From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


10/15/2009 10:00:11 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter--October 2009

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter
October 2009--Holidays as Homeschool Curriculum
Dear Friends,

Do you ever feel stuck in the day-to-day sameness of your school
routine? If you circle the holidays on your calendar, you can have not
just instant mini-units, but family fun and fond memories. Celebrate!

Family celebrations are God's idea

Setting apart holidays (originally holy days) as a remembrance started
back in Genesis with the Sabbath. Each of the biblical holidays
teaches us about our relationship with God; His festival celebrations
were a revelation of His character and a foreshadowing of the coming
of His Son. Whether you are celebrating God-ordained or man-made
holidays and traditions, ask the Lord to reveal to you the heritage
and reminders He wants you to pass along to your children and their

Holidays as mini-units

With Veterans Day just around the corner, you might discuss why
poppies are the traditional Veterans Day flower, then try your hand at
making your own from crepe paper or tissue paper (or buy some from the
local vets selling them in front of the grocery store). Pick up some
MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) from an Army surplus store to have a
soldier-style meal. Write thank-you notes to relatives and friends who
have served in the armed forces; better yet, invite them to dinner and
have them share what military life was like--where they ate, how they
traveled, what it was like to bathe and shave from one helmet's worth
of water, and other challenges. Or visit a VA hospital and play a game
of checkers with some of the residents, then thank them for their

Other historical or intrinsically educational holidays include
Independence Day , Flag Day,
Election Day, Constitution Day
, Presidents Day , Thanksgiving , and others. But imagine the
memory-making opportunities in National Pizza Week (2nd week of
January), National Kite Month (April), National Mustard Day (1st
Saturday in August), and Dictionary Day (October 16).

Keep it simple

You don't have to make a major production out of a holiday to make it
special--sometimes the impromptu celebrations of seemingly
insignificant moments are the most memorable. Our family had great
laughs celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss by taking turns reading
the pages of "Green Eggs and Ham" aloud as fast as we could, then
speaking in Seuss-ical rhymes throughout the day. Or the weather could
spark a new family tradition of baking raindrop-shaped cookies in
honor of the first showers of spring. Make an "everyday celebration"
out of suppertime by serving up homemade pizza to the tune of "That's
Amore!" and other Italian favorites.

Need ideas?

An Internet search can turn up everything from scavenger hunts for
Columbus Day or homeschool day
at the state fair to a list of
not-so-ordinary holidays .
Websites for Family Fun and
other family magazines highlight budget craft ideas, holiday recipes,
and holiday how-to videos.

Are you interested in documenting your holiday studies and adventures?
Find activities, templates, worksheets, and other helps by searching
online for "holiday notebooking," "lapbooking," or "unit studies."

Silvana Clark's book, "Every Day a Holiday," includes food, craft, and fun
ideas for the usual--and not so usual!--holidays throughout the year.
Gloria Gaither and Shirley Dobson share ideas for building family
traditions and togetherness in their "Let's Make a Memory" series. . Find educational and
inspirational ideas for celebrating Passover, the Feast of
Tabernacles, and more in "A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays" by Robin Sampson and Linda
Pierce. And in "Homespun Memories for the Heart," authors Karen Ehman,
Kelly Hovermale, and Trish Smith share more than 200 ideas for
unforgettable family moments. These resources remind us to "celebrate
'just because' events like rainy days, road trips, bedtime, and book
reading--because even ordinary moments are reason enough to
celebrate." (Ehman)

Wishing you a happy National Poetry Day!

Vicki Bentley
Early Years Coordinator

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Holiday Club

Want to give your kids a gift that says, "You're special and I want
you to celebrate life!" all throughout the year? Create your own
holiday-of-the-month club.
Using an idea-packed resource such as Silvana Clark's "Every Day a
Holiday" or one of the others listed in the newsletter, select a
holiday (or two or three) from each month and make holiday activity
bags. To help children anticipate the learning fun, mark the dates on
a calendar with stars--but don't give away the surprise!
-> Remember the last time you wrote a term paper?

Research can be grueling-digging through archives, wading through
articles, conducting interviews. But if it's related to
homeschooling, you can relax a little. There's a good chance that
you'll find what you're looking for in HSLDA's bimonthly
Home School Court Report. Providing in-depth, insightful articles
on much of what affects the world of homeschoolers, the
Court Report is a must-read for the serious homeschooler. This
publication is provided free to each HSLDA member.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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