It’s a sticky subject, Halloween. And not just because of all of the cobwebs involved. For some homeschoolers, especially for those with strong religious beliefs, Halloween is representative of the dark side of life, and therefore not a holiday in which they prefer their children to participate. For others, it’s a fun time for dressing up and having a good scare. And although homeschooling parents on both ends of the spectrum usually take their stand on the holiday with well-thought-out reasons, there are some ways all homeschoolers can benefit from the last day of October. Homeschoolers can make a holiday whatever they want it to be for their children, because, like everything else, Halloween is a great learning opportunity! So no matter where you fall on the “Celebrate Halloween or Not” continuum, consider these ways to make the most of this holiday… Continue reading »
The day for fireworks, cookouts, and patriotism is almost here! While there is no doubt that barbecues and family get-togethers make the 4th of July exciting and memorable, Independence Day is about so much more than that. A 2001 poll by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation from 2001 found that 14% of U.S. teens believed that the 4th of July celebrates the day that America declared independence from France. Homeschoolers have a wonderful opportunity to ensure that their children understand the meaning behind the holiday that is the foundation of our nation’s existence. Continue reading »
Dads: We love ‘em, we need ‘em, and it would be a whole lot harder to homeschool without ‘em! June 19, 2011 gives us the chance to tell our dads just how important they are to us! Whether it’s simple or involved, kids can do something special for Father’s Day, and learn at the same time. Continue reading »
Because Mom usually does the homeschooling, dads, grandparents and children routinely get recognized on their special holidays with crafts, art, cards, special tasks, and many other “I love you” messages that get incorporated into the learning curriculum. But what about Mother’s Day? How does the one who helps make sure everyone else is honored get honored herself? Continue reading »
Easter marks the physical end of winter, as spring bursts forth with color and life from the ground. Yet for Christians, it also means the end of death, as believers celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the cross. This wonderful season of renewal is a great time to breathe new life into your homeschool, and get creative with your kids! While dyeing Easter eggs is a staple tradition for many families, there are some wonderful crafts that can make the holiday fun and memorable. Check out these suggestions for this year… Continue reading »
The season of Lent has begun! This Christian tradition begins on Ash Wednesday (March 9th, 2011) and ends on Holy Saturday (April 23, 2011) – the day before Easter Sunday. The 40 days of Lent (Sundays are not counted in the 40 days, because Sunday is the day of resurrection) reflect the 40 days that Christ was tempted in the desert, and are a time of preparation for Easter. Homeschoolers can capitalize on the season of Lent to impart the history of this Christian tradition, to inculcate faith values, and to prepare children emotionally and spiritually for the coming of Easter. Continue reading »
I was struck by the marketing comprehension exhibited in my children’s play. I hoped it would inoculate them against Madison Avenue, relieving them of the false pressure to buy, collect, and throw away massive quantities of “stuff” in order to feel good about themselves and their lives. Continue reading »
“What do you want for Christmas?” It’s probably the line most often quoted this time of year, following “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”. Santa asks it, parents ponder it, and even passersby on the street use it as a greeting line for children. But is it the question homeschoolers really want to ask? Just like home educators seek to teach their children academic subjects, many also seek to inculcate something even more important – character. And this time of year is the perfect time to focus on the character quality of giving to others. Continue reading »
The ubiquitous Christmas symbols are out in force – holly wreaths, festive Christmas trees, eggnog, and of course good ol’ Santa himself. But many homeschoolers seek to move beyond the cultural harbingers of the season to focus on the birth of the Christ child; to celebrate God coming to earth. One of the most meaningful ways to help the family emphasize the true meaning of Christmas is through creating a Jesse Tree. This wonderful tradition not only centers the significance of the holiday around Christ, but it serves as an advent calendar as well, marking each passing day to count down until Christmas.
If there’s ever a time to put aside the books and break out the project supplies with the kids, it’s Christmas! With all of the emphasis on baking, making crafts, decorating, learning the history of Christ’s birth, and establishing family traditions, Christmas for homeschoolers is like sitting down to a buffet of children’s enrichment. Even if you homeschool with academics throughout the month of December, be sure to save some time in the day for some special family projects that will bring the family together and make the season meaningful for your children!
Turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, family gatherings, lists of that for which we are thankful…the warm and cozy harbingers of the Thanksgiving season are upon us. For homeschoolers, it is an excellent opportunity to teach children the history of those who first came to America, and to focus on the events and sacrifices the Pilgrims faced in coming to this new land. When making your Thanksgiving plans this season, check out these resources to make the history of the holiday meaningful.
Veterans Day is coming up on November 11, and it is a great time for homeschoolers to teach children about the sacrifice of those who have fought or currently fight for America and who serve out of the love for their country. Not to be confused with Memorial Day, which honors American soldiers who died in their service to the nation, Veterans Day is intended to honor all veterans, with a particular focus on those who are still living.
The holiday season has always been my very favorite time of the year. I prefer the slower pace of life in winter, with wonderful smells from the kitchen, the sounds of children and dogs playing in the snow. I like the crisp clear days, the beauty of a freshly-fallen snow, the star-bright nights. But mostly I enjoy this time of the year because that’s when families gather together in thankfulness and celebration. Continue reading »
It’s always fun to use things in our children’s everyday lives to spark discussion and easy educational activities. Since many of us are currently in the midst of winter, this season can be a great topic of “study” for our littlest ones. Continue reading »
Well, a lot of people predicted it and now it’s happened. My daughter’s unschooling has led her to a dead-end job at low pay. Yup, she’s a hired hand on a farm. She didn’t tell me that she was taking the job. I found out about it when I came across a list of her chores that she’d written out. In addition to feeding the pigs, chickens, horses and cows, she has to haul water, milk the cows and even chop wood! And for all this, she only gets room and board! Continue reading »