Jul 302018

Disclosure –  I received a free copy of Christmas Around the World Unit Study in order to write this review. I was compensated for this post, but I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

It’s late July. What’s on your mind?

A. It’s hot.

B. I can’t believe that summer is almost over.

C. I really need to figure out school plans for this year.

D. We ought to do a Christmas Around the World unit study this year.

I’m betting the answer is probably not D. However, I know that Christmas always sneaks up on me. We have done a few fun Christmas activities over the years including Borax Snowflakes. But every year I think we should try to do a study focusing on Christmas during the holiday season. But I tend to think of that when it’s too late, and I’m already scrambling to buy gifts, bake cookies, and decorate.

But what if I did start thinking of that now? What if there was a resource that planned a Christmas Unit study for me?

Thankfully there is, and I was sent a copy to review. It’s Christmas Around the World Unit Study by Katie Horner.

Christmas Around the World Unit StudyChristmas Around the World is a a 6-week Geography Based Unit Study for grades K-6. It covers Christmas traditions in 29 different countries plus 1 lesson on Christmas Carols in a total of 196 reproducible pages.

There are 2 informational pages for each country. The first page provides text with information about the celebration of Christmas in the country. The second page includes a list of recommended resources for additional study. There are lists of books and websites that provide ideas to focus on history, home economics, geography, art, music, or math.

Following the informational pages, there are 4 additional pages for each country. For each country there is a coloring page and country information sheet. The other 2 pages include a variety of different activities such as word searches, writing prompts, matching games, and comparison of traditions in different countries.

The book is designed as a 6-week unit study with one country studied each day. Choosing that option, you could start in mid-November and study all the countries before Christmas. But there are many other ways you could use this resource.

  • Add it to your geography studies throughout the year
  • Divide the countries and have each student present what they learned at a co-op or other group
  • Study more than one country per day
  • Divide the countries by continents and study traditions from different regions spanning multiple years

I think I can cross one thing off my Christmas to-do list! You can too. You can purchase a copy of Christmas Around the World Unit Study for $26.97.

Now back to thinking about how hot it is.





Jul 132017


Borax SnowflakeI did the neatest Christmas craft project with my 6 year old this week.  We made a snowflake out of pipe cleaners and Borax. Here is a direct link to the printable instructions for making a Borax snowflake.


    • pipe cleaner
    • string
    • boiling water
    • wide mouth jar
    • Borax
    • pencil
    • blue food coloring (optional)


The first step is to cut a pipe cleaner into 3 pieces.  Then twist them together in the middle to form a 6-pointed figure.

Borax Snowflake

Next, take string and wind it around each of the points of the pipe cleaner. Leave a long piece at the end.

Borax Snowflake

Tie the end of the string to a pencil.

Borax Snowflake

Next, get your wide mouth jar.

Borax Snowflake

and your Borax.

Borax Snowflake

Pour 1 cup of boiling water into the jar. Add 3 tablespoons of Borax and stir.

Borax Snowflake

Add a couple of drops of blue food coloring if desired.

Borax Snowflake

Lower ornament into the jar.

Borax Snowflake


Borax Snowflake


Leave ornament in Borax solution overnight. Remove from solution and you will have a beautiful snowflake covered with crystals.

Borax Snowflake


Dec 062013

I love making decorations for Christmas. But it’s hard to spend extra money on craft supplies at Christmas with an already stretched budget. (Really, I SHOULD think about Christmas crafting all year long, but I never do.)

But if your house is anything like ours, you probably receive tons of catalogs this time of year. Why not use them for something instead of throwing them away?

How to Make Catalog Christmas Trees

This is a great project to use some of those catalogs. They do need to be fairly thick to make a full enough tree.

Here’s how you do it.

1. Fold the page down from the top corner, making the top even with the center of the catalog.



2. Repeat for every page in the catalog.



3. Fold  page in half again making a narrower triangle.





4. Repeat for every page.

5. Tuck end inside of fold.


6. Crease and repeat for every page.



7. Stand up and fluff it out. Here’s our finished project spray painted gold.

Catalog Christmas Trees

I’d like to make a whole “forest” of different sized trees for my mantle!

Nov 292011

I’m a bit of a stickler about my Christmas tree. I insist on having a “real” tree every year. It’s certainly not the most frugal choice, but I just love the smell of the tree. I also love how every year the tree looks a little bit different.

It’s kind of funny that even though I must have a real tree, I had never even considered a real Christmas wreath.

