Advent is our family’s favorite time of year. We love coming together every evening to read devotionals and talk about the anticipation of Christ’s birth. Even at a young age, children can sense that something exciting is happening this time of year. That is why Advent is one of the best times to incorporate Gospel truths into your home.
Using An Advent Calendar
Honestly, I did not observe Advent until a few years into marriage. The concept and importance of Advent was quite new to me and I’m still learning new ways to celebrate the joy of the season in our home.
Shortly after our daughter was born, someone gifted me with an Advent calendar that we still use today. Consisting of 24 tiny booklets, each contained a portion of the Christmas story from Luke 2.
My husband and I jumped in and read one booklet to our 2-year-old daughter each night of Advent that year. After reading, we let her hang the ornament on our Christmas tree. This became a wonderful tradition that we continue to observe with both our children 10 years later.
Including Advent In Your Morning Time
If you’ve never tried Morning Time with your children, give it a try. I promise it’ll change your family culture forever. The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to homeschool to have Morning Time with your family. The same principles can apply during evening hours just as well as morning hours. You can do what works in the culture of your home.
During the Advent season, I love incorporating Christmas poetry, carols, hymns, and a few small activities. Sometimes, we’ll even re-read our favorite Christmas picture books. Some family favorites include:
- The Legend of the Christmas Stocking
- The Legend of the Christmas Tree
- Christmas Day in the Morning
- The Snowy Day
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree
- The Polar Express
These are our family’s favorite pictures books. For older children, you can incorporate some short chapter books or short stories such as:
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
We often spend several days on one book. The children love the anticipation of what they’ll read the next day! This anticipation ties in with the ultimate anticipation of Christ’s birth.
Planning A Music Study
As homeschooling parents, we’re always looking for new ways to incorporate beautiful things into our lessons. If you use music studies in your homeschool, Advent is the perfect time to go deeper with those studies. Music studies don’t need to consist of elaborate notebooks and worksheets (unless you want to). Again, you don’t have to be a homeschooling family to enjoy a music study.
We love sitting at our kitchen table after breakfast and listening to YouTube playlists of famous composers. You can listen to a favorite playlist as you get ready for school or on the way to school each morning.
We’re currently studying George Fredrick Handel which is quite fitting for this time of year.
Reading From Short Devotionals
Many families read short devotionals that include Scripture and a brief time to reflect on the coming season. This year, I decided to try something new and use All Creation Waits by Gayle Boss. We love it! Each morning, we read a short narrative that depicts how animals in nature prepare for winter. Then, we relate this to preparing for Advent. It’s a simple way for children to understand the restful and purposeful way to prepare our hearts for the wonder to come.
Bringing Your Family Into the Kitchen
It’s no secret that our family LOVES being in the kitchen together. I love seeing our children bound into the kitchen to ask, “What are you making? Can I help too?”
When our children were younger, it was tough to train them in the kitchen. However, several years later, we see the wondrous benefits with our daughter those same fruits with our 3-year-old.
I completely understand the hesitation in bringing children into the kitchen. It’s so much easier to just do it ourselves. Preparing for Advent takes work! Preparing our children for life takes work! In the scope of a lifetime, the preparation is such a short time. Start small and think slow. Begin with a simple cookie recipe and leave the Buche de noel for another time. 😉
Don’t Concern Yourself With Messes
When you’re in the kitchen, it’s gonna get messy. That’s perfect! Have fun and enjoy making special memories with your children. You have to make a mess in order to reveal the masterpiece.
If you’ve struggled in the past to begin Advent traditions, I encourage you to begin this year!
If you already celebrate, Advent in your home, what do you do?