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Where we learn history through classic children's books.
 
A Christmas Carol Living Book History Mini Course

A Christmas Carol Living Book History Mini Course



Are You Looking For A More Inspiring Way For Your Child To Learn History?


Look no further!

Here at Living Book Home School, I develop resources inspired by the ideas of the great educator Charlotte Mason. Instead of dry, dull textbooks, I use classic children’s tales as ‘living books’ through which to learn about history.

Inspired by the great educationalist Charlotte Mason, A Christmas Carol Living Book History Mini Course uses the beloved story by Charles Dickens to investigate history and answer the ‘big question’:

Did Charles Dickens Invent Christmas?

Want to find out more? This post is for you.

Preview of the A Christmas Carol Living Book History Workbook


Is This Course For Your Child?


This course is aimed at young people 11+ who love stories and reading. They don’t need to have any previous knowledge of the period we are studying (the Victorian period). It is however recommended that your child reads through A Christmas Carol before starting the course. 

The course will frequently point them to different passages/chapters in the book to read in relation to the aspect of history we’re studying. It would therefore be easier for them if they read the story as a whole beforehand.



A classic book like A Christmas Carol is a classic for a reason. It doesn’t just entertain us … it has something important to teach us.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is at the centre of a debate about how what we think of as Christmas became, well … Christmas! Some historians even go so far as to credit him with inventing the holiday as we know it. In this course, we investigate this claim and explore the impact Charles Dickens had on the traditions and ideas which inform modern-day Christmas celebrations.

In the process, we learn about Victorian Christmas traditions – even getting the option to play some fun Victorian parlour games and make a Victorian Christmas pudding! We also get to see how Charles Dickens inspired a particular ‘Christmas spirit’ – an attitude with which he believed people should approach Christmas celebrations.


The Learning Objectives of the Course


The Big Question the A Christmas Carol Living Book History Mini Course Answers

The mini course aims to answer the big question:

Did Charles Dickens Invent Christmas?

Not only is this a question raised by many historians, but a whole film was also made about it called ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’. During the course, students will get the opportunity to analyse different viewpoints on the issue and reach their own conclusion.

Becoming a Good Historian

Throughout the course, your child will not only learn about Victorian Christmas traditions and how they influence the present day, but they will also learn how to analyse competing historical interpretations like a true historian!


Fun and Creative Tasks to Expect


The course has a wide variety of different tasks and activities to keep things interesting. These include:

  • Videos
  • Reading texts
  • A short quiz
  • Two Victorian Christmas parlour games
  • A Victorian Christmas pudding recipe
  • Tasks to analyse A Christmas Carol for historical information
  • An essay-writing task

Opportunities for Feedback


After the short quiz at the end of the mini course, students will automatically receive feedback on how they did. This will include a score and, in some cases, a reason for correct or incorrect answers.

There is also an essay-writing task where students submit their work and can receive feedback from me.

Once students have completed all sections of the course, they will receive a certificate of completion with their name on it.


How to Make Sure Your Child Gets the Most Out of the Course


Aside from making sure your child has already read A Christmas Carol before starting the course, there are a few other things to keep in mind to make sure your child gets the most out of the course.

Encourage Your Child to Participate in the Course Community

The best way to learn is with other people who are trying to master the same thing. That is why it is so important to participate in the community discussions surrounding the course.

Your child can do this on the left-hand side of the course material when they click on ‘Discuss’.

Throughout the course, there will be moments when your child will be asked to share a thought, idea or something they’ve learned with the course community. While not mandatory, such participation is highly encouraged

That being said, it is expected that participation is kind and respectfulInappropriate or unkind comments will not be tolerated.

How Much is it Necessary to Support Your Child with this Course?

It is not necessary for you as the parent/guardian to do the course with your child. Most of the activities – particularly for older students – can be done without supervision. 

That being said, there are some activities that might benefit from your child being able to discuss some ideas with you. Some students might also need assistance with the Victorian Christmas pudding task – if they choose to do it (it is not compulsory).

When it comes to the Victorian parlour game activities, they will (of course) need to find somebody to play it with.

It is therefore up to you to decide how much you think your child would benefit from your presence and support, or whether it is more important to you that they learn to study independently.


What Books Would You Like to See Made into a Course?


I am always eager for suggestions for future books you would like me to turn into courses like the Anne of Green Gables Living Book History Course and the A Christmas Carol Living Book History Mini Course. The possibilities for adapting great children’s books as a gateway to learning about history are endless.

What are you favourite books?

Which would you like to see adapted to teach a particular area of history?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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