Do you want to focus your homeschool on Christ this Christmas season? Creating your own unit study is easier than you might think! I have free tools for you and easy steps below.
Step 1: Get Your Bearings
What is Advent and Why should I study it?
There are many traditions regarding Advent. Most basically, advent means “coming.” It is a time of remembering and anticipating. We remember the coming of Jesus into this world, and we anticipate His coming again. For the purposes of our unit study, we choose to begin December 1st every year and lead up to Christmas. Now, the birth of Christ was not on this physical calendar date, but we still choose to celebrate during this darkest part of the year (at least where we live) that the light of life came into the world.
Have you dedicated time to understanding what Scripture says about Christ’s coming in the flesh? Have you taught this to your children? Regardless of your experience, Advent is a great time to focus on Christ!
Step 2: Build a Foundation
Where do I start?
Rely on Scripture. It makes sense that we would look to God’s Word for our teaching outline! It is our primary source on the topic! God has given us all the knowledge we need for this unit study in the pages of His Word. In fact, everything in Scripture relates to God’s plan concerning Christ. To help you narrow down what you might focus on, I’ve created a countdown of Scriptures with themes for each day from December 1st to 25th.
You can get the free file to download here.
Print the bookmarks and keep them in your Bible. You’ll have a convenient list for each day’s readings. Gather the family and read the daily Scriptures together. Ask questions about what you read and discuss.
Tip: Ask questions that begin with "who, what, where, when, why" to build conversation.
Print the circles and banners to follow the countdown to Christmas with a picture of each day’s theme.
Tip: Keep the countdown where you can see it often and review the themes throughout the season.
Step 3: Add Academics & Activities
What are the academic skills I’d like to work on while we are celebrating Advent?
Here are a few ideas and ways you might incorporate them. This list could go on and on, and will look different for each family and child, but here are some ideas to get you started!
- Spelling – Pick out a few words from the daily reading to use as spelling words. Try to fit all your spelling words together with scrabble tiles or banana grams.
- Vocabulary – Pick out a few words from the daily reading to use as vocabulary words. Play pictionary with your vocabulary words or act them out in a game of charades.
- Copywork – Pick a section from your reading and write in on a whiteboard or large sheet of paper. Have children copy it onto a Christmas card for a friend or family member. (This works with print or cursive.) Have them add a picture to illustrate it. Older children/teens can copy the Scripture directly from the Bible.
- Narration – Children can tell back what they heard from God’s Word. This works well with the narrative stories but can be used with any of the Scriptures.
- Composition – Write a summary of the day’s reading. Younger children can dictate to a parent or older sibling, and older students can create even do additional research, create an outline, and edit their first draft for a final copy. Keep each summary and you’ll have a book by the end of the month. Illustrations can also be added.
- Reading – Younger children can read from a Bible storybook reader. Older children can take turns reading aloud from a storybook or the Bible. Children can also reread the verses by themselves to practice reading and comprehension.
- Phonics – Pick out a few words from the verses to illustrate the phonics rules you are learning.
- History – use a Bible handbook to look up the historical setting and customs of the people who lived during the time the Scriptures were written, or use these free study resources at Blue Letter Bible.
- History Projects – Make a diorama to show what life was like during the time of Christ’s birth.
- Science – Find some experiments about snow, here, here, and here. (It snows where we are this time of year.) Older children/teens might want to research stars and the night sky since that declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).
- Cooking – Ask family members and friends to send you their favorite holiday recipe. Create a special holiday recipe pamphlet including all the recipes. Assign children jobs of creating a grocery list, shopping for the ingredients, and preparing the recipes.
- Activities – Add Christmas themed activites, crafts, maps, games, and stories (Find them free here, from Answers in Genesis)
- Greek – Learn the Greek alphabet. The New Testament was originally written in Greek (at least most of it). Learn one letter of the Greek alphabet each day (there are 24 letters).
- Poetry – Write a poem about the day’s theme. Read poetry about Christmas.
- Music – Learn how to play on an intrument one of the songs you are singing.
- Art – Use your favorite media (watercolor, pastels, colored pencils, etc.) and create an ornament to hang on your tree for each of the themes as you learn about them each day. Cut it out in a fun shape and use yarn or twine to hang it on your tree.
Use this Notebooking Page to record any work during your unit study!
Step 4: Prioritize Application
What are the outcomes and results of our study?
I encourage you to…
Let your learning lead to praise and worship of the One True God.
Pick some of your favorite Christmas songs that point to Jesus, and sing those together as a family.
If you like to hold a book in your hands, here is a great collection of Advent hymns available for purchase on Amazon (affiliate link): Hosanna in Excelsis: Hymns and Devotions for the Christmas Season
Let your learning lead to sharing the good news with others.
Visit a nursing home and share some of the songs you have been singing.
Visit some of the shut-ins, widows, or volunteers at your church and take them some of the recipes you cooked or cards/gifts you made.
Donate new toys and clothes to a foster home and include a nice Bible or a Bible storybook.
Share your compositions, poetry, or other work with friends and family members telling them what you’ve learned about Christ.
Let your learning lead to prayer.
Praise God for who He is and what he has done. Each Advent theme gives you a reason for adoring Christ and can lead directly into a prayer of adoration.
Pray for unreached people during Advent. Here is a creative activity to help you pray for the nations.
Do you need more help to start your homeschool unit study?
Get the Seeing Jesus Ebook. It is a family worship guide for devotional readings about each day’s theme, discussion questions, prayer, service projects, and links to daily songs and activities.
Download the FREE Focus Areas for Homeschool to plan out your focus areas for this unit study.
Consider the Homeschool Life Planner to plot out your daily and weekly plans.
Start now and prepare your family to study the Good News of Christ this December!