comes to America: How Three Ballet-loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition by Chris Barton
- The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
- The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston
- The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
This Is the StablePolar Express 30th anniversary editionNine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico (English Edition)MooseltoeThe Night of Las Posadas (Picture Puffin Books)Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold CoinsThe Nutcracker Comes to America: How Three Ballet-Loving Brothers Created a Holiday TraditionThe NutcrackerThe Christmas Day KittenThe Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story (Picture Puffin Books)The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeyThe Mitten Hardcover – IllustratedVoices of Pearl Harbor (Voices of History)The Legend of the PoinsettiaOver and Under the SnowThe Legend of the Candy Cane: The Inspirational Story of Our Favorite Christmas CandyLion and the Mouse
December Field Trips For Your Homeschool Study
December is the month for performances so be sure to take the time to schedule in a performance or two that you might not normally be able to find. Sometimes there are school shows that homeschoolers can participate in.
- Go pick out a Christmas tree!
- There are so many performances during the month of December. See an orchestra or choral show or a ballet. It is the perfect time of year!
- Visit the elderly taking small thoughtful gift boxes or sing carols, recite poems, or play an instrument.
Crafts And Activities For December Learning
There are just so many different learning and craft activities this month that happen naturally with the season, that I hesitated to add more. Here are few that maybe you hadn’t thought of along with some you probably have.
- Jan Brett (1) – Read The Mitten to celebrate!
- Christmas manners prep (yes please)
- The Nutcracker – listen to the Classics for Kids show about the famous ballet while you color the printable puppets
- Make your own Christmas presents (easy ideas for kids).
- Host a picture book-themed Christmas cookie exchange!
- Pearl Harbor Day (7) – Read Voices of Pearl Harbor
- Christmas card day (9) – here are 15 ideas to make your own
- Nobel Prize day (10) – Find out more here. Who would your family give a prize to? Why?
- Bill of Rights day (15) – Read over the Bill of Rights and enjoy Bill of Rights Rap – Smart Songs.
- Go Caroling Day (20) – learn a carol that is new to you
- Crossword Puzzle day (21) – Here is one to try (click the green Print Puzzle button)
- Jerry Pickney (22) – Read The Lion and the Mouse
- Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day (27) – Watch Vi Hart explain paper snowflake symmetry. Great for older kids.
- Explore the Little Critter website for Mercer Mayer’s birthday. (30)
- New Year’s Eve (31) – record your year with a year in review
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