The Christmas holidays abound with opportunities to expose your children to some unique learning situations and environments. With already crowded schedules, how do you make time for one more thing? Planning is the key. Also, you may want to re-schedule some of your textbook work for after the holidays. You are not neglecting it—just rearranging your schedule to make the most of the unique opportunities presented by the holidays.

 Literature

For suggestions on literature selections, see  Make Your Holidays Classic 

Plays

Community theaters often offer a plethora of plays during the Christmas season. A traveling troupe visits our city each year with its own version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. To find out what plays are offered in your community, check with your local cultural council, peruse the Sunday newspaper, or, again, check with your local reference librarian. A great study in literature is to read the book first and then go see the play. That way you can ask your children to compare and contrast the book with the play, noting the differences and comparisons. This comparative analysis also makes a great assignment for literature and composition. As always, be sure to write up these activities and assignments in your lesson-plan book.

 Some plays can be rather expensive, especially for large families. Be creative. If the play is being performed at a local community theater, you may have several options.

 

1.        Some theaters allow those who are willing to usher to see the play for free. This really involves nothing more than arriving at the play 30-45 minutes early and seating patrons as they arrive.

2.        Some theaters offer group discounts—find another family who would also like to see the play and take advantage of the savings.

3.        Many theaters will offer special performances of the play for school children. Call the theater and explain that you homeschool and would like to attend the school performance. I have yet for a theater to tell me “no” because we homeschool. If you need a group to qualify for the school performance, publicize the information to your local support group.

4.        Consider asking grandparents to buy tickets as part of your children’s Christmas presents.