Bring History to Life with December Dates in History

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Bring History to Life with December Dates in History

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I love history! I love seeing how things connect over the centuries. I confess I’ve owned more than one “on this day in history” resources, and it’s just possible I have several volumes of timelines sitting on my shelves right now. There is an extra benefit to looking at key calendar dates each month. How else can you incorporate Jane Austen, the history of frozen food, the American Revolution, World War II, Uzbekistan, Chile, and Solzhenitsyn into one month of study? I took a look at some of the anniversaries and birthdays coming up in December, and here is what I found:

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor. The following day on December 8, President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested a declaration of war from the U.S. Congress on the Empire of Japan. From now through 12/31/14 you can get President Roosevelt’s speech as copywork for handwriting practice at 50% off for just $ .99. This offer is only available to Homeschool Share readers. Choose print copywork, cursive copywork, or manuscript copywork (these links will automatically apply the discount to your cart).

On December 8, 1991, Uzbekistan celebrated Constitution Day, just a few months after declaring its independence from the Soviet Union on August 31, 1991. Trace the Silk Road through six cities of Uzbekistan with this free printable.

December 9, 1886, marks the birthday of Clarence Birdseye who invented a new way to freeze food. You can have all kinds of fun with this free freezer fun printable.

December 10, 1787, is the birthday of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, the co-founder of the first public school for the deaf. Practice your fingerspelling with this free ASL printable that contains a hidden Christmas message!

December 11, 1918, is the birthday of Russian author and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Try this free Russian history timeline printable and see if you can match the right event with the right year.

December 12, 1851, is Poinsettia Day. It honors the death anniversary of Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the American diplomat who introduced the poinsettia to the United States. Try this free handwriting practice printable about Dr. Poinsett.

On December 15, 1989, an election ended the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile. Try this free printable quiz and see how much you know about this South American country.

December 16, 1775, is the birthday of the English author Jane Austen. We have a free Pride and Prejudice crossword puzzle in her honor!

December 19, 1777, George Washington and the Continental Army made camp at Valley Forge, PA. If you’d like 500+ pages of American History through Copywork, check out this Black Friday sale now! From 11/28-12/1, you can save 83% on this HUGE bundle with the coupon (see site for details). And don’t miss this free printable Paul Revere board game!

December 25, Christmas Day, is the day we pause to remember and celebrate the most precious Gift in all of history, the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, families in some parts of the world are not free to celebrate Christmas. A Martyr’s Christmas is a free unit study sensitively written to help elementary and middle school children understand the reality of Christian persecution today and find ways they can pray and help the persecuted.

Take me to the American History Through Copywork SALE!

Bonnie Rose Hudson3

Bonnie Rose Hudson’s heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She would love for you to stop by her author’s blog for resources to help teach your children about missions and the persecuted Church, free history and writing printables, and to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.

Tea Time with Alexander Calder

tea time caldercalderAlexander Calder was born in Pennsylvania on July 22, 1898.  Sandy, as his family and friends called him, was born into a family of artists and began to create sculptures himself at a young age.  He first pursued a career as an engineer, but eventually went back to art school.  Calder is best known for his pioneering mobiles, which are often brightly colored.  He also created stabiles, paintings, and many kinetic sculptures as well.  Alexander Calder passed away on November 11, 1976, leaving behind a large body of work that is still exciting and interesting viewers today.

getting to know

If you’ve read any of my other artist posts, you know I’m a big fan of Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know… series.  These biographies have a good amount of information and the funny illustrations always draw kids in.

meet the artistThis Meet the Artist! book is full of all kinds of pull tabs and pop-ups–definitely the kind of book Calder himself would have enjoyed!

sandys circusSandy’s Circus tells about the circus Calder made from wire, cloth, and all kinds of found objects.  It is now housed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has a lot of good information about the circus on their website.

roarrRoarr has many photographs of the circus.  If you want to see Calder working his circus, you can watch a video, too!

wireWe tried working with wire like Alexander Calder and found it was much more difficult than it looks!  You can find instructions for a wire art project at Elementary Art Lesson Plans for All.

museumWhen we were studying Calder, a local museum had en exhibit of his paintings we were able to go see.  (If you’re located near Northwest Arkansas, like we are, Crystal Bridges also has several Calder mobiles in their collection.)

paintingMy daughter loved the bright colors and his paintings are fairly simple for even young children to enjoy and try to recreate.

calder gameDuring the time we were learning about Calder, we also read The Calder Game, which is an interesting chapter book that revolves around a stabile created by Calder.

Alexander Calder’s work is so interesting and varied and if you’re looking for a good artist to begin learning about with your children, you can’t go wrong with Calder!

Cook with Books: Let’s Go Home

CWB Lets Go Home

Usually when I share a book for Cook with Books, the recipe is directly related to the story, but this month I’m going to get a little nostalgic with you all since the holidays are coming up!  One of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read is Let’s Go Home, written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin.  This sweet book tells about all the things that make a house a home, no matter the kind of house it is.

“But no matter the kind of house, it is the living inside that makes it wonderful, what happens in each room that makes it marvelous.  It is what the house means to those who live there.”

One of my most favorite places as a child was my grandparents’ house.  It wasn’t big or fancy and you often couldn’t get TV reception without an awkward dance with the rabbit ears, but it was a wonderful place.  So many delicious meals were shared there as we all filled the tables every holiday–and many other days as well.  In honor of that home and my grandmother, who was an amazing cook, I’m sharing her pumpkin pie recipe with you.  Of all the mouthwatering dishes she made, this was my favorite, and every time I taste it I’m back in her kitchen.

jengma{Me and my grandma in her living room on my first Christmas.}

ingredientsThis time of year I try to have pumpkin on hand since there are so many yummy Pinterest ideas that use it, but I usually don’t have Milnot.  Most of the other ingredients are in my pantry year round!

crustsFirst, get your crusts ready.  Here’s where I make a confession.  My grandma made almost everything from scratch.  I do not.  I have learned the hard way that I cannot top a ready-made pie crust, at least not without a lot more time to practice.  If you’re a great pie crust-maker, you have my admiration.  If not, there’s no shame in unrolling the premade crusts!

eggsStart with your eggs and beat them well before adding the other ingredients.

sugarsYou’ll need both white and brown sugar.

milnotAdd your Milnot…

pumpkinAnd your pumpkin!

mixMix it all well!

cinnamonPour the batter into two pie shells and sprinkle cinnamon on top before baking.

yummyAnd there you have my favorite recipe that makes me think of home!

Here’s the complete recipe!


  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups Milnot
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • cinnamon


  1. Beat eggs together
  2. Mix in all other ingredients except the cinnamon
  3. Pour into two pie crusts and sprinkle cinnamon on top
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, then reduce to 350 degrees and cook for about 20 more minutes.  When you have a soft spot in the middle about the size of a half dollar, it’s done.
  5. Let it set a bit after removing from the oven before cutting it.

Whatever special recipes you have in your family, this is a great time of year to share those with your children and Let’s Go Home is the perfect story to go along!

Cook with Books Pinterest Board