Sunday, November 17, 2013

Once-A-Week Unit Study~ Christmas Comes to America {Review}

I love anything and everything that has to do with Christmas!!  I especially love learning about the how and why we have certain traditions. 

So when Homeschool Legacy contacted me and asked if I wanted to review their Christmas study I couldn't email her back fast enough!  Christmas Comes to America is a wonderful study about our traditions. 

Once-a-Week Unit Studies are wonderful additions to your curriculum.  We decided to do a little of our study each day.  All of the planning has been done for you with this study.  All I had to do was get to the library, print a couple of things, and gather some kitchen items. 

Week 1~ The Dutch
The focus this week was learning about who we know as Santa Claus.  The Dutch name for him is Sinterklaas.  Although our children no longer believe in Santa, it was fun learning about how he came about. 

It was very interesting to learn about how he came to be.  I learned things I had never known before.  But I will not spoil it for you.  It is such a fun tradition that really adds to the fun of Christmas. 

Through out the week we read from Scripture.  We read from Isaiah, Matthew, Mark and Luke.  There is nothing like reading from Scripture to brighten your day.

It was actually a Dutchman who patented the process of extracting cocoa from the cacao bean.  We enjoyed learning all about this process in some of the books we read.  Although I do not like chocolate, Hannah loves it. 

We had fun creating our own hot chocolate mixes.  Some of which we will be giving out to our neighbors for Christmas. 

Week 2~ The English

Every year we take a Yuletide tour at our local living history museum.  This is where a lot of my pictures have come from.  We get to step back in history and experience many of the traditions we are learning about.  One of those fun traditions that is not really done here in America is Wassaling.  This was a tradition where peasants were allowed to go and sing for their supper.

We enjoyed making Wassail.  A nice warm drink of apple cider, oranges and spices.  It was really good.  It was a nice warm drink on a cold evening. 

Another fun thing we had fun doing was making some Christmas cards.  The English were the first to print cards.  We took some old cards and added some fun touches to them.

Week 3~ The Germans

This is my favorite one of them all!!  Mainly because of my family heritage.  We learned about all of the great things that came from Germany.  We listened to Handel's Messiah.  While doing so we sipped on hot cocoa and hot tea.  We identified the different musical instruments we heard during the performance.  It was great to see my daughter's face light up when she heard a particular instrument. 

Because of the story of Hansel and Gretel we get our traditions of making Gingerbread houses.  This is something we love doing.  We enjoy anything and everything gingerbread here. 

We did not make a gingerbread house, but a gingerbread train.  We had purchased a kit at the end of the season last year.  It was a fun activity to do while we listened to Hansel and Gretel.  This was one of my favorite stories as a kid.

Something else we get from Germany is the Christmas tree.  It was German immigrants that brought this tradition over with them.

Week 4~ America

Did you know that Christmas did not become our national holiday until June 26, 1870?  It was a hot button topic among early American settlers.  Many did not want to celebrate Christmas because many of the settlers were Purists and wanted to keep the focus on Christ.

It took families a long time before they actually came around to the idea of celebrating Christmas.  To most it was just another day. 

It was early Americans who also started the traditions of stringing popcorn and cranberries on string to decorate the tree.

So as you can see this study is so much fun.  I just touched on all this study has to offer.  It is something that can be done with kids of all ages.  There are also family activities that can be done all together.  This study is available on the Homeschool Legacy website for $17.95.  It is such a great addition to your homeschool day.  It really breaks up the studies in a fun way during the holidays.

So "while the weather outside is frightful" grab your cup of hot cocoa and have a great journey with your family learning about the Christmas traditions we all know and love.

I was given a free copy of this unit study in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

Renee said...

This sounds great ~ just what we need for December. Thanks for the review!