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Holiday 2021
Gather around the Table
table is traditionally the place you are nourished. With food, of course, but even more so with gathering together to enjoy connection and conversations and laughter. That’s why we chose the theme “gather around the table” for this holiday edition.

We believe the holidays have spiritual significance as we take the time to say thanks to our God, celebrate the birth of our Savior, and plan—with open hands—the gift of a new year. We also believe that we are not only called to love God, but to love others. And so our focus in this issue is on both those relationships during this holiday season.

What does that look like?
  • Whether it’s the chaos that can come with the holiday season or just the hard things of life, Ashley encourages you to look up in the eye of the storm where you’ll find peace with some very practical suggestions on how to do just that.
  • Tricia Goyer shares about the year their family decided to stop grumbling. Can you imagine the impact that would have on your relationship with God and one another?
  • Do you want to walk into the new year with confidence as a homeschool mom? Kim Sorgius will help you make a plan as a family so you can set your year up for success.
  • Kay shares practical ways to simplify your holidays while keeping the focus on the most important relationships in your life.
  • The holidays are a time for food, faith, and fellowship. In Bookshelf & Beyond, you’ll learn about some incredible resources for focusing on these three things.
  • Traditions play such a key role in our holiday celebrations as they strengthen our family bonds. A few of our columnists, as well as our readers, shared some of their favorites. We hope they inspire you to incorporate some this year as well.
  • Wendy is all about the fun—as always—and will help you make deeper connections with your family with ideas everyone will enjoy.
  • Emily gives you step-by-step instructions for how to make personalized greeting cards… the kind you will want to keep for years to come!
We hope you’ll gather around the table this holiday season to enjoy your family and experience relationships on a deeper level!
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The Holiday 2021 Activity Guide
The holiday season is a time to celebrate as we remember all that we are thankful for, contemplate the birth of our Savior, and look forward to the coming year. You can take advantage of all the season offers with our seasonal activity guide, a FREE download made exclusively for our print subscribers. Full of printable pages, activities to highlight the season, art lessons, and more—you’ll no longer have to scour the internet for inspiration to make the season come alive. Simply download the guide and receive plenty of easy-to-use, fresh ideas.

In the Holiday Activity Guide, you’ll find seasonal and holiday activities, an excerpt from Amanda Bennett’s Christmas Unit Study, a chalk pastel art lesson from You Are an Artist and more. So enjoy this time with your family and all the season has to offer as you homeschool boldly!

To receive the Holiday 2021 Activity Guide, subscribe today using the special offer below!
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Finding a place of Peace in the middle of the Storm typography

by Ashley Wiggers


o you ever feel the weight of being overwhelmed? I do. When things begin to stack up and I can’t see through them, it feels paralyzing. I have a hard time getting anything done.

Whether you’re fighting this feeling because of the holiday craze, a family challenge, emotional stress, or physical difficulties, it can give you a sense of being stuck in place. I don’t think I’m alone in this fight, so I wanted to share some thoughts that will help us push back.

Gratitude-Filled Holidays?
by Tricia Goyer

ne of my favorite holiday carols goes a little something like this: “Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light.” Yet this is easier said than done. Around my house, there are often kids grumbling over who got the more significant piece of pumpkin pie around the Thanksgiving table. Either that or making a list, checking it twice, and then adding to it daily.

Then, when you add unrealistic expectations to the mix, parents get in on the grumbling too. I’ve grumbled when the cookie decorating yields more sprinkles and frosting on the floor than on the cookies. I’ve complained about kids stealing my clear wrapping tape or about buying a stack of Christmas cards, only to have them still sitting on my desk on December 24.

Spread Some Cheer typography
Fingerprint Christmas Card Tutorial
by Emily Copeland
by Emily Copeland
Add some creativity to your time around the table this holiday season with this group-friendly Christmas card project.

These collaborative Christmas cards are the perfect activity to enjoy while kids are gathered for Thanksgiving or other holiday celebrations. Just be sure to complete them early in the season to allow plenty of time to mail them to your Christmas card list.

