catholic homeschool mom and child preparing for advent

Advent Activities for Homeschoolers

Happy Advent, everybody! During this holy season, we begin the long process of preparation for the coming of the Lord! With prayer and penitence, we labor throughout these four weeks to prepare our souls for the graces of the Christmas season.

From a homeschooling perspective, the rich symbolism and venerable traditions surrounding Advent and Christmastide make this time of year ideal from a pedagogical perspective. There are tons of crafts, lessons, and enrichment opportunities to educate your children while entering into the spirit of Advent.

Here are some fun homeschooling Advent ideas to get you started…

Advent Devotional

Doing some form of Advent devotion together is excellent. Use an Advent prayer book like the Magnificant Advent Companions, our Our Sunday Visitor’s Advent booklet by Fr. Pat Briscoe. Magnificat also has an Advent app for IOS and Android that digitally delivers the readings and devotions. Another good Advent read-aloud is The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaardner. It’s not a devotional proper, but it is written as an Advent countdown hidden within a fictional story.

Mark your calendar or set a reminder on your phone to keep up the devotional habit through the season.

Advent Candles and Wreaths

If you haven’t gotten the candles and wreath out yet, consider making your own Advent candles or wreath from scratch. The YouTube channel Garden Answer has a helpful video explaining how to fashion a homemade wreath. Another cool channel, You Floral, has an excellent tutorial for making homemade garlands as well. As for candle-making, there are thousands of DIY candle-making videos online. With a bit of planning, you can create quality Advent decorations made from scratch together with your kids.

Scripture Study

Read Bible passages throughout Advent from the Gospels. The website Rabbit Trails Homeschool has a free Scripture Advent Countdown booklet that helps your children count down to Christmas with a daily Bible passage from the Gospel of Luke.

Mary on the Mantle

Create a Joseph and Mary Journey to Bethlehem game. This is like “Elf on a Shelf,” but with Joseph and Mary instead. Your nativity figurines of Joseph and Mary are placed at a different location in the home each day as they journey towards the creche in Bethlehem, getting closer to the Nativity scene each passing week.

If you’d like to create a craft around this idea with the kids, printables are easy to find online, such as this one at Catholic Inspired. Alternately, you can get these paintable wooden cutouts from Build-A-Cross Craft Products that are priced extremely reasonably (less than a dollar). Holy Heroes also has a Road to Bethlehem board game structured around this concept.

Another fun resource is Mary on the Mantle from Be a Heart. You can see a video review here: Catholic Mom Life.

Jesse Tree

One of the most popular Advent activities is the Jesse tree, the construction of a family tree of Christ’s genealogy using iconic characters from the Old Testament. If you’ve never done Jesse Tree before, the website Catholic Icing has a nice introductory post on the nuts and bolts.

Local Parishes

Participate in your parish’s charitable Advent activities. Most Catholic parishes have charitable undertakings during Advent. Your parish may host a canned food drive or a collection of donated Christmas presents for needy families, or organize volunteers for the local soup kitchen or senior center. This Advent, look at volunteering as a family to undertake some pious work in connection with your parish’s outreach.

Catholic Cuisine

Advent is a season with a ton of traditional recipes associated with it. The website Catholic Culture has gathered 48 Advent recipes in one place, featuring everything from butter balls to plum pudding to fruit cake and more! Pick out four recipes and try one each week of Advent, involving your kids in the process.


Add an Advent penance. Advent is a penitential season—not to the degree that Lent is, but it is still meant to have the general character of penance. Encourage your kids to think of a little penance they can offer up for Advent.

Homeschooling, Holidays, and Finding Peace

What other ideas would you like to incorporate into your homeschool for Advent? Join us and other Catholic homeschool parents at Homeschool Connections Community or our Facebook group to share.

For tips on removing the overwhelm from the holidays, check out Jenny Bale’s blog article on Homeschooling and Finding Peace During the Holidays.

Advent Podcast Episodes

Homeschooling Saints Podcast offers several great episodes on Advent and preparing for Christmas:

How do you keep Advent and Christmas holy? I invite you to join me and other Catholic parents by joining our Homeschool Connections Community or our Facebook group today.

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Resources to help you in your Catholic homeschool…

Catholic Homeschool Classes Online

Homeschooling Saints Podcast

Good Counsel Careers

The Catholic Homeschool Conference

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