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One time of the year that I really appreciate the homeschool benefit of flexibility is in December. My kids shift into Christmas mode as soon as the Thanksgiving table is cleared. We don’t need to fight, beg, or threaten to keep our kids focused on schoolwork. Instead, we can make the schoolwork meaningful to them . . .while still also checking off traditional academic subjects. Learning about Christmas around the world is a good way to combine holiday cheer with geography.
I suggest reading these books with your children and then following their lead.
Did they find a book interesting? Expand on that by watching videos online about kids in that country, baking treats from that region, and maybe even making a few crafts.
Did your kids listen to a book and then run off to do something else as soon as you turned the last page? That is okay too. They listened to the story and are letting you know that they are not interested in more right now.
Wrapping these books and opening one each day can help create a sense of excitement. Seeing kids excited about learning is a beautiful thing. Just add these free printable tags to the gift wrapped books and open one each day.
Read About Christmas Around the World
This nonfiction book teaches kids about Christmas traditions in 12 countries:
- Great Britain
- The Philippines
- United States – Alaska
Lucy and Max write a letter to Santa asking about his favorite places. Who better to give travel advice than the man who travels the world every year? Rather than just answer the letter, Santa decides to take them along on a midnight ride.
This is the recreation of a traditional Italian Christmas folk tale. Old Lady Befana is not particularly pleasant woman. She is grouchy and spends her days sweeping. Her life is turned upside down by meeting the three kings on their way to Bethlehem.
Lucia Day, a Swedish holiday, is celebrated on December 13th. Children in America may want to celebrate too after they read all about the traditional foods and festivities.
I love this Christmas book series! There are books available for many locations. My family added The Twelve Days of Christmas in Washington to our Christmas book collection when we moved from Virginia to Washington. It was a fun way to learn about our new state.
You certainly don’t need to live in or visit the location to enjoy the books though!
This is a traditional Russian Christmas Story. Baboushka is busy cleaning her house when three strangers appear at her door.
This award winning book tells the tale of Ceci, a young girl from Mexico, as she awaits Las Posadas. Las Posadas is a Christmas procession that tells the nativity story through a 9 day journey. Kids can learn about traditional Mexican Christmas celebrations by putting themselves in Ceci’s place.
I have ordered this book for my own kids. We are studying Spanish this year and I think this will be a fun cultural addition to our foreign language curriculum.
Walk through different Christmas traditions around the world just with the turn of a page. This book contains ‘lift the flap’ pages that kids love. The flaps are numbered like an Advent calendar, but you do not need to slowly open one each day. Kids will love to lift the flaps over and over again.
This workbook is a great way to teach geography in December. Kids get to learn about Christmas and you get to teach geography. It is a win-win.
I love Dover coloring books. They are my favorite educational coloring books. I like to put them in boredom busting baskets as a way to keep my kids busy.
This coloring book contains 30 illustrations that each teach about Christmas in various parts of the world.
Do you include Christmas in geography lessons?
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