Make Your Homeschool Merry | a Helpful Holiday Roundup

homeschooling through the holidays

Make Your Homeschool Merry | a Helpful Holiday Roundup

One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to create a family schedule that works in your real life. So, if you’re not homeschooling through the holidays, I hope you spend quality time doing what’s best for your family. If you homeschool through the holidays, I’d love to hear your best tips for staying on top of it all!

This Round-Up is helpful regardless of your plans. To make the most of December, be sure and grab our free December Checklist Printable. It has all.the.goodies.

Okay, here we go!

Helpful Holiday Blog Posts

I’ve done the research for you to come up with Christmas or Holiday themed blog posts that will inspire you or encourage you.

Holiday Resources for Homeschooling Families

Homeschool moms love great resources! Here are some from our own podcasters!

Helpful Holiday Podcasts

Make yourself a cup of cocoa and dig into this mega list of homeschool holiday podcasts!

Holiday Movies for Your Family

While not all Christmas movies, why not use the holiday break to cuddle up on the coach with the family and a bucket of popcorn and dig into these binge-worthy lists of family movies?

(Thank you to our Sponsor, 5,000 Blankets) Coming to PureFlix January 9th, 2023)



How to use movies in your homeschool

How to use Movies in your Homeschool

187: How to use Movies in your Homeschool

In this episode, guest Rachel van der Merwe, discusses how to use movies in your homeschool. Rachel is Assistant professor of media studies at the University of Groningen and FundaFunda’s teacher of the “I Spy: A Course in Visual Literacy” online class.

Rachel starts off talking about Movies vs Documentaries – listen in for her interesting perspective.

Some specific content areas we cover and the movies mentioned are:

History movies – Newsies

Geography movies – Michael Palin’s videos

English – Movies based on books (eg Shakespeare plays by Kenneth Branagh and Akira Kurosawa.

Music / Art – Eroica (Beethoven), Amadaues , Agony and Ecstasy, Fantasia

Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode

How to use Movies in your Homeschool

A Book and a Movie, Interview with Ticia Messing

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: A Book and a Movie, Interview with Ticia Messing.

A Book and a Movie, Interview with Ticia Messing

A Book and a Movie, Interview with Ticia Messing

One of our favorite things is learning with movies, so we are so excited to talk to Ticia Messing about learning with books and movies!

Ticia is an old friend of ours (we talked in an earlier episode about teens and volunteering). She shares about homeschooling her three teenaged sons and one teenaged daughter at Adventures in Mommydom. Her sons are all in high school and driving now, so her world is quickly changing.

Her sons have enjoyed homeschooling for their entire educational lives. Now they have extended their experiences by starting dual enrollment at the local community college. They are each taking one course to help them get a taste for college.

One of Ticia’s emphases in her homeschool is helping her teens explore, define and build career interests. Her teens’ current interests vary from firefighting to game design to restaurant ownership. (One of the ways she helps her teens explore career interests is through field trips. For instance, her firefighting-interested son has had field trips to the local firehall.)

Another of Ticia’s emphases is sparkling up the homeschool year with movies about the books that they read.

She has been using books and matching movies since her kids were in third grade.

For instance, when her kids were young, they read the story of Cinderella. Then they watched the movie: Ella Enchanted. On top of their reading and movie they made snacks to go along with the movie’s theme, such as pumpkin-carriage cupcakes! They followed up by comparing the book and the movie with a discussion.

Recently they read Alice through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, then watched the Disney movie and the movie Wonderland. They had a great family discussion on the similarities and differences between the movie and book. (Her teens have strong opinions about what they like and do not like about the changes the movies make in the story and/or characters.)

Some of the discussions they have about the movie include:

  • Why did the director make certain casting choices?
  • How can they make sense of plot changes that were made in the movie?
  • Are there absolute travesties in the movie’s version?
  • What did the movie get right?
  • Are there some things that were not in the book but worked well in the movie

Movies with books inspire learning and discussion.

How can parents get the most out of a book and a movie?

If you would like to work together as a family or have your teens work independently with a book and a movie, here are some suggestions.

  • Define your purpose for doing a book and a movie
    • Just for fun
    • Developing a topic they are studying (for instance, when they were studying Sci-fi, they read and watched lots of books and movies)
    • Building thinking and conversation skills
  • Choose how many books and movies you want to cover?
    • For instance, Ticia’s family reads one book and watches the accompanying movie each month.
  • Decide if you want to watch the movie first or or read the book first.
    • Ticia’s family tends to watch Disney movies first, then reads the book.
    • They read the book first on most other kinds of films.
  • Check out Ticia’s list of one hundred movies based on books for tons of ideas.

