Home Where They Belong for Christmas
December 20, 2023
The Perfect Time to Share Jesus
Merry Christmas from the Suarez family! Though our family has seen many different traditions and favorites over the years, one thing has remained the same—JESUS. He is our reason to celebrate Christmas and this time of year is a perfect time to share the reality of His birth and the salvation He offers with our neighbors, friends, and acquaintances. People are more open to hearing the Savior’s message at Christmastime—let’s use this season to share the truth of Jesus!
And now, enjoy all the videos and holiday traditions from our staff and friends at TOS.
Jeff & Angela Quigley: Have you ever had an “almost perfect Christmas” ?
Happy Christmas from All Our Smiling Faces
We affectionately refer to our clan as “All Our Smiling Faces” because we are a blessed blended family. And although blended families are born out of sorrow (death, adoption, divorce, or foster care), our lives are filled with abundant joy. Melding our Christmas traditions has only increased the celebration of the season. With so many extended family members, types of favorite Christmas cookies, and ways of giving and receiving presents, we genuinely need all twelve-plus days of Christmas! At the heart of the season, our family Christmas traditions center us through strengthening our relationships and giving larger service to our community.
About the author
Beth Mora is creator/teacher-on-camera for Here to Help Learning’s Homeschool Writing Program (grades 1–6) and homeschool conference and women’s events speaker. She loves to blog at Home to Home.
Hal & Melanie Young: Are you ready for some Christmas caroling?
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
I’ve always wanted my children to know the true reason for the season of Christmas. It’s very easy to remember that Christmas means gifts! But why do we give gifts at Christmas time? This was an opportunity that I could not allow to pass by.
Every Christmas morning, there is one special box waiting under the tree. Before anyone grabs a gift for themselves, we grab this special one with the tag, “For Jesus.” I announce that today is Jesus’ birthday and He is the reason why we have this day to celebrate. We open up the box which contains elements that represent the gifts of the Wise Men. We take turns reading the story of Jesus’ birth (we usually read from Luke, but it can also be found in Matthew) and read about the gifts that were brought to Jesus and what they mean.
Then, we will sing Happy Birthday! After this, we can open the other gifts.
You can make your own birthday gift for Jesus! I used simple items from the local dollar store. You can add things that represent the gifts of the Wise Men or you and your family can decide on what you think would be a good gift for Jesus on His birthday. You can buy a beautiful box or just gift wrap one you already have. Add a label for Jesus and then place it under the tree.
Merry Christmas and happy birthday, Jesus!
About the author
Christine Weller has been homeschooling her two boys, 10 and 6, since birth in the lovely province of Ontario, Canada. She is also a mom blogger and children’s book author.
Todd Wilson: Might this become your new Christmas tradition?
Fun & Meaningful Christmas
I love crafts and activities that teach what “God with us” is all about. We have made Chrismons in the past, and our own version of a Jesse tree. We also have used an inexpensive felt nativity advent calendar (I tucked scriptures in the pockets for daily readings).
We have offset the “gimmies” by giving together, focusing on God’s unspeakable gift. We’ve volunteered at a soup kitchen or shelter, baked goodies for neighbors, gone caroling at a nursing home, and shovelled walks for free.
My favorite years were when we shopped for each other at the dollar store. Each child earned $5, which was enough to buy something for everyone in our family and have some left for tax. It took the focus off comparison and fancy labels and placed it upon being truly thoughtful about our shopping.
We also loved gathering snacks and hot chocolate, and driving around to look at the lights as a reminder of the Star and the Light of the World! Then, we’d settle in for some “Silent Nights” (read: no electronics), baking, reading books, and playing games together in the week leading up to Christmas.
Have a meaningFULL Christmas!
About the author
Diane Heeney is a graduate of Bob Jones University, where she served on faculty for ten years. She has been Assistant to the Director of Advertising Sales at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine since 2016.
Stephanie Morrison: Try this customizable countdown to Christ Day!
Christmas Tree Traditions
Harry Connick Jr helps us put up our Christmas tree every year—with his Christmas album, that is. Other traditions include someone accidently shattering an ornament during set-up and someone getting irritated about something. Last year, the irritated one was me. My big boys, up on a ladder, weren’t interested in my fussy instructions for placing yards of ribbon and poinsettia picks to make the tree perfect. Instead, they used the decorations to make a huge, goofy face on the tree. I got over it and grew to love the tree face which peered down at us all that December.
About the author
Heidi Mosher is the mother of four—two boys and two girls. Two have brown hair, and two are blonde. Two are adults, and two are still homeschooled. Two recently moved out of state, and two still fill her home.
Deborah Wuehler: Find your true home in Jesus, right where you belong this Christmas season
Our Favorite Tradition
We have a mile-long list of family Christmas traditions we’ve collected over the past twenty years, but our favorite may be one of our newest: family Christmas caroling. During the day, we make some Christmas cookies or some other treat. Then, at night, we visit several neighbors, church folks, or shut-ins and spontaneously sing Christmas carols in their driveway and give them a plate of homemade goodies. But here’s the secret: no calling ahead. No warning whatsoever! The response is almost always the same: first surprise, then confusion, followed by smiles as everyone runs out of the house to join us together in song. It’s quickly become a Riveiro favorite!
