Hello everyone. We are back once again taking a look at some fun holidays happening over the next few months that can be used to spice up your homeschool. I will be honest. I don’t always get to celebrating the days we talk about on the Homeschool 5 in 10, but I like to make it my goal to incorporate as many of them as possible because it motivates my girls to do or learn something new and it breaks up the mundane every day that we get in a habit of doing. So let’s get right to it.
September 15–National Online Learning Day
This is a fun one because there are so many directions we can take this. Of course we enjoy taking Nature Study Live and Outschool courses, but we may also use this date to watching some Discover Oklahoma episodes on YouTube since we are deep in Oklahoma history this semester. It might also be a fun time check out some more of those virtual field trips I mentioned in episode 11. And, for those needing a little reinforcement in other areas, Khan Academy and Easy Peasy All-in-One-Homeschool provides some online options for free too. We have found both to be most helpful with math and art tutorials specifically.
September 23–International Day of Sign Language
This holiday is near and dear to my heart because I took nearly two years of sign language classes at a local tech school during my early years of teaching. I was trying to learn how to better communicate with one of my students and it worked! That said, I don’t remember all of it, but much of what I do remember I try to incorporate whenever I can especially with younger students because it helps children develop their language and reasoning skills. It also helps some who have more language challenges learn to communicate faster and better, thereby avoiding unnecessary frustrations. And, bonus, it tends to increase individuals’ IQ point average by nearly 12 points! Woah! And all of that is why I incorporate sign language into my Encompass Preschool Curriculum.
I could go on and on about the benefits of sign language for both young and old, but for today, this holiday provides a great opportunity to start studying this language, especially if it’s new for you. If you have a younger child, check out or rent a signing time video. They are great for beginners. For older students, see if they can memorize the alphabet, colors, or other common signs. I’ll include links for several in the show notes. And, for students with a key interest in sign language, you may want to look for a local or online sign language class. While most colleges don’t accept sign language for foreign language credit, it does look great on a transcript and can lead to several job opportunities in the future, if desired.
October 5—National Do Something Nice Day
I love opportunities that help develop not only my girls’ minds but their character, and this holiday does just that. What could you do to be nice to someone today? It could be something as simple as doing a chore for your sister or making a special treat for a neighbor. I’m sure your kids will be able to really creative
Personally, I plan to use this day for my girls to focus on sibling kindness. Sometimes we get so involved in our day-to-day that we forget to take time to be kind to those closest to us. Anyone else with me? So we are going to use this day to remind ourselves to be kind to those in our house by doing something special for them—a special treat, note, word of kindness, or yes, a chore. It’s amazing how much actions like these boost our morale as we get closer and closer to a week off of school for fall break.
November 8-International Tongue Twister Day
Who doesn’t love a good tongue twister. This year my voice ensemble is putting together a round that incorporates the tongue twister Peter Piper. It’s fantastic. And the kids always get excited when they can actually sing it…fast!
But don’t just think that tongue twisters are all fun and smiles. Tongue twisters have actually been proven to clarify pronunciation, stretch mouth muscles, and improve overall speech confidence. Did you know that performers and public speakers often use tongue twisters before they go on stage to warm up their face and voice? It’s true! Besides they often use words less common in our English language thereby increasing one’s vocabulary too. So if tongue twisters are good enough for them, they are definitely worth doing every so often with our kids too. Here’s a few to get you started:
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood
As a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades,
blunderbusses, and bludgeons—balancing them badly.
December 7—National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Although there is already a lot to celebrate in December, I couldn’t help but mention this one because of its significance. On December 7, 1941 the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on the United States Naval Base stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii killing over 2,300 troops in one day and wounding nearly 1,200 more. In addition, the attack destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships.
The attack only lasted about an hour, but its amazing destruction completely changed the directory and future involvement of the United States in what is now called World War 2. If you are studying modern history this year, this date should be a must on your calendar. But for the rest of us, this is a great time to turn on the TV to watch special programming especially designed to help us remember that fateful day. PBS usually shows some spectacular footage of both the sunken USS Arizona as well as some historical information that will help your children better understand what led up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or, if you don’t have an opportunity to watch their programming live, YouTube also has several excerpts take from their Pearl Harbor Remember Day programs of the past which are just as good.
Finally here’s a bonus for you–if your house is looking a little messy these days from all the back-to-school activities, September 17th is National Clean Up Day. I don’t know if knowing that will encourage your children to clean up after themselves anymore than they already do, but its worth a try. I’ll even share a link to my very detailed deep cleaning checklist in the show notes, to help them get started. And, if that isn’t encouragement enough for your kids to complete their chores and put things away, you might be able to convince your hubs to hire a professional for a day because its also National Professional House Cleaners Day! Maybe they have a discount.