We wrapped up our advent study with Discover Christmas a couple days early. I was sad to finish it because it means that this wonderful time of year is coming to a close and we have enjoyed every minute of reading, learning and crafting that we’ve done over the last couple months with both our Thanksgiving and Christmas unit studies. Both of these gospel centered units have brought such a good Spirit into our home. I am very hopeful and excited about beginning our new Four Year Plan and the fact that we will be easily incorporating the gospel into our daily studies on a regular basis along with many life skills—something I’ve been searching for since we began homeschool.
We read more good books this week. Some new, and some old favorites.
Day 19—What is the “peace on earth” that Christ brought?
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
We learned that Christ brought peace to the world by overcoming sin and death, by dying on the cross for our sins so that we can repent, be forgiven, be resurrected and have eternal life if we live worthily.
Day 20—How did Nativity scenes become popular?
Saint Francis of Assisi is given credit for the first nativity in 1223. It was a live nativity with real people and animals. We learned that most countries have their own style of the nativity, and that some countries have a display as big as a whole village with other stories also being represented from the Bible.
Day 21—What can I learn from birds at Christmas time?
We read about the religious significance of birds in Biblical times such as the dove with Noah and the Ark and Jesus’ baptism, the eagle with Moses when he delivered the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, as well as chickens and sparrows in other parts of the Bible.
Since the dove is known as the bird of peace and is tied specifically to Christ, I wanted the kids to make a dove craft. Joe made a simple dove from construction paper using a template I found online.
Hanna made a dove ornament for our Christmas tree. I love how it turned out. She did a really good job. She used brown paper bags for the dove and painted them white, stuffed it with batting, glued it with hot glue instead of sewing it, and used felt for the eye and flowers.
Day 22—What was Christmas like in Navoo?
I loved reading about what Christmas was like in Navoo for the early Saints and particularly Joseph Smith, his family and friends. We read excerpts from his journal as well. They were very touching and eye opening.
We learned that Christmas for the Saints in the 1800’s was mainly a day of fasting and prayer followed with a big meal and gathering together of family and friends. There were no trees or decorations as Christmas was not even legal in Navoo or many parts of the colonies at this time.
Day 23—The Story of Christ’s birth from the Bible
On this day we read the story of Christ’s birth for Family Home Evening and used our Nativity puppets like we do each year the Monday before Christmas. This is such a favorite of the kids and we all look forward to it.
Days 24 and 25—What was the role of the angels, shepherds and Wise Men?
We read specific scriptures from the book of Luke centered on the angels, shepherds and Wise Men. We talked about how they probably felt and what role they played in Jesus’ birth. I think it is fascinating that the Wise Men actually went before King Herod and were supposed to bring news of baby Jesus back to him.
I could continue to study the scriptures for our main curriculum for much longer. I have gained so much knowledge personally as we have read and studied together. I can tell the kids have too. I am very thankful for all that we have learned and look forward to even more in the weeks and months to come. What a wonderful blessing to be able to study about our Savior and the scriptures every day as we continue on our amazing homeschool journey together.
Not related to our Christmas study I saw a precious handprint peppermint candy craft and knew I wanted to make it with Jack. It turned out adorable! I can’t get enough of foot and handprint art!
I also want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful day with your families!