Search Results for: traditions

7 Festive Fun Thanksgiving Traditions to Cultivate Gratitude

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #198, 7 Festive Fun Thanksgiving Traditions to Cultivate Gratitude, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

7 Festive Fun Thanksgiving Traditions to Cultivate Gratitude

In “7 Festive Fun Thanksgiving Traditions to Cultivate Gratitude,” episode #198, Meredith Curtis inspires homeschooling families with meaningful ways to give thanks this year. God has been good to us this year and Thanksgiving is a great day to let Him and each other know how thankful we are! Traditions include Praise Breakfast, Gratitude Guessing Game, Thankful Tree, Blessing Place cards, Pass the Praise, Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing, and Thankful Poster. Try one this year and watch gratitude grow in every heart.

 

 

 

 


 

 

PowerlineProd.com Homeschool and Bible Resources

 

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Bringing Homeschool Joy to Families Everywhere!

 


Show Notes

God is good. His goodness is everywhere but we often focus on what we don’t have rather than our blessings. These traditions are easy and fun, yet they truly cultivate gratitude!

Praise Breakfast

Supplies needed: yummy breakfast food, instrument (guitar or keys), or online music, and words to songs.

Gratitude Guessing Game

Supplies needed: very small whiteboard, dry erase markers, and notebook paper for each family member.

Thankful Tree

Supplies needed: poster board, markers, and brown/orange/yellow/red construction paper.

Blessing Place Cards & Scripture Cards

Supplies needed: cardstock, markers, and Bible.

Pass the Praise

Supplies needed: basket of candy corn.

Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing

Supplies needed: hymnal and instrument (piano, guitar) or online music.

Thankful Poster

Supplies needed: poster board and colorful markers.

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Resources

Celebrate holidays with these festive, fun books and unit studies:

Celebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study by Meredith Curtis Celebrate Christmas in Germany Unit Study by Meredith Curtis Celebrate Christmas in Colonial America by Meredith Curtis
Celebrate Thanksgiving by Meredith Curtis Celebrate Easter Devotions Celebrate Our Christian Super Heroes by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette at Powerline Productions, Inc. Christmas Thoughts and Prayers Journal by Meredith Curtis

 

 


Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

Creating Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions | Replay

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Today I am joined by guest Meredith Curtis, a fellow podcaster on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and a teacher at True North Homeschool Academy. Today we are talking about How to Create Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions.Creating Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions!

Today I am joined by guest Meredith Curtis, a fellow podcaster on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and a teacher at True North Homeschool Academy. Today we are talking about How to Create Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions! Check out the fun and doable list of activities that you can implement today to enrich and preserve wonderful Thanksgiving memories!

Thanksgiving can definitely be a time of sharing great food, but it’s also a wonderful time to engage with each other in meaningful ways. We all have so much to be thankful for!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions; it’s can be simple as:

  1. Bring people home to celebrate and eat with your family- invite people over!
  2. Pass out kernels of corn and then everyone share something they are thankful for for each kernel of corn they took.
  3. Have a special Thanksgiving Tablecloth and have everyone sign it.
  4. Decorate for Thanksgiving with guards and fall décor – create a cornucopia as a centerpiece.
  5. Create a “Thankful Tree”
  6. Create posters where people can write in what they are thankful for
  7. Eat and share good food
  8. Host a Pie Breakfast Open House
  9. Play board games
  10. Have a time of worship and testimony together
  11. Sing old Hymns together. Check out CrossSeven for some great ones!
  12. Watch or play football
  13. Play cornhole, volley ball or croquet
  14. Take an after dinner/ before desert walk
  15. Watch a parade
  16. Honor relatives you only see on holidays and record family stories

Resources:

Find Meredith at Powerline Prod

We love coming alongside fellow homeschoolers to ensure your academic and future success at True North Homeschool Academy! Sign up for our weekly email for support, class and clubs sales and specials and encouragement on your homeschooling journey!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO Life Skills 101 VIA COMPUTER

  1. Follow this link to our Apple Podcasts page.
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Special Replay | Easter Traditions

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Easter Traditions for your family Easter Traditions ~ Episode 464

What are those special Easter Traditions you share as a family? In this episode, with Felice Gerwitz and Crystal Niehoff, you will learn that many Christian families have a diversity of ideas on how to celebrate this holiest day of our Lord’s resurrection.

