by Megan Bittner
Advent is a time of anticipation and reflection for many–and as homeschoolers, we always look for ways to bring our “living” into our “homeschool.” This year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 2, and ends on Monday, December 24, although a lot of Advent plans include daily activities, crafts, or readings beginning the first of the month.
These reading plans, crafts, and activities offer you and your children opportunities to look back and celebrate the birth of Christ, and look forward in anticipation of his second coming.
This Advent Bible reading plan and devotional offers 24 days of selected passages for Bible reading, a short devotional, and discussion questions for families with younger children. It can be tailored to any age group, as well as used individually or as a family.
Christian author Justin Holcomb delves into the history and meaning of Advent in this article on Christianity.com. You can use the information to inform your own Advent practices, and it can also be a great research resource for older students.
This short guide from Ministry Matters offers five ideas to make the most of Advent.
A lesson about the three Magi and their long journey fits beautifully into Advent lessons about patience and faith. These printable patterns for paper craft wise men can be cut and assembled by students, then used as props to tell the story.
“Patience and Promises: The Hope of Advent,”, a lesson plan from Ministry to Children, includes an Advent Bible lesson and craft geared toward students in grades two through six. It is designed as a plan for use in a classroom, but can easily be adapted for individual students and small groups as well.
This printable Christmas story from DLTK’s Growing Together includes 24 coloring pages, each with a corresponding scripture passage. Children of all ages will enjoy coloring the intricate illustrations, which could then be bound together creating an Advent story book.
This free printable from Real Life at Home offers ideas for meaningful activities for you and your family to participate in throughout Advent. Items on the list can be “checked off” in no particular order by coloring in the star next to the entry–a fun way for younger children to keep track of the family’s activities.
For a twist on a modern Advent calendar, which offers daily treats and surprises to the user, Between You and Me focuses instead on the aspects of giving and serving with a “25 Acts of Random Kindness” calendar. Many of the ideas suggested involve spending money, which isn’t always plentiful–especially this time of year. With a bit of creativity, you could come up with lots of ideas that cost very little or nothing, but which bless the receiver just as much. Take the opportunity to brainstorm with your family and come up with new ideas.
For the youngest children, creating or even following a calendar may be difficult. This sensory Nativity box from The Fairy and the Frog gives them a chance to experience the Christmas story, and could even be used as an Advent “calendar” of sorts, by dividing up the items in the box and presenting the story in parts each week. Items could be added to the sensory box–or bag–to represent new events, and the older items used to recap the earlier events.