Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Home Education

    DecemberTerm 2015

    November 30, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]W[/dropcap]e’ve spent the weekend battling a bad stomach bug, so we’re starting off weary, and I’m feeling behind. The things I usually do — including digging out the Jesse Tree — didn’t get done. {Not even a little bit.} I was afraid these plans would never materialize. Normally, being a day or two off wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but Christmas waits for no one, and Advent started on Sunday whether I was ready for it or not. I did manage to muster the energy to pull our Messiah Advent book off of the shelf and hand it to my husband.

    Thankfully, I was feeling well enough yesterday evening to pull myself over to the computer and do a little school prep. After so many years of doing this, it is almost as if DecemberTerm has its own template, and all I have to do is plug in the new stuff. It didn’t take as long as I expected, which is just as well because I wasn’t up for much.

    DecemberTerm is a special thing for our family, something I started a long, long time ago — I talked about the history of it a bit last year.

    DecemberTerm 2015

    In the very beginning, DecemberTerm was all we did for school during Advent. I only had one student, and he was able to complete a term of Year 1 in 10 or 11 weeks, and so taking three weeks off for Advent was no big deal. These days, we don’t have that luxury. DecemberTerm is really just a Christmas/Advent-themed Circle Time.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how our DecemberTerm has changed over the years. In the beginning, for example, we had a manner of the week. Stuff like “don’t complain about the food.” Or, “don’t tell someone you already have that if they give you something you already have.” It was one part saving-me-from-embarrassment and two-parts good training. Miraculously, my children seem to have enough tact that I don’t have to do that any more, which means I can make room for another special reading.

    Here are my plans for this year:

    DecemberTerm Plans 2015

    Here are the resources I use to execute these plans:

     

    Other Notes:

    I updated the Christmas memory work index — something I forgot to do last year. Please note that we didn’t start with songs like these — we started with the more well-known songs, of course! So if you’re designing your own DecemberTerm, you might want to check out the list. It also includes poetry {which we added later, so there are fewer titles for that}.

    For our evening Advent readings, we’re suing The Handel’s Messiah Advent Reader. I’ve been trying to buy this at a reasonable price for years, so I’m very excited to finally own a copy. This serves as our composer study during this time of year, as well.

    If you’re wanting to do a Messiah study during Advent, but don’t have a copy of this book, check out Cindy’s free reading list, and couple it with this CD set. It’s what we did last year, and it was simple and easy and I recommend it.

    For Fridays in December, we usually spend some time working on our homemade ornaments, which we give away as gifts to friends and family. I think we’re going to make these beaded wreaths because we have a lot of beads left over from some beaded ornaments we made a couple years ago — and the craft drawer is getting stuffed! Plus, these will be easy enough for my seven-year-old, but interesting enough to get my teen to still participate.

    Have you made some DecemberTerm plans? Feel free to share your link in the comments!

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit
    Print Friendly, PDF & Email

    5 Comments

  • Reply Catherine December 20, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Quick question. We took your advice and are reading this during Advent. I wish I had thought to pre-read and created a map so we could follow along as the father is doing. Any chance you have ever come across one? It’s a bit late now to start. I’m thinking I need to find an historical atlas, now, too 🙂 PS We love it!

  • Reply Catherine December 20, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Quick question. We took your advice and are reading this during Advent. I wish I had thought to pre-read and created a map so we could follow along as the father is doing. Any chance you have ever come across one? It’s a bit late now to start. I’m thinking I need to find an historical atlas, now, too 🙂

  • Reply Amber Vanderpol November 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I hope you all are well on the mend today! We had some kids down with a stomach bug over the weekend but thankfully my husband and I were able to dodge the bullet this time. But dealing with stomach bugs has got to be one of my least favorite parts of being a parent!

    I was pleased with how easily our Advent plans came together too. It is really nice to have some traditions and routines in place, all ready to be used again. I remember this time of year being so much more difficult in the past.

    Do you do map work with The Christmas Mystery? A Google Earth route for the book would be a lot of fun too. We read it last year but I really struggled with the ending. It isn’t one I plan to read again, as much as I wanted to like the book.

    I should do a Advent term post – I’ll try and do that this week and link if I manage to do so.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel December 1, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Last year we didn’t do map work with The Christmas Mystery because I had never read the book before — I had no clue that would appropriate! But halfway through I was thinking the same thing. If I had felt well over the weekend, I’d have come up with something, but…I don’t know if it’s going to happen now {well, beyond maybe looking at a globe or something}.

      I really think your response to the ending is a common one. I made my peace with it, but I get it. 🙂

  • Reply dawn November 30, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I posted my Yuletide Session 2015 plans here: http://ladydusk.blogspot.com/2015/11/yuletide-session-2015.html

  • Leave a Reply