One way to make the most of books and movies is to use 7SistersHomeschool’s Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides.

These popular guides help students learn while enjoying classic movies!

The guides take classic movies and use them to teach literature analysis skills. Some of the movies in this series that are based on books include:

Other guides in the series are just the literature-analysis guides for movies. There is no accompanying book.

We allow our teens to actually count these as books for their book lists IF they have completed the guide. The movies that do not have a book to go with them include:

Visit Ticia at for lots of enrichment for your homeschool. She specializes in literature and movies and LOTS of hands-on history ideas. Also, join us for today’s episode about a book and a movie!


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12 Stories of Christmas

12 Stories of Christmas

12 Stories of Christmas

Episode 81

12 Stories of Christmas. It’s our favorite time of year! We love Christmas time around here. In this episode, we talk about some of our favorite Christmas stories… both books and on the big screen.

Listen in for some great book and movie suggestions for your family this holiday season. Get ready to snuggle in for a good Christmas story this year.

If your Christmas library is looking bare, we have suggested some of the books you might want to add to your collection. These books also make really great gifts. It’s always nice to receive a good book that can become part of your family’s Christmas tradition.

Books mentioned on the show:

    • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    • ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
    • The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
    • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
    • How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
    • Letters From Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien
    • Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
    • The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
    • The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel
    • The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry – Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
    • Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble
    • A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

Hallmark Christmas Movie List


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HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool Highschool

This week on HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool Highschool.

HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes. Movies can be an inspirational part of your homeschool high school Language Arts program.

HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool Highschool

Need some fun in your homeschool high school? Think: movies!

Movies and reading can both count for Language Arts assignments?

Movies can’t count as books, but they can be used to learn themes, plots, characters and other tools of literary analysis. Studying a movie can add some sparkle to a year that is getting bogged down in heavy literature books. However, you want to have good tools (like 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides).

Join Sabrina and Vicki for an enlightening discussion of movies for educational process. Let’s start with another of Sabrina’s famous quotes:

Stories are stories.

So, a story in a movie is still a story.

Stories are Stories. Literature analysis through movies. HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes.

Learning story analysis skills by watching movies is good for all teens. Homeschool high schoolers with learning difficulties will find analysis skills more accessible when they watch and discuss movies.

So where do you start? Choose one or two aspects of the story to discuss and analyze, even if the movie has lots of outstanding features that could be explored. That way teens can actually learn and hold onto their learning. We suggest 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides for this.

When teens learn some concepts from a film story, they can then find those concepts when they read books. Making these connections is a necessary facet of education (and an important life skill).

Watching movies as an educational tool, helps teens begin to think that any time they watch a movie, they can use their brains and think about what they are consuming. In other words, when given tools for analysis in a gentle way, most teens will have more critical thinking skills for watching movies any time.

All 7Sisters curriculum is level-able (adaptable for Average- through Honors-level studies.) Homeschool high schoolers who are college-bound Honors level cinema studies will find interesting and meaningful leveling-up activities in 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning Study Guides.

The way the Cinema Studies guides work:

  • Students watch the movie.
  • They take notes as they watch the movie on anything that is interesting to them.
  • They watch the movie again several days later.
  • Then they complete the study guide (questions and a writing assignment).

As an aside, Vicki and Sabrina rabbit trailed onto the topic of audiobooks for books and poetry. They noted that Benedict Cumberbach is one of their favorite readers. Vicki has several pins on her Pinterest Poetry board with him reading a poem.

Join Sabrina and Vicki for a *moving* talk about movies!

For more creative Language Arts ideas, check out this episode!

HSHSP Ep 89: A NOVEL Approach with Highschool Literature!


HSHSP Ep 145: Movies for Educational Purposes in Homeschool Highschool

Why We Love Hallmark Christmas Movies

Why We Love Hallmark Christmas Movies
Finish Well Radio, Podcast #079, Why We Love Hallmark Christmas Movies, with Meredith Curtis, on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

In “Why We Love Hallmark Christmas Movies,” episode #079, Meredith Curtis talks about her own experience with Hallmark movies and why they are so satisfying to watch. She goes on to explain how the things we love about Hallmark movies are related to deeper desires that are in our hearts. She encourages you to explore the miracle of Christmas, different from the intangible “spirit of Christmas” in Hallmark movies, so that you can experience full, abundant life this Christmas and every day that follows.





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


Powerline Productions, Inc.

Being World Changers, Raising World Changers!

We offer books and ebooks to help you homeschool to the Glory of God!

