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My friends! It feels good to share something with you.
I worked to create a unit study that families can use around Christmas time. Its implementation does not depend on set days on a calendar. Rather, it is about as flexible a unit study as you will find.
The name of my labor of love: A Joyful Feast! It is a 20-page Charlotte Mason-inspired unit that allows families to create lasting memories.
In the study I have included:
- Bible Passages
- Poetry Recitation
- Copy Work/Dictation ideas
- Nature Study
- Composer Study (internet with YouTube needed)
- Living Books (books needed)
- Narration Questions
- Mother Culture ideas
- Family Culture Ideas
- Coloring Pages with Verses
All of these components are meant to be enjoyed together. Even the copy work/dictation from the poems are meant to be done together. Now, different family members might be working on writing different lines from the same poem, or different words from the same poem, or might be looking at two different poems and reciting them separately. Nonetheless, when one family member is enjoying poetry, all the other family members are doing the same thing. Working on a common goal builds family unity! So everything, from the read alouds to the composer study, is done together.
The only component that can be done in isolation is the “Mother Culture” element of the study. Mother culture is defined by Karen Andreola, who coined the term in her 2018 book, Mother Culture: For a Happy Homeschool as: “the skillful art with which a mother looks after the ways of her household and herself. In her home she creates a culture all her own with a mingling of love and responsibility. A mother does a lot of taking care, so she also takes care of herself,” (2018, p. 1). When considering the
3)Life-of-Ideas that become tools in a mother’s hands for creating a happy home, I hope you find some echoes of that here.
In response to each Mother Culture idea, I’ve included a Family Culture action.
A Joyful Feast would be great for:
- Non-homeschool families looking to bond over break
- “Morning” Time (used in homeschool) What is Morning Time?
- Christmas School (a term I picked up from a couple of homeschooling moms) What is Christmas School?
This study is not meant to stress you out, which is why it’s so brief and do-able. My hope is that you do not feel like you have to add this to any other school agenda. This is an open-and-go, standalone unit study that you can use as Christmas School. Or, if you are hoping to squeeze in some math over break, many components in here have their places in Morning Time, as well! So, pick and choose what you want to do. No need to sift through pages and pages of material in a so-called “bundle”. If you have paper and pencil and an internet connection, you are good to go.
The books you will need to gather ahead of time are:
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg (newly illustrated edition)
If I had to pick a favorite part of the feast, Poetry Study is probably going to be my favorite, since I get to work on reciting one of these timeless Christmas poems by heart. However, I know reading the living books and Bible passages will be favorites, too.
My son is probably going to enjoy the composer study the most. He already uses it in morning time with me and his younger sister. He will enjoy finishing the Bach videos and we all will enjoy listening to Bach’s music over the Christmas season.
My daughter will probably enjoy the coloring pages, since she just loves that kind of thing, but I can already tell you that we will enjoy every single component together. I am really looking forward to this!
How To Get A Joyful Feast
If you are interested in supporting my work, go over to my Etsy shop, Brick Schoolhouse. There, you will find A Joyful Feast for purchase at an affordable $4. So simple, but I think the quality rivals many of the other resources you can buy out there now!