Christmas School

Christmas School


Here’s what Christmas School means for us:

Every afternoon for 2 weeks we’re getting together with another family to share in the excitement and craft-anarchy.  The afternoons have themes and a basic outline (rather than a schedule).

The afternoon looks roughly like this:

  • 30-60 minutes teaching time
  • planned craft
  • learn a song
  • recess and snacks
  • open crafting and storytime

The teaching time alternates between the two moms.  Our themes look like this:

  • Mon & Tues: Biblical Christmas story
  • Wed: History of Christmas celebrations and symbols
  • Thurs: from St. Nicholas to Santa Claus
  • Fri: All crafting all the time
  • __
  • Mon: Christmas in Germany
  • Tues: Christmas in Mexico
  • Wed: Kwanzaa
  • Thurs: Hanukkah
  • Fri: all crafting all the time

There are a couple of interesting things going on here.  For one, they are deeply faithful Christians and we are not.  Dealing with the Biblical story and the history of Christmas could be the death-knell for a friendship in those circumstances.  But these are special friends.  Another important point is that neither family has ever pretended that Santa Claus is real.  This makes dealing with the history of Santa simple – and fascinating.


Christmas School


Christy made simple log books for each kid by stitching together plastic page protectors along the flap.  Each day the kids can work on these during the teaching part – either colouring something we’ve printed out or making art based on their interpretation of the theme.  Lyrics from the day’s song also go on there. Then they just slide their work into the plastic and it’s protected and charmingly official.  It’s been so interesting to watch the different ages and personalities unfold: Sandra’s doing a fascinating and beautiful work with silhouettes of shapes using patterned paper on solid backgrounds, for instance.


Christmas School


The crafts sometimes match the theme and sometimes are simply gifts or decorations we think they’ll enjoy working on.  We’ve done felt mitten ornaments, glitter cards, and freezer paper stenciling, for example.  Our goal was to give them a chance to make a few gifts and a few decorations, and to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that is such a wonderful part of creating.


Christmas School


Recess and snacks hardly need explaining, do they?  Unfortunately it’s been the bitter kind of cold that makes outdoor play difficult or dangerous.  When the weather forecast starts with the phrase, “Exposed skin freezes in X minutes…”, you know they’re going to run around in the basement.

Open crafting and storytime – that’s what we do with any time and energy left.  Sometimes we’ve had no time, or the kids have had no patience.  But the idea is that they can choose from any number of craft choices (embroidery, polymer clay, crocheting chains, etc.) while the mom who didn’t teach that day reads Christmas stories.  A time to get more done and enjoy the many picture books our two families have collected.

Last week was amazing – every kid eager to start everyday, the moms enjoying the companionship and the different perspectives, the feeling that they were learning important ideas and skills, and the relief that comes with feeling like we’re still ‘homeschooling’ even though we’re having such fun at a time of year when it can be hard to find motivation to do tablework.

I’m sure we’ll be doing it again, with different themes, and perhaps with a few more families, next year.  Every time I flip through The World Encyclopedia of Christmas I find more things to fascinate me.


Christmas School


15 thoughts on “Christmas School

  1. 3kinder says:

    I’m totally in love with Christmas School!!!!!!!!!!
    Fantastic idea, love the schedule.. totally gonna
    copy this idea sometime. (I’ll credit you, promise)

  2. Diane says:

    That sounds like a blast. It is so hard to get regular work done this time of the year. This is a great idea – thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Oh, I so love reading about your Christmas school! I wish I had a friend to do this with. Maybe next year…

    What a blessing that you can do this and really make some lovely things…and grow together…and it’s just awesome!

    • Sarah says:

      Actually, my friend hosts. She thought her toddler would be better able to amuse herself in a familiar place stocked with her own toys.

  4. Lisa says:

    What a great time! I’m glad there are other Christians in the world who don’t get all bent when their friends don’t believe. It frustrates me no end to say I’m a Christian and have people recoil in horror!! I also like that neither family treated Santa as real. I never wanted Santa for my kids, but he came in the form of what-ever-he’s-called at New Year’s in Ukraine! I love all the creativity these kids of yours [and your friends] are getting! Compare with my kids Christmas School–i.e., end of semester exams, stricter discipline and clean-out-the-cafe-freezer-lunches!!! Rejoice in your freedom!!! [End of sermon!!]

  5. Heather says:

    Those felt mitten ornaments look lovely. I’ve just finished some half-eaten felt gingerbread men ornaments and now I think I’ll try some of your mittens. We spend many afternoons crafting at this time of year too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s