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The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study

Would your kids like to learn how to draw their own Nutcracker? Let Nana take you step-by-step through The Nutcracker homeschool art lessons with chalk pastels. All you need is a pack of construction paper and a starter set of chalk pastels. 

Throw in a little hot chocolate, some music appreciation, and twinkle lights, and you’ve got the making of a Nutcracker holiday homeschool unit study teatime!

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study - Enjoy the holiday season with The Nutcracker, chalk pastels, and SQUILT! Throw in a little hot chocolate and twinkle lights and you've got a Nutcracker chalk pastel teatime! #Nutcracker #Nutcrackerartlessons #Nutcrackerballet #Christmas #chalkpastels #Nutcrackerart #homeschoolart #Nutcrackerstudy #holidayhomeschooling

The Story Of The Nutcracker Ballet


We love starting the holiday season with a Nutcracker chalk pastel teatime! We’ve enjoyed this tradition for many years. It reminds me to slow down and enjoy our little moments of togetherness.

Plus, my kids look forward to it every year!

Did you know The Nutcracker ballet was adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and is enormously popular, especially around the Christmas season because the ballet takes place on Christmas Eve?

There is no better way to enjoy this incredible masterpiece than by watching the ballet itself, learning about the music, and painting some key figures!

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study


The Music Of The Nutcracker

“Music is indeed the most beautiful of all Heaven’s gifts to humanity wandering in the darkness. Alone it calms, enlightens, and stills our souls.”

Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer best known for Swan Lake and The Nutcracker ballet scores. Christmas time is the perfect time to study this famous composer and his music!

I know what you’re thinking.

“I don’t even know where to begin teaching my kids about Tchaikovsky!”

Or, “I don’t know anything about music.”

Don’t worry! Mary from SQUILT has got you covered when it comes to music appreciation.

SQUILT stands for Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time and is an easy-to-use music education program!

With The SQUILT Nutcracker Unit Studyyour children will learn the story of the ballet, E.T.A. Hoffman, and Tchaikovsky, as well as music and ballet vocabulary, instruments used, and musical concepts.

We’ve used SQUILT for years, and now You ARE AN Artist Clubhouse members are invited to a special live event with Mary of SQUILT Live and Nana for an overture of all things Nutcracker! Members will enjoy both a time of music appreciation and a new art lesson!

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study

You can also enjoy a SQUILT Christmas Carol study with many of the Christmas carols you may already be listening to on the radio!

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study


Beautiful Homeschool Art For The Nutcracker Study


You ARE An Artist Clubhouse members have access to over 700+ video art lessons, including Nana’s Nutcracker lessons!

  • Nutcracker
  • Clara and the Christmas Tree
  • Sugar Plum Fairy
  • Chinese Tea Dance
  • Mouse King
  • Nutcracker Ballet (new!)
  • New Nutcracker lesson with live event!

Plus, Clubhouse members also enjoy the accompanying I Drew It Then I Knew It The Nutcracker companion curriculum. (There’s even a recipe for sugar plums included!)

You ARE an ARTiST Complete Clubhouse members also enjoy the accompanying I Drew It Then I Knew It The Nutcracker companion curriculum.

Let your children have fun with their paintings. Encourage artistic expression and individuality. Be sure to follow your children’s lead and let them create the paintings that they like. As Nana likes to remind them, THEY ARE the ARTISTS.

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study


Additional Resources For Holiday Homeschooling


If you have the opportunity to see a live performance of The Nutcracker ballet in person, then I highly suggest doing so.

If not, there are several versions of The Nutcracker ballet you can watch on Amazon Prime and other streaming services. We watch a different one every year, but our favorite thus far is Baryshnikov’s Nutcracker.

We also enjoy pulling out one of our many copies of The Nutcracker books as part of our holiday homeschool unit study!

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study

Did you know that the Chalk Pastels You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership has loads more Winter and Holiday themed art lessons?

  • Artist Express
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Mittens and a Mug
  • Frost
  • Icicles
  • Frozen Lake
  • Winter Forest Scene with Deer
  • Bird in Snow
The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study

You will also have access to all the Christmas and Holiday Lessons including:

  • Christmas Star
  • Away in a Manger
  • Christmas Tree
  • Winter Fun
  • Gingerbread Man and Holly Leaf
  • Christmas Angel
  • What’s Under Your Christmas Tree?
  • Christmas Ornaments
  • Christmas Lights

Plus, so much more! View ALL that Nana has for Christmas School in the Ultimate List of Christmas Art Lessons!