Until now.

Last week I received an absolutely gorgeous Balsam fir wreath from Wreaths of Maine.

I live far from Maine in North Carolina, but my wreath arrived safely because it was well-packed in a cute shipping box.

When I opened the box I was greeted with the aromatic smell of freshly cut fir brush. Even though it was before Thanksgiving, that made it feel like Christmas to me. (I’m a stickler for no Christmas decorations until AFTER Thanksgiving!)

I hung my wreath on one of the front windows using the included wreath hanger. (The wreath hanger is a v-shaped  metal piece: NOT the mismatched red ribbon. As soon as I can get some ribbon that matches, I’ll replace it.)

Doesn’t it look pretty?

You may be wondering why a homeschooling mom would be asked to review Christmas wreaths. That’s maybe the neatest part of this whole review. (Well, maybe not. The wreath is awesome.) Wreaths of Maine is a mail-order wreath company that was started by a homeschooling family. Today the majority of their wreaths are sold by homeschool families or groups.

Wreaths of Maine sent me a sales kit along with the wreath. Included in the kit are 2 full-color brochures, order forms, instructions for both taking and sending orders, and helpful tips for how to sell the wreaths. And if you are not interested in selling wreaths door to door, you can share your seller id number and have friends place orders on-line. Either way, earning commissions is easy.

If you’re looking for a Homeschool Fundraiser, you should definitely take a look at Wreaths of Maine. Or if you’re looking for a Christmas wreath, be sure to look at Wreaths of Maine first. They have a variety of wreaths available. I received the Classic Christmas Wreath which is available for $37. (If you order, you can use my seller id. It’s 5064 – A Day in the Life.)


Disclosure: I received a free Classic Christmas Wreath from Wreaths of Maine to review. I was not compensated for this post. I will receive a commission check for any wreaths that I sell.



Dec 092009

A hayride with hot cocoa.

Singing Christmas carols.

Finding the PERFECT tree.


As one big happy family.

Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? Wait, I should make it a sleigh ride through the snow and why not chop our own tree down?

Let’s face it. This is not reality for most people. Our reality for getting a tree was loading up the kids in the car, driving down to the tree lot and walking through the trees, trying to find one without too many holes and not losing a kid in the process. Plus it’s usually cold. And dark. It’s really hard to tell what a tree looks like. I always have a hard time making up my mind. Often there are tensions between my husband and me while we’re trying to decide. It’s certainly not the thing that holiday memories are made of. (Or not good ones anyway.)

A few years ago, when my 3 year old was just about 6 weeks old, my husband had a BRILLIANT idea. He decided to stop on his way home from work and buy a tree. All..by..himself. At first I was a little nervous. But then really, how hard is it to pick out a tree? So, I agreed. And he picked out the nicest tree we’d ever had. So I let him do it the next year. And the next. It’s our new family tradition. Really, the kids are no less excited seeing Daddy drive home with a tree than if they got it pick it out. It definitely Works for Me!

Visit We are THAT Family to read more Works for Me Wednesday tips.


Dec 152008

Here is a cute project that my older son (10 yo) made for our bookclub.  The assignment was to read a Christmas book and report on it.  In addition, they were to make a Christmas craft that related to the book, if possible.  He read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever  and chose to make a Nativity Scene.  He got the idea from Usborne’s Christmas Art Ideas book.  He cut or ripped paper to make the scene.  the ground is made from a coffee dyed paper towel as well as the shepherd’s clothes and the swaddling clothes in which Jesus is wrapped.  Most of the rest of the paper was glittery craft paper.  The people are faceless by intention. The sheep are my favorite!;

Jan 112008

I am really behind on my posting, but I wanted to shared these pictures anyway.  Over our Christmas holiday we went to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC (we didn’t stay there!) and looked at gingerbread houses that were on display for a contest.  These houses were absolutely incredible.  We couldn’t believe some of the detail.  Enjoy

Oct 312007

We went on a field trip Monday to Mrs. Hanes Moravian Cookie Company.  There were several homeschool families from our church that went together.  It was very interesting and we got to sample all 6 flavors of cookies.

The cookies are all still hand rolled and cut.

This is the mixer that they use to mix each batch of dough. It will hold 700 lbs!

The cookies are all handpacked too. These 2 ladies are sisters of the owner. It’s a family business, and they won’t let anyone not in the family know the recipes. It kind of reminded me of those Bush’s beans commercials where the dog keeps trying to sell the secret recipe.