Originally Sent: 12/18/2014

HSLDA's Toddlers to Tweens Newsletter

December 18, 2014


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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Last-Minute Christmas Ideas for Families

Vicki Bentley Vicki Bentley

Many families gear down to a more relaxed school routine during the week (or weeks) before Christmas. Our family deliberately took off four weeks in December so we could enjoy the activities and traditions of the season—we just considered it a Christmas unit study, with a home economics, practical arts, and organization emphasis. With Christmas just around the corner, here are a few last-minute ideas to help you simply enjoy some family time.

Build and decorate a gingerbread house (or if you’re like me, you buy a kit or build it from graham crackers, and concentrate on the fun of decorating!). One support group even made it a group event, with more than 30 children and 13 moms gathering in one home for the royal icing event of their year.

Gingerbread houses
Photos courtesy of Rebekah McBride of HoneyandCheese.com—Used with permission.

The Busy Mom is giving away an awesome Christmas coloring book from Firmly Planted Family just for blog subscribers this month. If you’d like to download your free copy, just subscribe to The Busy Mom.

Molly Green has some fun, simple-to-make, inexpensive, and practical gift ideas for the guys in your life. Great for kids to make for daddies, granddads, and uncles.

Haven’t gotten a lot of decorating done yet? This 15-minute Christmas wreath from Megan at The Homes I Have Made looks simple enough for even the craft-challenged.

Cut out some less-fuss sugar cookies—no chilling of the dough required! Check out these cookie and icing recipes at Everyday Homemaking.

  Sugar cookies make great gifts.

With just a few school supplies, your children can adorn your windows or rooms with lovely, lacy paper snowflakes. All you need are paper, scissors, and a glue stick.

Mimi Mason lists her Top 10 Christmas Picture Books for Younger Children.

For 31 Days of Gift Guides to Inspire Learning, check out Heather Haupt’s recent series. One of my favorites is this last one: “The Value of Giving Experiences Instead of More Stuff.”

Here’s a wonderful, free video tutorial for a Christmas-themed art day: “A Simple Start in Christmas Chalk Pastels” from Tricia Hodges.

If you want to encourage the family to head outside to enjoy the winter scenery, you might enjoy this Christmas Nature Study: A Red, White, and Green Walk. This is just one of the activities in the unit study guide, Nature Study through the Holidays by Cindy West and Melissa Leach.

Do you wonder how to keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebration, even while the tree seems to be the center of attention? In this e-book, learn how one family’s Advent tradition utilizes the Christmas tree: Christ in the Christmas Tree.

Check out the “Holidays” section of The Learning Parent for nativity kits, nativity cookie cutter sets, craft kits, story books, and audios. For more ideas on how to incorporate the holidays into your lesson plan, read “Holidays as Homeschool Curriculum.”

Got a late start this year? You’re in good company! Many of us are feeling like our holiday preparations are fodder for a Pinterest Fail board, including Marla Schultz:

In my perfect world, the tree would be put up and decorated on December 5—the day before St. Nicholas Day—and we would already be counting down the days until Christmas. Instead, by the time the thirteenth of December rolls around, I’m finally ready to start that countdown.
Because of this, many years ago we stumbled into our own tradition—our take on the Twelve Days of Christmas. Traditionally the Twelve Days of Christmas starts on December 25 and the 12th day lands on January 5.

So maybe this is the start of a new tradition for your family!

May your holiday season be a joyful and peace-filled celebration of our Savior.

Merry Christmas!

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens Consultant

"Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens" is a newsletter of the Home School Legal Defense Association. All rights reserved. For more information on Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens or the Home School Legal Defense Association please contact us at:

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