Welcome to Crystal Niehoff who along with her husband, Kevin, an Army Chaplain hosts the History For Christian Teens podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Be sure to subscribe to their wonderful show for teens (and tweens can listen in as well!).

What makes Easter special? Remembering the time of the life, death, and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ! This is a day of celebration for many families and it is more than cute Easter bunnies and chocolate. What makes Easter special in your family? If you have not given it thought think about this, and brainstorm with your family.

  • Some Easter Traditions:
  • Lent (celebrated by Felice’s family 40 days before Easter).
  • Resurrection Eggs – Tokens with the remembrance of Easter for children. Plastic eggs contain a symbol the depiction of something that represents Easter with a guidebook.
  • Good Friday – suffering, and death of Christ.
    • Felice’s family fasts from all meat on Fridays leading up to Easter. We also attend church on Thursday and Friday before Easter.
  • Sunrise Service. Crystal’s family attends (her husband officiates)
  • Easter Vigil – Saturday evening before Easter. Evening service with Scripture readings from Genesis to the Resurrection.
  • The best Resource is the Bible
    • Four Gospels have a different perspective
    • Older teens can read the Gospels and compare the Bible account
  • Thankfulness is not just for Thanksgiving – Easter is a great time to be thankful.
  • Easter is the eternal lesson for celebrating the gifts of the sacrificial love of Christ.

Easter Traditions do not need to take much money (See Easter on the Cheap, last week’s Vintage Homeschool Moms episode). The most important thing to remember is the time we spend with our family can not be replaced.

Our Christmas Morning Traditions

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #175, Christmas Around the World, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Our Christmas Morning Traditions

In “Our Christmas Morning Traditions,” Episode, #176, Meredith Curtis shares her Christmas morning traditions, established in 1986 and continued to this day. Starting with special Christmas devotions and a homemade cinnamon roll “birthday cake” and ending with presents, these morning traditions have helped us to celebrate joyfully while keeping our focus on Jesus, the One we celebrate. The Curtis Christmas morning traditions have impacted relatives and friends who have occasionally visited our family for the holidays. Precious to this day, Meredith encourages listeners to create their own Christmas morning traditions that meet the needs and desires of your own family. Merry Christmas!

 


Rejoice! for unto to us a child is born! - with Powerline Productions, Inc.

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Bringing Homeschool Joy to Families Everywhere!

 


Show Notes

His & Hers & Ours

Writing the Devotions

Preparation

House Decorated & Tidy

Cinnamon Rolls Made & Rising

Breakfast Casserole, Orange Juice Ready, Kitchen Island Ready

Good Morning

Christmas T-shirts

Coffee, Juice, Hot Chocolate

“Fireplace” on TV, Christmas Lights On

Devotions

Devotion Books

  • Luke 2
  • Christmas Carols & Songs

Homemade Cinnamon Roll & “Happy Birthday to Jesus”

Impact on Visitors

Presents

Eat Breakfast while Opening

Open Gifts – one at a time (we open stockings on  Christmas Eve after the Traveling Dinner)

Making a List for later Thank-You Cards

Calls to Family

Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles

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Resources

Be proactive this holiday season! 😊

Celebrate Thanksgiving by Meredith Curtis Christmas Thoughts & Prayers Journal by Meredith Curtis at Powerline Productions, Inc. Celebrate Christmas with a traveling dinner by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette Jesus Fill My Heart and Home by Meredith Curtis
Celebrate Christmas in Germany Unit Study by Meredith Curtis Celebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study by Meredith Curtis Celebrate Christmas in Colonial America by Meredith Curtis

 


Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

Family Traditions to Celebrate, Teach, & Identify

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #173, Family Traditions to Celebrate, Teach, & Identify, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Family Traditions to Celebrate, Teach, & Identify

In “Family Traditions to Celebrate, Teach, & Identify,” Episode, #173, Meredith Curtis believes family traditions are a perfect way to celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and special days. They also help us to pass on values and give our children a sense of security as a family member. Many celebrations also lend themselves to teaching children family and national history. Where do you start to build family traditions your family will enjoy and keep everything simple and easy? Meredith hears you and she has some simple steps to take to plan your own family traditions.

