This post is part of my ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays series. To see all posts in the series, click here.
Jesus is the reason for Christmas – there is no doubt about it. But one of my favorite movies of all time is The Polar Express. The magic and music of this amazing children’s book and movie always leaves me in awe of Christmas and ready to enjoy the holidays through the eyes of my children. It also gives us a lot of ways that we can homeschool through the holiday.
One of my absolute favorite things to do is to host a Polar Express Pajama Night. Each year, I print off a golden ticket and leave it on the kitchen table for my children (you can also get one that you could use year after year and keep it as a keepsake) They get super excited about golden ticket- and they have seen the movie enough times to know what that means! If your children have never seen the movie, you could also write them a letter to share about the amazing Christmas movie night that they are going to see that night. Some years, we even have even done this on Christmas Eve and wear our Christmas PJ’s! If we are not going anywhere- we might even stay in our jammies all day!
I let the day be about fun. Fun can be educational too! We will take time to look at the book, and examine the pictures. We always bake Christmas cookies so that we have cookies for our movie night. We use cookie cutters that remind us the story – a train, a Santa, elf, and a gift. As we bake cookies, we talk about all the things that go into making cookies: ingredients, table spoons, teaspoons, etc. We also will convert sizes or talk about addition or subtraction. Cooking is full of math and science – and decorating those cookies is always considered art!
For dinner, we make a snowman pizza! It makes it so much fun! Again, we are creating memories all while doing sneaky school (that is when you sneak the education where they least expect it – or disguise it as fun!)
Then, we make have Hot Cocoa and cookies, and turn the movie on. It is time to do my favorite learning activity ever- snuggling.
Yes, your child needs these moments for successful learning. They need to feel loved and safe. I have learned my children learn the best when they feel like they have connected with me – and when that connection is more then just another lesson or another thing to do. They need time when I take off my teacher hat, and open up my mommy lap.
This is also a great opportunity to talk to your children about who St Nicholas really was, and the tradition that we pass on. On my blog, Worshipful Living, I am sharing three ways that you can keep the tradition of St Nick without taking away for the real meaning of Christmas.
Whatever you do this holiday season, make sure you take time to really be present with your children this holiday season!
Mandy Kelly is passionate about two things: The Word of God and the Souls of Men (and Ladies!). She is a married to her best friend, and gets the privilege to love on their three blessings (who lost their biological momma leaving her husband widowed). She loves that the Lord has let her life be an example of delighting in Him and watching Him mold her life to make her desires match His. She spent 9 years in an early childhood classroom, and 4 years in an “in house” seminary program at her home church.She loves to bring God glory through her roles as Christ-follower, Wife and Mother (in that order!)
She enjoys women’s ministry, cooking, crafting, and traveling the world. Her greatest desires are to have her marriage bring God ultimate glory, see her children walk in truth, to lead others to the feet of Jesus, and to lead women into deeper and intimate relationship with their Savior through study of the Word of God. Mandy blogs about living a life of Worship through all aspects of her life at Worshipful Living.