Help yourself to a free Christmas Devotional and many other helpful free resources at Joyful and Successful Homeschooling!


Show Notes

Introduction: Even though they are cheesy and predictable, we love them.

Why Hallmark Christmas movies are satisfying:

Small towns

Close-knit Families

Good people with morals and kindness

Bad people can change, experience transformation

Hero is perfect and trustworthy

Guy heroine attached to is not really good, a pretender

The “spirit of Christmas”

Our Real Desires

Warm, loving relationships

Want to belong to a group of people that love & care for one another

Want to be surrounded by good people who bring out the best in us

Want to be good

Want to experience transformation

Want to belong to the “Perfect One” who loves us perfectly

Want to be set free from the impostor

Know that there is something significant about Christmas to experience—not the “spirit of Christmas, but the miracle of Christmas.

Experiencing the Miracle of Christmas

Jesus offers us life and life more abundantly. He offers us rest and a burden to carry that is easy and light. Jesus offers us joy, peace, hope, and love.

Example of Bank Account full of money

There is nothing wrong with putting your feet up and watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, but realize that that good feeling from the movie is temporary, but the miracle of Christmas is yours today, changing your life forever.

Merry Christmas from our families to yours.


Please share your favorite Hallmark Christmas Movie Below


Christmas Resources

Curtis Family Christmas TraditionsCelebrate Christmas with a traveling dinner by Meredith Curtis and Laura NoletteCelebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study by Meredith CurtisCelebrate Christmas in Colonial America by Meredith Curtis





Missions, Movies, and Lifeschooling (Part 1) – David Cook

Missions, Movies, and Lifeschooling - David CookOn this episode of Life as a Lifeschooler, Danielle talks to David Cook, a former MK who was homeschooled and now works on many of the Christian film sets.

David grew up on the mission field in Spain. A homeschool graduate, in 2001 he started working in media, both radio and television in Spain. In 2009 God placed it on his heart to get involved with feature filmmaking. Moving back to the United States, David started working with Advent Film Group to start the learning process and get hands on experience on film sets. Since that point, David has worked on 18 feature films in various capacities, including The Screenwriters, Polycarp, Princess Cut, Beyond the Mask, Badge of Faith, War Room, Like Arrows, and most recently the upcoming films Overcomer and Once Upon a Time in Mongolia.  David also helps with the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival in Franklin, TN, where he enjoys sharing with others what he has learned and encouraging them to follow what God has placed on their hearts to do.

Here are the some of the questions I ask David on this first part of the interview:

Tell us about what your homeschooling situation looked like.

The definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents primarily through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you in light of how your family homeschooled?

How did homeschooling strengthen your relationships with your siblings? I know you now work with your siblings on set quite often. Tell us about that.

How did your parents fit homeschooling with mission work and all the responsibilities that came with that?

Were there any particularly rough patches with homeschooling and how did your family navigate through that time?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Talking About the Movies – MBFLP 191

This episode, we open up about several of the big releases in the theaters right now – and share some principles we use for evaluating entertainment through a Biblical lens for our family! Join us as we look at Darkest Hour, Murder on the Orient Express, The Greatest Showman, and The Last Jedi, with a different approach for thumbs-up or -down.

Some Other Resources You Might Appreciate

How we score the media …

Our blog reviews on …

Murder on the Orient Express

The Greatest Showman

Darkest Hour

HSHSP Ep 47: Using Movies as Curriculum

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Episode 47: Using Movies as CurriculumHSHSP Ep 47: Using Movies as Curriculum

Is it a requirement that highschool curriculum be boring? That’s what some teens feel.

How about adding a little inspirational fun to your homeschool highschool curriculum?

Join Sabrina for an interview with her homeschool-graduate son, Sam. Sam studied filmmaking in college (and highschool).

They have a lively conversation about making movies part of the homeschool curriculum to:

-add interest

-increase critical thinking

-enrich literature study

Have fun with Movies as Curriculum! (Photo: Sam White, filmmaker)

Cinema Studies for Literature Learning: A Christmas Carol



MBFLP – Movies, Media, and Teaching Some Discernment

MBFLP - Movies, Media, and Teaching Discernment

School’s out and the summer movies are releasing! The music and the special effects are amazing, the story lines are gripping — but where are they heading? How can you find the true message woven into the cinema experience? Do your kids know what to look for? This episode, we’ll talk about how we teach our young people to watch and listen with discernment, whether it’s a three-movie epic or a 30-second commercial. We’ll talk about some of our favorite movies, and we’ll share some of the lively discussion we actually have in our family over the popcorn. Plus we have a special limited-time offer to share with our listeners … so join us!