We’re on year three of this fun little Christmas tradition here of picking a country or two each year in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas and making them the focus of our “extra” homeschool studies, and I wanted to make one big round-up post for what we’ve done so far. As I post about this year’s activities, I’ll try to remember to come back and update this post.
First, though, I wanted to mention a good resource for this little project that I only discovered this year. Christmas Around the World by Mary D. Lankford just fits the bill for what I’ve been looking for: an informational resource both broad (in terms of number of countries covered) and specific (in terms of details about individual countries) in scope and somewhat encyclopedic in nature that I can hand to my girls and have them read on their own to fill in the back story of the fun read-alouds we do from different countries. Each country is given a two-page spread: one page of text detailing basic information about the country, a bit of history, what its traditions are and where they likely originated, some of the foods they enjoy, etc. The facing page is a related illustrations by Karen Dugan. Also included in the book is a map, timeline, craft ideas and instructions, a pronunciation guide, and an index. The countries included in this book are
- Great Britain
- The Philippines
- The United States–Alaska
While so far we’ve only used the book for its information on one country, I can see that this is a book that I’d like to add to our Christmas collection.
And now, without further ado, here are the posts about our Christmas Around the World activities to date:
- Christmas Around the World: Mexico (books and a craft)
- Christmas Around the World: Mexico (poinsettia art activity)
- Christmas Around the World: Russia (book and a craft)
- Christmas Around the World: Russia (The Miracle of St. Nicholas book)
- Christmas Around the World: Sweden (books and a craft)
- Christmas Around the World: Turkey (We haven’t studied Turkey proper, but these are books about St. Nicholas that would fit in nicely with a Turkey study.)
We have a smallish Christmas tree that we put up in the school room and decorate with our Christmas Around the World crafts (all of which we’ve turned into ornaments). We all really look forward to this, and it’s a way to almost painlessly add a bit of something special to the Christmas season, all the while learning about the cultures and traditions of other countries.