 


Powerline Productions, Inc.

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Bringing Homeschool Joy to Families Everywhere!

 


Show Notes

Start with his and hers. Then move to ours.

The Basics of Traditions

Festive with purpose!

  • Celebration Fun
  • Teaching & Passing on Virtues
  • Identification in the Family

Let Me Give Your Some Examples

New Years Day

Scriptures

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (II Corinthians 5:17)

Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)

New Life, New Opportunities, Moving Forward

Celebrate: Game night & Festive midnight “toast with hugs”

Teach/Pass Values: Family Communion (new life in Christ) & Prayer for the New Year (new beginning)

Family Identity: “This is how we celebrate New Years”

St. Valentines’ Day

Scripture

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (John 15:12 NASB)

Love for God, Romantic Love

Celebrate: “Pink & Red & White Dinner,” decorate, make Valentines for each other

Teach/Pass Values: Parents share love story or looking at wedding album, Read (or watch) something about St. Valentine

Family Identity: “This is how we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day”

Mother’s Day / Father’s Day

Scripture

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth(Ephesians 6:1-3 NASB)

Blessing of Parents, Honoring Parents

Celebrate: Special meal, Encouragement Game, Family Outing, or Presents (combo or all)

Teach/Pass Values: Call grandparents, Send cards earlier, Help children make cards & gifts for parent

Family Identity: “This is how we celebrate Mother’s Day & Father’s Day”

How to Get Started

Brainstorm your dreams for your family

Talk to your husband – his favorite holiday traditions

Talk to your kids – what are there favorite holiday traditions

Can tweak traditions (e.g. opening presents one at a time)

Think in terms of Celebrate & Teach/Pass Values. All traditions help establish a family identity.

Sign up for our Newsletter

100 Homeschool Hacks by Meredith CurtisSign up for our updates and get your copy of 100 Homeschool Hacks FREE. Sign up here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

Be proactive this holiday season! 😊

Celebrate Thanksgiving by Meredith Curtis Christmas Thoughts & Prayers Journal by Meredith Curtis at Powerline Productions, Inc. Celebrate Christmas with a traveling dinner by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette Jesus Fill My Heart and Home by Meredith Curtis
Celebrate Christmas in Germany Unit Study by Meredith Curtis Celebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study by Meredith Curtis Celebrate Christmas in Colonial America by Meredith Curtis

 


Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

Easter Traditions

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

What are those special Easter Traditions you share as a family? In this episode, with Felice Gerwitz and Crystal Niehoff.Easter Traditions ~ Episode 464

What are those special Easter Traditions you share as a family? In this episode, with Felice Gerwitz and Crystal Niehoff, you will learn that many Christian families have a diversity of ideas on how to celebrate this holiest day of our Lord’s resurrection.

Welcome to Crystal Niehoff who along with her husband, Kevin, an Army Chaplain host the History For Christian Teens podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network. Be sure to subscribe to their wonderful show for teens (and tweens can listen in as well!).

What makes Easter special? Remembering the time of the life, death, and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ! This is a day of celebration for many families and it is more than cute Easter bunnies and chocolate. What makes Easter special in your family. If you have not given it thought think about this, and brainstorm with your family.

  • Some Easter Traditions:
  • Lent (celebrated by Felice’s family 40 days before Easter).
  • Resurrection Eggs – Tokens with the remembrance of Easter for children. Plastic eggs contain a symbol the depiction of something that represents Easter with a guidebook.
  • Good Friday – suffering, and death of Christ.
    • Felice’s family fasts from all meat on Fridays leading up to Easter. We also attend church on Thursday and Friday before Easter.
  • Sunrise Service. Crystal’s family attends (her husband officiates)
  • Easter Vigil – Saturday evening before Easter. Evening service with Scripture readings from Genesis to the Resurrection.
  • The best Resource is the Bible
    • Four Gospels have a different perspective
    • Older teens can read the Gospels and compare the Bible account
  • Thankfulness is not just for Thanksgiving – Easter is a great time to be thankful.
  • Easter is the eternal lesson for celebrating the gifts of the sacrificial love of Christ.

