Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Christmas Carols Around the World

We've been studying how folks celebrate Christmas in different parts of the world this month with the Techie Homeschool Mom's online unit studies and are having a lot of fun with it.

The online unit studies are very handy while we're traveling since there is very little in the way of extra supplies that you have to pack along. The book club portion can easily be completed with a Kindle version of your chosen story and the cultural activities can be adapted to take advantage of things that might be available wherever you are visiting.

Recently, while studying Christmas in Mexico, we chose to visit a Mexican restaurant (Lindo Michoacan in Henderson, so delicious!) for lunch before heading back to our room to enjoy some Mexican Hot chocolate (from a mix but still very tasty.)


Mexican Fried Ice Cream - a dish that fits any celebration
Another thing we've found about these unit studies is the number of resources we are introduced to throughout our lessons. One of our favorites is Why Christmas? Ths little gem of a site answers questions like, "Why do we have Christmas Trees?" and, "What is Santa's first name?" 

It also shares the Christmas Story from the Bible and explains the history behind the birth of Jesus in the Christmas Story (oh that darned census!)

Why Christmas? also provides background for many of the Christmas traditions that we hold dear today. One of my personal favorites, singing Christmas carols, began long ago when pagan songs were sung at Winter Solstice and continued to develop as Christians took over the ritual and changed once again when St. Francis of Assisi started his Nativity Plays in Italy (you can read about them here in Smithsonian Magazine.)


Image from CatholicCompany.com
Of all of the carols I have enjoyed singing oer the years, four of them stand out for me; Away in a Manger, The First Noel, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing and, best of all, Silent Night. I remember hearing the legend behind this lovely carol many years ago and imagining the chrch organ gasping its last note as Fr. Mohr swiftly brought out his guitar to accompany the children so their parent's surprise would not be ruined (yes, this could well be a tall tale, you can read about it here.)

We're having a lot of fun studying and sharing Christmas traditions with the Christmas Around the World online study unit. We're not only learning about the celebratoins in other countries but also using Google Maps and Earth to learn about their architecture and natural landscapes.

If you'd like to check them out for your family, you can click here to sign up for a Free Sampler of Five Online Unit Study lessons that includes Christmas in France. I'm sure you won't be dissapointed.

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