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study

The Nutcracker ballet is synonymous with Christmas time. It is a beautiful performance with music as iconic as the Nutcracker himself. My children and I look forward to this special teatime each year, along with watching a rendition of the famous ballet. The Nutcracker video art lessons are perfect for all ages, and by adding in The Nutcracker SQUILT study, you’ll create a memorable holiday teatime the whole family will love.

The Nutcracker: A Holiday Homeschool Unit Study

Erin is a writer, blogger, and homeschooler to two intense kids. Her blog is filled with information to help you explore a child led education while making meaningful connections with your children. Discover favorite read alouds, seasonal books, games, art projects, hands-on activities, and learn to just breathe through the ups and downs of life. She loves nature, farm life, good books, knitting, new pens, and hot coffee. Erin is a contributing writer for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Her work has also been featured on Simple Homeschool and Book Shark.

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Hokusai The Great Wave Homeschool Unit Study

With Nana’s video art lesson and other resources, your kids will love learning about Hokusai’s The Great Wave!

Hokusai The Great Wave Homeschool Unit Study: With Nana's video art lesson and other resources, your kids will love learning about Hokusai's The Great Wave! #arteducation #Hokusai #TheGreatWave #HokusaiTheGreatWave #homeschool #famousartist #podcast

Hokusai was born in Honjo, east of the city of Edo (now Tokyo), Japan. He is widely considered one of Japan’s greatest and most prolific artists due to his outstanding paintings and woodblock print. His Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji is his most famous work of art. 

The Great Wave is an image carved into a block of wood and then printed onto paper. The wave is not thought to be a tsunami, but an okinami rogue wave bearing down on three oshiokuri-bune – fast boats. Mount Fuji, with its snowy peak, can be seen in the distance.


Hokusai The Great Wave Homeschool Unit Study

Famous Artist Katsushika Hokusai Homeschool Study

One of the books we chose to help us study Hokusai was the DK Artists: Lives and Works. This is a gorgeous art history reference book that covers over 80 famous artists and their lives. DK Artists: Lives and Works is a book that your kids will return to throughout their art education!

Did you know Claude Monet was captivated with Hokusai’s art and owned 23 of his prints?

We did a quick online visit to THE MET to learn a bit more about Katsushika Hokusai. You can also create Nana’s map of Japan while exploring Japan’s culture with more books and even Haiku – Japanese poetry!

Did you know Hokusai’s Great Wave inspired Claude Debussy’s La Mer?

Hokusai The Great Wave Art Lesson for Your Homeschool

Nana brings Hokusai’s art right into your home with her Famous Artists online art course! With a simple set of chalk pastels and a sheet of construction paper, Nana will show you and your children step-by-step how to create your own Great Wave.

This is just one of the reasons we LOVE our You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership! We have access to 700+ video art lessons, including Nana’s Famous Artists series and podcast! Nana makes learning about art and artists intriguing and fun! Be sure to check out all her famous artist podcasts and lessons.

Hokusai The Great Wave Homeschool Unit Study
Hokusai The Great Wave Homeschool Unit Study

Additional Resources for Studying Famous Artists in Your Homeschool

Nana’s Hokusai art lesson is a part of the Famous Artists Series. The You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership offers 47 famous artists video lessons for your homeschool including:

  • Vermeer
  • Michelangelo
  • da Vinci
  • Warhol
  • Monet
  • Rockwell
  • Rembrandt
  • Lichtenstein
  • Audubon
  • Beatrix Potter

… and a new one added about once a month!

The Famous Artists series is exclusive to the You ARE an Artist Complete Clubhouse. There is so much to learn about art and art history! You don’t want to miss out on all the famous artist goodness.

Hokusai The Great Wave Homeschool Unit Study

Erin is a writer, blogger, and homeschooler to two intense kids. Her blog is filled with information to help you explore a child led education while making meaningful connections with your children. Discover favorite read alouds, seasonal books, games, art projects, hands-on activities, and learn to just breathe through the ups and downs of life. She loves nature, farm life, good books, knitting, new pens, and hot coffee. Erin is a contributing writer for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Her work has also been featured on Simple Homeschool and Book Shark.