Easter Traditions do not need to take much money (See Easter on the Cheap, last week’s Vintage Homeschool Moms episode). The most important thing to remember is the time we spend with our family can not be replaced.

Christmas Traditions Under Ten Dollars

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Here are some last-minute Christmas traditions under ten dollars! There are so many things I want to share that I had to limit myself to the top ten that I love and have enjoyed with my children.Christmas Traditions Under Ten Dollars – Episode 456

Here are some last-minute Christmas traditions under ten dollars! There are so many things I want to share that I had to limit myself to the top ten that I love and have enjoyed with my children. I hope this episode blesses you, and while it is last minute, you can do some of the activities all year long.

Please visit the Media Angels website for deep discounts and specials throughout the holiday season – if you missed our big sale, be sure to subscribe to the email list here, at the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network for updates.

First of all, what is a holiday tradition? My definition is one that your family celebrates year after year. These things can consist of but not be limited to decorating the house, buying or setting up a Christmas tree, baking cookies or bread for the family or to share, taking pictures for Christmas cards, volunteering or visiting those who are in need, purchasing gifts for those in need, singing carols, Christmas get together’s, tree lighting, and local activities and parties, celebrating the days leading up to Christmas with an advent wreath and prayers and so much more.

What is on your Christmas tradition list? That is the first place to start. Look at this list and see what items you want to keep and what needs to go. One year I cut out all of my local friends from my Christmas card list – then next year out of state friends came next. I kept my list to immediate and extended family only. Why? Because writing and sending out cards was a huge stress factor in my life and something had to go. The next year I removed all of the baking for those who were not directly related, such as accountants, hairstylists, and more. It was again, just too much! The only baking I do is for immediate family and those that come for the actual Christmas meal.

Christmas traditions for our family revolve around our faith and this is something I consider very important. We celebrate the countdown to Christmas with an Advent Wreath. We pray using the Scriptures and lighting one candle each week as we count down to Christmas. The children made and decorated a wreath at church one year, and we used it for many, many years. The candles cost less than ten dollars and it is a wonderful celebration. My favorite book is The Season of Light which is available on Christian book’s website.

There are many holiday traditions that we cherish and as life goes on you can be sure they will change through the year, but spending time with family is precious and should be treasured. As a young mom, I wanted to create my own holiday memories with my new husband. (Story on the podcast.)

The first thing is to clarify with your spouse what you want your holiday to look like. That helps alleviate all of the issues that can crop up from misunderstanding. I made a point to look at things in a realistic way realizing you can not make everyone happy all of the time. Another is that I would strive to not allow my feelings to get in the way and to let things roll off that are meant to harm, or perhaps were said in innocence. I’ve been married for over 42 years so this method worked for us.

Ask your children what they want to do to create Christmas memories. You may be surprised at what they say!

Here is a list of Christmas activities under ten dollars:

  1. Advent wreath. The kids can make one easily, there are many directions online and the candles are inexpensive. Lighting a candle each evening brings the focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
  2. Singing Christmas songs around a campfire, invite some friends and those who can play the guitar or piano for up North and indoors.
  3. Baking cookies. This can turn into gift-giving for neighbors or family.
  4. Watching Christmas movies. What are your favorites make a list? Ours consists of: Good King Wensalus, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Star, and my favorite The Nativity.
  5. Secret Santa. In larger families, there is often a gift exchange with one person. You draw the person’s name out of a hat and you make or purchase a gift for that one person. You will receive one gift back as well from someone who draws your name. This can be done on top of gift-giving as well and instead of buying a gift, your job is to gift that person with kindness.
  6. This is free and such a blessing for those in need.
  7. Homemade decorations, the traditional Popcorn strings, paper wreaths and paper chains. Photos of the Children and the date are always fun for Christmas ornament gifts.
  8. Play games. My family turns everything into a competition with dual checkers or chess games and winners are in the playoffs. Or learn a new game.
  9. Make a gingerbread house.
  10. Scavenger hunts. The kids can break up into teams with the younger ones teamed with older kids – use homemade gifts or dollar store gifts, and hide them before using a set of clues (at least ten) to get you to the final destination. This is a super fun game and I often did this with the children to find their birthday gifts.
  11. Use groupon or yelp to find things happening in your local area. Many are free such as the local Christmas tree lighting.
  12. Take a drive with the family viewing neighborhoods that decorate their homes for Christmas. For the longest time one of our close neighbors had five acres they decorated and people parked and walked around their property looking at all of the decorations. They did this in memory of a child who had died and loved Christmas. This was a free activity to the local community.
  13. Outdoor activities like building a fort or a snowman – up north of course!
  14. Grateful Journal – you can begin this on December 1st or even the week leading up to Christmas or after. Each evening you can take turns sharing what you are grateful for as a family and putting this in the journal. It is fun to go back and see what everyone had to say.
  15. Hot chocolate and marshmallows and a good Christmas story. Reading the Scriptures and the Christmas story especially the gospel of Luke.
  16. Sending card to the military – this needs to be done earlier in the year but you can call your local recruiting office to find out information about this… my son will soon be in the Army and I’ll probably do a podcast next year on this topic.
  17. Listen to audiobooks together as a family. A public library gives you access to many audiobooks for free.
  18. Blessings Game. One year I created an activity for my family handing them slips of paper, one for each person in our household. They were to write what they believed was this person’s God given gift. For example, hospitality, generosity, charity, joy etc. and why they thought this. Then, each person added the slip into one envelope that was given to this person on Christmas Day. It did not need to be completed at one time, but over the course of a few days, in plenty of time for Christmas. This was opened first.
  19. A prayer first, then finding baby Jesus or the Christmas pickle. The evening before the child Jesus was hidden in a different part of the home, and the children had to find it on Christmas morning so he could be placed back in his manger scene. The Christmas pickle was a gift from an Aunt. The person who found it first could begin opening a gift first.
  20. Taking turns opening gifts. There is so much time, effort and money poured into purchasing or making gifts that half the time I would miss the kids opening theirs, especially in large families you know what I mean…so we would each take turns opening gifts, and yes – it wasn’t always perfectly even but the kids learned early that some gifts were more costly and that meant less presents in number. I think this was a wonderful way to have a longer but slowed-down Christmas morning.

I wish we were gathered in a large room drinking a hot beverage and sharing Christmas ideas and suggestions for under ten dollars and in that way we could learn from each other! While I love podcasting I do miss visiting with all of you at homeschool conferences as I did in past years.

I pray that you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas, or whatever holiday season you are celebrating and enjoy your family and friends. You are all so special to me and I appreciate you!

 

Creating Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Today I am joined by guest Meredith Curtis, a fellow podcaster on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and a teacher at True North Homeschool Academy. Today we are talking about How to Create Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions.Creating Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions!

Today I am joined by guest Meredith Curtis, a fellow podcaster on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and a teacher at True North Homeschool Academy. Today we are talking about How to Create Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions! Check out the fun and doable list of activities that you can implement today to enrich and preserve wonderful Thanksgiving memories!

Thanksgiving can definitely be a time of sharing great food, but it’s also a wonderful time to engage with each other in meaningful ways. We all have so much to be thankful for!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions; it’s can be simple as:

  1. Bring people home to celebrate and eat with your family- invite people over!
  2. Pass out kernels of corn and then everyone share something they are thankful for for each kernel of corn they took.
  3. Have a special Thanksgiving Tablecloth and have everyone sign it.
  4. Decorate for Thanksgiving with guards and fall décor – create a cornucopia as a centerpiece.
  5. Create a “Thankful Tree”
  6. Create posters where people can write in what they are thankful for
  7. Eat and share good food
  8. Host a Pie Breakfast Open House
  9. Play board games
  10. Have a time of worship and testimony together
  11. Sing old Hymns together. Check out CrossSeven for some great ones!
  12. Watch or play football
  13. Play cornhole, volley ball or croquet
  14. Take an after dinner/ before desert walk
  15. Watch a parade
  16. Honor relatives you only see on holidays and record family stories

Resources:

Find Meredith at Powerline Prod

We love coming alongside fellow homeschoolers to ensure your academic and future success at True North Homeschool Academy! Sign up for our weekly email for support, class and clubs sales and specials and encouragement on your homeschooling journey!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO Life Skills 101 VIA COMPUTER

  1. Follow this link to our Apple Podcasts page.
  2. OR take this IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in “…your favorite podcast source”
  3. This will take you to Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast source and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
  6. Thanks!