Have a blessed and joyful Christmas,
Adam and Dianne Riveiro
About the author
Pastor Adam and Dianne Riveiro live in Easton, Massachusetts, where Adam leads Liberty Baptist Church. They’re the authors of several books available from their family’s publishing label at www.readyscribepublications.com.
Did you know?
Every class is INCLUDED for ultimate members!
Keeping them home where they belong can certainly come with some challenges. SchoolhouseTeachers.com wants to make sure parents feel confident in their homeschool journey. With Homegrown Parenting, cover the basics of parenting through themes such as how to teach a gifted student, ways to have fun with science, strategies for unplugged family fun, suggestions for the holidays, and ideas for cozy read-alouds and how to support young learners. Keep them home with confidence.
Families using SchoolhouseTeachers.com as their core curriculum, Pre-K–12th grade, can join a Schoolhouse Community, an affordable option for homeschool parents and kids looking to connect with other like-minded homeschoolers, as they teach and take classes together. What is a Schoolhouse? It’s a co-op where all the families are on the same curriculum page: SchoolhouseTeachers.com. It’s a ministry of the local church. Pick up your BOGO and get a full year, free, when you join before January 12.
Are your children craving a sense of comfort and consistency in their lives? Are you? Maybe it’s time to revive old family traditions—or create new ones. In Episode 47 of The Hey, Mama! Homeschool Show—”Home Where They Belong for Christmas,” Christine shares why teaching our children about traditions is important. Begin new Christmas traditions in your home this season! Show notes are found on HomeschoolShow.com.
Researchers have found astonishing ties between learning cursive and brain activity that elevates learning from reading and language skills to recall and critical thinking. Plus, it is beautiful, professional, and smart. (Find this and other articles at HomeschoolApp.com.)
Congratulations to our October winner, Jennifer from Prairie City, SD!
for the month of December
CalcuPak 1 and CalcuPak 2
School Made Simple
For this review we received the CalcuPak 1 and CalcuPak 2 sets. CalcuPak 1 includes CalcuLadder 1, 2, and 3, that covers basic and advanced addition, subtraction, and multiplication drills. Basic division drills are also covered. Also included is the ReadyWriter program that teaches stylus skills and basic penmanship. CalcuPak 2 includes CalcuLadders 4, 5, and 6, plus AlphaBetter. CalcuLadders 4, 5, and 6 cover drills on long division, decimals, estimating, fractions and mixed numbers, percents, English and Metric units, and geometric concepts. AlphaBetter teaches alphabetizing and dictionary skills through multiple drills.
I have children in multiple areas of math drill competency so using both CalcuPak 1 and CalcuPak 2 was easy in our family. I can’t tell you how much I really appreciate this program! My first grader is using CalcuPak 1 working on her addition and subtraction facts, while my fourth grader is using CalcuPak 2 working on fractions. The ReadyWriter program has been great for both my first grader and my pre-school prep toddler who enjoys working on school during the day. Both girls have also been working through the AlphaBetter drills. These drills are easier for my older daughter, but my first grader is getting better and better each day with practice.
Overall, we have had great success using both of these programs in our homeschool and will continue to use it for many years to come. The ability to print drill sheets is priceless in my book. The fact that my girls are racing to get their facts down, yet having fun learning is so great to me. I definitely recommend that you check these out for your own family and see if it is a fit. You have nothing to lose but missed math facts.
This is part of a review of CalcuPak 1 and CalcuPak 2. Read the full review on our site which includes samples and more details about the program.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN your choice of either the CalcuPak 1 or CalcuPak 2 Home Edition application software download or CD.
A Baby Shower for Jesus
Have you ever compared yourself with another mom? Have you struggled with feelings of discontent? Disappointment? Discouragement? Do you desire true contentment?
You are not alone! Be encouraged by the WeE-book™. . .
A Baby Shower for Jesus By Deborah Wuehler
Deborah shares her struggles with feelings of discontent, disappointment, and discouragement after a “perfect” baby shower at a mansion. When she arrives back home she couldn’t see the counters for the ants, or the couch for the laundry, or anything else for the tears. She wonders, “Why can’t my house be like theirs? Why can’t I be like them?”
Join Deborah as she shares her journey through those feelings, and she ponders what His baby shower was like. Find comfort and encouragement doing exactly what God has called you to do, Mom, in the pages of this WeE-book™ . . .
- How can I handle disappointment?
- How can I stay in tune with God?
- Can I be the best homeschooling mom to my children?
- Where can I find true contentment?
You can alleviate doubt by staying in tune to what God tells you to do with your children, and don’t give in to comparisons. It’s not how we school that makes us wise or unwise. It’s comparing ourselves among ourselves that makes us unwise. −Deborah Wuehler
Take heart—you are the best homeschooling mom for your child!
What Christmas Means To Me Worksheet
Click on the image to download the full free printable pdf.
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