Closer Look: Holidays

I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending. – Fred Rogers

Mr. Rogers is right, much of the enjoyment comes from the anticipation of tried and true family traditions. Perhaps it is a favorite recipe, or an activity that your family always participates in each year. Sometimes it is the expectation of new traditions as your family and circle of friends grows or changes.

Holidays are an opportunity to cook special meals, make arts and crafts, participate in community service, explore cultural celebrations or traditions and build a treasure of memories with your children. No matter what holidays you might be celebrating this month, below are some articles and resources to help you along the way.

Articles

HEARTS: Homeschoolers Educating, Assisting, and Reaching-Out Through Service – Michele Pulis

Another important feature is that community service participation by children of all ages is suggested and encouraged. For example, details are provided for participation in “Sight Night” – a project through which children collect used eyeglasses while Trick or Treating. Other projects suggest children produce items such as cards (to send to nursing homes for holidays – or to be included with donations to homeless shelters and other projects), bookmarks (to be included with book donations for Children’s Book Week), and even simple fleece blankets (for Project Linus) – simple instructions are planned to be included on the website.
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For Reading Out Loud: Holiday Stories and How to Choose Them – Marty Layne

Explore your library’s holiday collections of children’s books. You’ll find many others that you will enjoy. The ones that become particular favorites are the ones to purchase so that you and your children can read them again and again. Second hand shops, garage sales, and even library discard sales can be great places to find holiday and other children’s books at very reasonable prices. And of course, new books from book stores make great presents. Happy holiday reading.

H is for Homeschooling - Scott Stevens

T is for the Time that families can spend living and learning together. Homeschoolers have control over their schedules, and their lives are not dependent on class schedules, school holidays, bells, bus routes, bells, standing in lines, scheduled field trips, bells, snow days, grading periods, bells, standardized testing, or whatever restrictions schools put on your time that should be time spent enjoying learning.

Filmaker Becomes Homeschooler – Fernanda Rossi

We celebrated the Jewish holidays, went to the museums, libraries, conferences, and seminars. There were also classes – ballet, theatre, sculpture, drawing, and softball. And always the voices of the ones who didn’t know much but had lots of opinions: “Homeschooling? That must be so suffocating! At home all day long!”

Our Ultimate Field Trip – Julianna Mazel

To simply read about far away places never satisfied our appetite for learning. Our family was well known for whipping up international meals, dressing in costumes, and celebrating international holidays as part of our learning experience. Our wanderlust could not be satisfied.

Homeschooling Books - Lillian Jones

It would be impossible to list all the kind of rituals described in The Heart of A Family, because they cover the whole spectrum of the lives of a wide variety of people from all religions, regions, and walks of life. There are entries on many kinds of holidays, both festive and simple, religious and secular, (up to and including Arbor Day and April Fool’s Day), rites of passage, bedtimes, moon cycles, celebrations of nature, play, ending family squabbles, devotions, meal times, first menstruation, birthdays, sacred ceremonies, and just oodles of especially inventive small ones that gave me grins and chuckles. There’s even a section called “When Rituals Need Changing,” in which it is pointed out that ritual must be respected and used wisely; this section gives suggestions for recognizing and changing rituals that need change or adjustment.

Strengthening Families Through Homeschooling – Larry and Susan Kaseman

Homeschooling gives families more opportunity to spend time together. This sounds so simple, so cliched. But when it comes to building strong families, there is no substitute for time, lots and lots of time. Time is so important because it’s really a shorthand, umbrella term for much more than seconds, minutes, and hours. Time together offers opportunities to learn, explore, enjoy, laugh, cry, create special traditions, and more; in other words, to live.

Resources

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