OR PLEASE SUBSCRIBE VIA iPHONE

  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review*

Traditions & Celebrations

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Traditions and Celebrations | Are you looking for something to make Christmas meaningful? How about traditions and celebrations to start off the holiday right? Join Felice Gerwitz with Denise Mira as they share special traditions that won't break the bank. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #christmas #traditionsTraditions & Celebrations Episode 386 with Denise Mira

Are you looking for something to make Christmas meaningful? How about traditions and celebrations to start off the holiday right? Join Felice Gerwitz with Denise Mira as they share special traditions that won’t break the bank.

Thanks to our sponsor Overcomer DVD now out in stores! 

Denise Mira, author of No Ordinary Child:  Unlocking the Leader Within Your Child, has been married to Gregory for 39 years. They are the parents of five extraordinary home-educated sons. Denise has traveled extensively, inspiring revolutionary change in households as she shares her impactful message for families. She is passionate about helping moms and dads raise No Ordinary Children! Find more inspiration and free tools for success at DeniseMira.com

Traditions – Celebrations

  1. Traditions & Celebrations – What is the true meaning of Christmas and how can your family traditions bring this to light
  2. Everything good – every perfect GIFT comes from God. James 1:17 so we organically marinate in this concept – Bible and prayer isn’t a religious exercise. It is our LIFE, our first thought, the foundation of our lives so that spills over into our holidays.
  3. Advent calendars come in so many forms these days! incorporate family prayer and scripture reading and memorization in its daily joyful use
  4. Highlight the nativity scene-elevate it -kids love playing with these Fisher-Price, Playmobil or surely there’s a complete set at the Goodwill or Dollar Tree to be had-this can be a time of reading from the Bible the story of Christmas while setting up the pieces, chatting about what it must have been like, really making it real.
  5. Bake Jesus a birthday cake and PRAYFULLY give him gifts (each child gave thought to and contributed something they could give to Jesus by gifting it to a single mom/kids and laid it at the Nativity during a celebration of family worship and prayer)
  6. Santa has never been a focal point or dominant in our decor or chatter – it’s not the religious unpardonable sin, but you get my drift. He’s more of a jovial fictional character who needs Jesus.
  7. Make homemade faith-based ornaments, Christmas cards and/or wall hangings
  8. Buy a kids puzzle 100 or 1000 piece depending on ages on Amazon for the table that is faith-based.
  9. Muppet Christmas Carole movie is an all-time fav and illustrates so much we can apply to life as His disciples in the earth – it could be a whole unit study for the holidays!
  10. Baking for elderly people in our lives-they just can’t cook anymore! seriously our neighbors relied on our holiday goodies for anything homemade
  11. Toys for tots type drives-involve the kids in contributing for NEW items so they feel the pinch as they give (God so loved that He gave)
  12. Attend a candlelight service even at a different church than your own if yours doesn’t do it
  13. Christmas Veggie tales
  14. My friend has lots of grandkids and they all act out the Christmas story as she reads it with a few costume props at their Christmas gathering
  15. My brothers fam makes homemade cards and a traditional butter toffee chocolate candy each year -all the kids sign their name to the card the oldest stamps or whatever-very low cost but it’s their way to give something affordable to lots of people to share Christ’s love and an authentic Christmas catch up letter is often included.
  16. Christmas Eve has always been our ‘ya’ll come celebration’ where we include lots of unsaved friends, lonely people, military singles, everyone brings an appetizer to share. It’s always a rich, warm and loving time of outreach.
  17. Hang a string of lights or flameless candles in each kid’s room-if a tree is available that’s fun too but that might not be doable. the string of lights or cheap LED light votives at Dollar Tree can serve as a teaching on Jesus Light of the World coming to a dark place to shine and we take on His mission to our world and the lights serve as night lights and cozy up to their rooms.
  18. Review the modern-day miracles Jesus has done in your family or loved one’s lives. Choose one each evening-have the kids ponder and come up with some it’s amazing what they are in touch with that God has done! Write them down, reflect, thank Him, set them at His manger.
  19. Ask your kids who is on their heart to help this Christmas. You may be surprised what they come up with – do all you can to accommodate what’s on their hearts to bless those people! They will ‘own it’ and it becomes so real to them.

