I was asked to review Christmas Comes to America, a Once-a-Week Unit Study, by Sharon Gibson from Homeschool Legacy. I reviewed one of her other unit studies, Revolutionary Ideas, last year, and our family loved it!
Christmas Comes to America is a four week unit study showing how the Christmas traditions we celebrate first came to the US through the Dutch, German, and English settlers. The only “prep” needed for this study is simply to gather the books, CDs and DVDs/videos from your personal and the public library. And maybe a couple of ingredients or supplies if you don’t already have them on hand. Then snuggle up for family read alouds, music appreciation, and fun movies. Don’t forget the popcorn! No seriously, don’t forget the popcorn – great for movies AND decorating the tree which you will be doing along the way.
Some of the activities include making simple gifts, crafts, and recipes, caroling, devotionals covering the prophecies of the coming Messiah and Jesus’ birth fulfilling those prophecies, a trivia game to stump daddy with, and suggestions for various Christmas outings to take part in. Subjects learned about include geography, language, nature study, art, music and history. The unit study is meant to be a stress free and fun time with your family as you learn about the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus, as well as the neat traditions we’ve come to embrace in our own celebrations.
First, I read through the beginning of the unit study, and then flipped to the back and read Getting the Most Out of Your Once-a-Week Unit Study which are tips to help you with the unit study. Plus, there is a page and a half of additional activities to enjoy with your family.
We went through the guide and gathered the books, CDs, and DVDs/videos from our personal library, our local library, inter-library loan, and Netflix. Then we put them all in a tub using card stock to separate the resources by weeks. Next, we started in on the fun. We began working through the unit study picking and choosing activities modifying as needed (some of us have food allergies). Everything was going great and then…our TV died. Totally kaput. Thankfully, we can still use the books, our stereo for the Cds, and our computer for the DVDs. No videos for now.
Our family has really enjoyed this study so far. Not only have we found it fascinating to learn the history behind Christmas (I had no idea Sinterklaas looked so different from our Santa Claus), but we’ve discovered some wonderful new stories, CDs, and movies as well. And we’ve decided to add some new traditions to our celebration such as homemade wassail and treats for the birds.
Christmas Comes to America costs $17.95.
If you order the unit study now, you should be able to start it right after Thanksgiving, and enjoy it through the holiday season.