Christmas in July! Holiday Family Story Project

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This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Holiday Family Story Project.

Have Christmas in July: Holiday Family Story Project

Holiday Family Story Project

Planning your next homeschool year? Let’s talk about holidays (it’s Christmas in July)!

Are you looking for an engaging and educational project perfect for the week after Christmas? Join Vicki for a discussion of 7Sisters’ Holiday Family Narrative. It is an activity not only brings families together but also enhances your homeschool high schoolers’ writing skills! They can turn cherished family stories into written narratives and create lasting keepsakes while honing their creative writing abilities.

Holiday Family Narrative

Rediscovering Family Stories

During holiday gatherings, families often reminisce about past events, sharing anecdotes about relatives and memorable moments. These stories, whether frequently told or nearly forgotten, can serve as the foundation for a wonderful writing project. 

Encouraging teens to capture these narratives on paper preserves family history and provides a meaningful way to redirect potentially uncomfortable holiday conversations.

What are Family Narrative Guides?

7Sisters Holiday Family Narrative Writing Guide is a downloadable workbook that helps students transform spoken stories into written stories, focusing on character development, storyline structure, and appropriate dialogue. Simply put, teens can turn a given family tale into a well-crafted story using these guides!

(BTW- 7Sisters Homeschool offers another affordable Family Narrative Guide designed for one-week projects. In a family narrative, you simply take a general family story.)

Family Narrative Short Story Writing

In the Holiday Family Narrative, you could pick either a Christmas story or any kind of holiday family stories come up. You are using the holidays as an excuse to capture that story down on paper.

Teens simply ask relatives to tell holiday stories.  Once the story outline and details are gathered, the Family Narrative Guide helps students through the writing process. Teens will learn to develop characters, set the mood, and structure the story effectively. 

After completing the narrative, students can turn their stories into cherished keepsakes. Whether through binding, creating a scrapbook, or designing a cover using tools like Canva or PicMonkey, the final product can be shared with family members as a special memento. 

Academic Benefits

When teens engage in creative writing projects, they also strengthen their overall writing skills. For instance, creative thinking helps teens to write well when they take on more formal assignments like research papers and essays. 

Example of a Family Story Project

My great grandmother lived in Louisville, Kentucky in the farmland around the town, during the early days of the Model T Fords. In her little neck of the woods, a bit outside the city limits, everybody’s telephones were connected. (You may have heard of party lines, where the telephone line goes from house to house, and everybody in the neighborhood can be on the same line at the same time. 

Which also means, if you wanted to be a nosy neighbor, you could pick up the phone and listen in on the conversation of others’ that were on the line. 

My great grandmother saved up money to buy herself a model T Ford.

And this was the biggest deal in that town. All the little farm families around where she lived were so excited. Everybody wanted to see that model T Ford, and she was excited to drive it.

Once it was delivered, she got into her little model T Ford, and she drove it from her house into town. When she drove, she would pass the next house and then the next house. 

And as she passed these houses, the neighbors would pick up their phone and tell them that she just passed by. Everybody would be on the party line waiting for her to pass so they could tell everyone on the party line. It became a big, excited ordeal.

Granny's Model T

Then her husband wanted his chance to drive the car. 

He climbs into the Model T, and he drives by all the neighbors, who are again just so excited to see the car driving by. It goes down the party line that he’s passing by, and he turns around and comes back and it goes back up the party line. 

And as you know, he’s never driven a Model T Ford before; he’s always driven his horses. With the new car, they’re going to also park this Model T in the barn. 

Normally, when he gets in the barn with his horses, he would say, “Whoa..” and the horses would stop. Then he could unhitch them, put them in their stalls, and so on. Horses are very obedient. 

Similarly, when he drove the Model T Ford into the barn, he told the Model T to “Whoa, whoa…” But the Model T didn’t stop. Instead, it just went right through the back wall of the barn. 

This is an example of a family narrative story. And you can see, it’s endured generation to generation because it’s so cute and just so special to that time period in history.

Gathering Family Stories

Part of the Holiday Family Story Project, then, is to get your teens to pry stories out of their relatives. These stories could be a certain time period or a trip they went on. 

Your teen will gather these stories from their relatives so they can start somewhere with the project.

Developing the Story

Once your teen has the basic outline of a story or even just some details, have them ask a few more questions to flesh it out.

Like our example story above, they could find out what kind of clothes they wore in those days? What color was the Model T?

Ask questions to drag out as much information about these stories that they can.

Use the 7Sisters Narrative Guides

Use the 7Sisters Holiday Family Story Project the week after Christmas to work through the process each day. It will help your teen turn the story they heard into a story on paper. 

They will also include character development and be able to describe the family members and share about their personality.

The Family Narrative Guides will take your teen through the entire process of developing the storyline, adding in simple dialogue, and structuring the appropriate mood of the story.

Editing and Finalizing

Before you bind the story to finalize it, make sure your teen does their editing for it first. Because if you’re going to share it with the relatives, you want to make sure this copy is edited well. 

Once the final draft is ready, then you could take it to get bound, either at an online printing source or to a local copy shop, or even make your own DIY binding. Make additional copies, too, for other relatives to enjoy.

Once your teen puts it all together, you all have a really cool keepsake for the whole family to enjoy for years to come!

Holiday Family Story Project

As you can see, turning family stories into written narratives is a delightful and educational post-Christmas project for homeschool high schoolers. Not even just for post-Christmas enjoyment, though, but any time during the year. 

Download Holiday Family Narrative and help preserve family history as well as improves writing skills and having fun. Teens can create meaningful keepsakes that will be treasured for years to come through these family narrative guides by 7Sisters Homeschool!

Thank you to Seth Tillman for editing this podcast and to Richie Soares with Homeschool & Humor for writing this blog post!