Not “Back to School” Traditions

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

We have been homeschooling for over 15 years now. A lot of moms enjoy planning and organizing for their homeschool year and are excited to get back to school. I personally enjoy NOT going back to school! When summer wraps up, and the local schools go back into session, it is my favorite time of year!

Find out about our special Not Back to School Tradition and be inspired to create some of your own. #notbacktoschool #homeforlearning #homeschoolfamily

Most families have a first day of school tradition:

I have always enjoyed celebrating the first day of school with my children. We start our homeschool on Labor Day. Most times my husband has the day off so he can start our school day with us and help to lay down the rules and pray with us on our first day. He will usually go and get donuts, or we will cook a big breakfast.

After breakfast, we give them some first day of school gifts. These are usually school supplies, a homeschool t-shirt or a new water bottle. It’s like Christmas though, and they get so excited and look forward to their gifts! Then we ease into school with the annual first day of school photos. We start our day with prayer, introduce the new subjects and things we will be learning and we get to work!

We have a special “Not Back to School” Tradition as well:

Our family really enjoys camping. We have a camper that we take out often. Camping can be such a fun vacation or staycation for your family. It is inexpensive and there are great memories that can be made. Some people stress out with camping, and yes, it can be stressful getting everything packed up and set up. Once we are finally there we can breathe, relax and enjoy our family!

Since we love camping so much, and we don’t start school until Labor Day, we decided to start the tradition of a “Not Back to School” Camping Trip! We live in Florida, so we love to visit the fun, touristy places that have water or pools,  that are usually busy all summer. Come back to school time, these places are dead! Since we are not going back to school, it is the perfect time to visit these crowded locations. We enjoy camping at Fort Wilderness at Disney World, or at campgrounds on the beach that are usually booked up months in advance. End of August is usually the slow, low peak season and you can find some great deals. You will also find almost empty campgrounds. It’s the perfect time to camp, or hang out on the beach, or visit a waterpark.

We even get our oldest involved with us. We plan our trip a few days before his college classes start back up so that he can come with us. It is a cherished time together as a family. We plan a special dinner out, plan fun campfire meals, and sight seeing and local activities. Since we live in Florida, we make sure to plan a bunch of these around water because it is still super hot! When we come back, we still have a full week after our trip so that I can finish my homeschool planning. I come back refreshed and ready to say goodbye to summer and take on the new school year!

If you enjoy camping with your family you will also enjoy these posts:

Activities Kids Love – camping is a favorite!

101 Staycation Ideas – a staycation is a great “not back to school” tradition!

Teamwork Wilderness Adventure – this is a fun podcast, and would be a great tradition for older teens.

Here are some other fun ideas for “not back to school” traditions:

  • Not Back to School Waterpark Trip – lots of my friends here in Florida, will visit a waterpark on the first day of school.
  • Not Back to School Amusement Park Trip – if you can save up some of your vacation money, visiting an amusement park during the first week of school will guarantee low crowds!
  • Special Lunch out to a busy restaurant – pick a fun, busy restaurant and go during the middle of the week, during the day to celebrate not going back to school
  • Movie Day – go see a popular summer hit in the middle of the day, when everyone else is in school!
  • Beach or Lake Day – visit a beach, lake or spring and enjoy no crowds!
  • I love this tradition from Felice – “We would always go the beach the end of summer each year for dinner. There is a favorite pizza place right by the beach. After dinner, we would take our pictures dressed up with the beach in the background to mark our new year. Then we would go get ice cream!”

What are some of your favorite “Not Back to School” Traditions? We would love to hear them in the comment section!

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