Dark green with colored picture of nativity scene. Are You Actively Teaching the Christmas Story?

How to Teach the Christmas Story

Teach the Christmas story – Have you Incorporated that into your homeschooling plans this December? It’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in all the busyness of the Christmas season that the Christmas story gets shoved aside in favor of everything else that’s going on.

We get busy with church activities, parties, family get-togethers, shopping, baking, decorating, and all the events. Too often, the Nativity story gets pushed to the background. But we shouldn’t let that happen. Instead, we should actively teach our children the Biblical account of the Nativity. Need some help with that? Keep reading!

What is the Christmas story?

Different narratives surround us every Christmas! We have Santa and his elves, Rudolph and the other reindeer, Scrooge and his ghosts, Nutcrackers and mouse kings, and a collection ofdifferentr stories. Oh, and don’t forget to add the Christ-child and the manger to your list of Christmas narratives.

But wait, is the birth of Christ just another story on the list, or is there something more to this story than the others? Is the Nativity account more than a story? Did it happen? Does it matter to you one way or the other?

The true Christmas story, the Nativity story, is the account of Jesus’ birth in a manger in Bethlehem. God planned this event before time began, prophesied for thousands of years, anticipated, longed for, and finally accomplished.

Yes, the Nativity Story Matters

The Nativity story is a part of God’s eternal plan for humanity and its redemption from this fallen world. And everything about the true Christmas story happened exactly as God planned and according to God’s perfect timeline.

The Bible presents this account with all the details we need to understand this part of God’s plan for us. Consider the following:

  • The genealogies of Jesus show that he is qualified to be a king. (Luke 3:23-38 –  through the tribe of Judah, back to Adam!) (Matthew 1: 1-17)
  • The forerunner of Christ (and his cousin) is introduced to us as part of the story.
  • The angel’s announcements to Joseph and Mary tell us that Jesus is both human and divine, God and man in one, God incarnate.
  • The census and taxation described in the Christmas story take Joseph and Mary to the town of Bethlehem, exactly where prophecies told where Christ would be born.
  • The name given to the Christ-child, Jesus, was told to Joseph by the angel. The name means “Savior.” “. . . for He shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

Why Should You Teach the Christmas Story?

We homeschool our children to ensure that they learn essential principles and character traits. We choose teaching materials that correlate to our worldview. Also, we set high academic standards for them to achieve. We value factual accuracy. So, when the facts matter, when we strive for accuracy, we don’t leave those issues to someone else; we teach them ourselves.

When you want to ensure your children learn something, you teach it yourself. Whether math, science, making a bed or cleaning the bathroom, if the method and the facts matter, you carefully teach them to your children yourself. Shouldn’t the factual account of the Christmas story be taught as carefully to your children as the correct way to load the dishwasher?

  • If you believe the Biblical account of the Nativity story is important to know, then you need to teach it to your children.
  • Knowing and understanding the Christmas story is essential to a Biblical worldview. If that matters to you, you need to teach the Christmas story.
  • Factual accuracy matters. If you believe the Bible, you should teach your children the accurate Biblical facts of the nativity account.

Where to Find the Christmas Story in the Bible

Primary source materials are essential for proper research, teaching, and information. And since the Nativity story comes straight from the Bible, we should use that primary source for our information. Yes, that source is the Bible. Do you know where to look in the Bible for the different parts of the Christmas story?

Key Prophecies relating to the Birth of Christ

  • Genesis 3:15 – First prophecy in the Bible, telling of the coming Messiah who would one day defeat Satan completely
  • Isaiah 7:14 – Christ would be born to a virgin
  • Isaiah 9:6 – His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
  • Micah 5:2 – Christ would be born in Bethlehem

An Angel Appears to both Joseph and Mary (separately)

  • Matthew 1: 18-21 – Angel appears to Joseph
  • Luke 1:26-38 – Angel appears to Mary

The Central Christmas Story (Nativity Passage) – Luke 2:1-20

Account of the Wise Men – Matthew 2:1-12

Additional Aspects of the Christmas Story(for older kids or other years)

  • Genealogies of Christ – Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38
  • The Account of Zacharias, Elizabeth, and the birth of John the Baptist – Luke 1:5-25, 57-80
  • Anna’s and Simeon’s reactions to the Christ Child – Luke 2:21-39
  • Joseph, Mary, and Jesus’ Flight to Egypt – Matthew 2:13-23
Dark green, light green, ivory colors, mockup for giveaway of My Christmas Activity Book

How to Teach the Christmas Story

So, how should you teach your kids this Christmas story? Some of your teaching methods should vary according to the age of your children. But here are some suggestions you can use.

  • Read and discuss the passages directly from the Bible. This will work better with older children, but you might be surprised by how much your younger kids will grasp by listening to your discussions with their older siblings.
  • Use the appropriate pages in your Bible Story Books. Do you have a collection of Bible storybooks? Or maybe you have some Christmas books that focus on the birth of Christ. Use those to begin teaching your young children the true story of Christmas.
  • Use your Nativity Set. Do you have a nativity set as part of your Christmas decorations? Or, perhaps you have a nativity set for your children to play with. Use that to help you teach the Christmas story. Instead of, or in addition to, Elf on the Shelf, you can move your Mary and Joseph figures closer to the stable each day. And with that, you can go over an additional part of the Christmas story each day.
  • Flannelgraph sets for the Nativity. I know flannelgraph sets are old-fashioned, back from the dark ages when our technology was quite limited. But sometimes, an old-fashioned approach will catch kids’ attention because it is different, something they aren’t used to seeing. Flannelgraph figures will easily stick to fleece blankets draped over a piece of cardboard.
  • Coloring pages for each scene from the Nativity story to teach the critical parts of the Christmas story. Let your kids quietly color the picture as you tell them the story that goes with their coloring page.

Key Facts about the Nativity Story your Kids Need to Learn

While all elements of the Christmas story are essential, your kids may not need to learn them all this year! All these facets of the account may be beyond the understanding of your younger children. But here are some of the critical parts of the Christmas story for your kids to learn.

  • Jesus’ birth was planned from before the beginning of the world.
  • Jesus’ birth means he was both man and God – he can relate to our temptations and sorrows. The word “incarnation” means God in the flesh, God with us.
  • Everything about Jesus’ birth was a miracle!
  • The birth of Christ is not the “end” but just an essential part of God’s plan; Jesus could not have died for our sins if he hadn’t been born to live on this earth.
  • Christ’s birth came at God’s appointed time; it was all part of God’s eternal plan.
  • God’s hand was in charge of all aspects of Christ’s birth – from the angel’s announcements, the selection of Mary, the mandatory census or taxation, the visit of wise men to Herod, and the flight to Egypt.

Amid all our Christmas busyness, we should not forget the Christmas season’s primary cause, reason, and purpose. And to keep that foremost in our children’s hearts, we must actively teach them the Christmas story and its importance in God’s eternal plan.  

Carol Rhine Rhine Home School Services

Check out these links for additional information about Christmas and homeschooling:

Great Christmas Books to Get Your Family Ready for the Season

How to Survive the Holidays While Homeschooling

How to Avoid Holiday Burnout

Even When Life Is Crazy, Let Them Help

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