A Singular Focus
by Kay Chance
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Myhusband and I married on December 18, 1993. At our rehearsal dinner, each person brought us an ornament to hang on our future Christmas trees. Twenty-eight years later, we place each ornament on our tree and it reminds us of the people surrounding us during that time of celebration.
It was a simple thing.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. Over the next few years, we were gifted with so many Christmas decorations, as well as those we began adding ourselves—singing Santas, pieces to an It’s a Wonderful Life display of buildings and characters, manger scenes and knickknacks of every kind. We decorated the same way our mothers had, and we both loved it as children. But before long the idea of decorating felt like something we were obligated to do, not something we enjoyed doing.
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reflective gold star
Whether big or small, traditions create a sense of family togetherness. We hope these ideas inspire you to gather around the table and create your own this holiday season.
rolled out cookie dough with shapes cut out
Yes, flour found its way to the tile grout and some of us looked like we had weathered a blizzard, but we enjoyed measuring and baking together. This was a generational tradition passed along to me by my mother and grandmother, and I wanted to share it with my children. It was perfect for multiple ages. As we rolled dough and created, I told stories about when I was a child, how I decorated, how we baked for days, and what recipes were our favorites. As they listened, my children understood they were part of a heritage, a bigger picture. In the end, deciding who to give the cookies to became an additional treat. My children remember packing up goodies for our sweet shut-in neighbor and blessing the mailman with a plate we packed, wrapped, and hid in the mailbox.
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by Wendy Hilton
Make the Holidays Fun! text
This holiday season, I’m thankful for family and friends. I think it’s important to recognize the blessings we have and to remember and document them for the future. It’s also important to spend some time getting to know each other on a deeper level and learning to appreciate each other’s unique personalities and gifts. And there’s no better time to do these things than when we gather together during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays.

It’s not necessary to plan lots of fancy or elaborate activities—though you can if that’s what you love to do! There are many ways to gather around and enjoy each other’s company, share the blessings you’ve enjoyed over the past year, and get to know each other better.

Create a Family Journal
My dad has kept a journal for many years. At any time, one of us can ask him what our family was doing twenty years ago on this date, and he can look back in one of his journals and tell us. It’s so much fun recalling memories we might never have thought of again if we hadn’t looked back in those journals to jog our memories.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet.”
Psalms 119:105
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uring the holiday season, we like to share a way your family can give to organizations, non-profits, or ministries. This year we’d love to introduce you to Asian Christian Academy of India.

ACA models Christian service through the equipping of men and women to be Christian leaders and care for local communities with social service.

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Planning Your New Year title
A family playing with a sparkler

As the smell of pine fades and the rush of the holidays becomes quiet, the chilly air blows in a brand new year full of the promise of change. The countdown is on and we can’t help but feel the excitement of change that bubbles over in our New Year’s celebrations.

Change is one of those words that either thrills your soul or gives you hives. For most, welcoming change can be a very uncomfortable thing. Like the Israelites who wanted to go back into slavery rather than navigate the change in circumstances, we’d often much rather suffer where we are than embrace the unknown of change.

And yet, the new year forces its way in each and every year, demanding that we consider the change. My friend, may I challenge you to embrace it this year? Don’t let past doubts cloud your hope. Instead, use this opportunity to continue to grow and change to be more like Christ.

Bookshelf & Beyond
with Curriculum Consultants:

Deanne Crawford & Gina Burmeier


you are ready to create memories with your family and loved ones, what better way than an enjoyable family game? Spending time around the table with a good game builds relationships, teaches kids good sportsmanship, and gets the whole family away from the screen to laugh and have fun together. Your kids will always remember these times and, hopefully, carry on these traditions in their own families.

The holidays are a time for food, faith, and fellowship. Keeping those elements in mind, we’re excited to share some of our favorite games to help you create a memorable holiday for your whole family!

Don't forget to download your:
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Homeschooling Today holiday planner:
Having a plan will help you be more intentional and focused this holiday season!

Download Homeschooling Today’s FREE Holiday Planner along with some incredible deals from your favorite companies!

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This special offer would make a great gift for your homeschooling friends and family. Every issue of Homeschooling Today is packed with encouragement and practical help.

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Thanks for reading our Holiday 2021 issue!