Hello everyone and happy summer! Well, it isn’t “officially” summer until June 21, but we are in full summer mode here, enjoying the warm weather and poolside afternoons. Since Memorial Day usually marks the beginning of summer in Oklahoma, I thought there could be no better time to share a few funschooling summer holiday ideas!
Now before I begin, I am not talking about the obvious holidays like Father’s Day, Independence Day, or Labor Day. Yes, those are great holidays to celebrate, and I encourage you to do something fun for those days. However, the holidays we are talking about today are those lesser recognized holidays that often invoke great creativity and excitement! Whether you are schooling year-round or just wanting to do something fun with your kids, let’s take a look at 5 funschooling summer holiday ideas.
June 21-World Music Day
In case you didn’t know, when I’m not blogging, recording a podcast, or writing curriculum, I enjoy teaching music so this holiday has a special place in my heart. There are so many different styles of music from so many different cultures, making this not only a fun holiday to celebrate but a great holiday to kick off a whole world music study, if desired. One of the easiest world music studies that I’ve found to implement is Gena Mayo’s online World Music Elementary course on Music in Our Homeschool, but then, I’ve also included a fun look at world music in My First Amazing Journey Around the World.
However, don’t thing you have to have a course to make this day fun! It could be something as simple as saying “Alexa, play music from Africa” or requesting Asian music from your local library to play throughout the day.
If you would like to read about different music cultures, I encourage you to take a look at the picture books: Music is for Everyone by Jill Barber or We are Music by Brandon Stosuy. Or, for those that like hands-on activities, consider making your own shekere or rainstick. I’ll include the links for all of those in today’s show notes.
July 1-International Joke Day
I don’t think I’ve ever met a kid who at one time or another didn’t like a good joke. My girls currently subscribe to Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. Magazines, and their favorite part is the joke section. My husband always knows when a new magazine has come in the mail because he is pelted with new jokes during supper.
Jokes not only encourage confidence in public speaking, but they also provide a great opportunity to develop handwriting skills. A few years ago, getting my girls to practice their handwriting was a chore, so instead of assigning more penmanship worksheets, I encouraged them to make a joke book filled with their favorite jokes. They loved it! Their joke book became something they took pride in and wanted to continue long after my summer challenge for them ended. Even now, I still hear them sharing jokes occasionally from their joke book of summers past. In short, International Joke Day would be a great day to encourage your own children to create their own joke book. I’ll include the link in the show notes for a worth-while list of kid-friendly jokes.
Dr. Melanie Wilson shared in episode 17 of the Homeschool 5 in 10, that jokes also provide a good opportunity to talk with children about grammar mistakes. Why is that joke funny? Did the joke use a homophone? What would you need to change to make the sentence grammatically correct? By using jokes, grammar becomes more like a game of discovery than drudgery.
And I can’t leave off math. A few years ago, when my middle daughter really started to struggle with math, we found Mathematical Reasoning which was a perfect fit for my social butterfly. Why? Because so many of the worksheets were filled with puzzles and jokes! There was hardly a day that went by that my daughter didn’t get excited about sharing a new joke she learned as a result of correctly solving a page of math problems. You can get a taste of what I mean by downloading a free sample of Mathematical Reasoning level D or F. Both have fun joke puzzles your kids can solve for FREE. Check the show notes for details.
That said, don’t stress about making every special holiday educational. Sometimes it’s just fun to laugh! After all, laughter is considered the best medicine, so let the good times roll. Have fun telling each other jokes on this day, make up some of your own jokes, and/or see if you can stump each other.
July 17-National Ice Cream Day
July and ice cream just seem to go together. In fact, there are so many ice cream holidays in July and August that we could easily take the entire Homeschool 5 in 10 talking about them. That said, National Ice Cream Day seems to top them all on July 17 so if you like ice cream be sure to take advantage of this holiday.
If you would like a cane sugar and dairy free option, I have an amazing blueberry ice cream recipe made with coconut milk and maple syrup that hits the spot. Check the show notes for the link.
If you have preschoolers, this holiday is a great time to print off some ice cream letter and number printables. I remember our “I” is for Ice cream unit as being one of the girls’ favorite letter of the week activities. They still remember making and playing those fun printable games.
If you have older students, you could actually make ice cream and talk about the science behind its formation. Yes, there is actually a lot more going on besides the cream getting colder, but this is fun science experiment you can actually eat!
July 27—National Love is Kind Day
I can’t think of a better holiday to celebrate than one that encourages kindness. This day provides a great opportunity to encourage your kids to write notes of encouragement to others, to serve a sibling by doing a chore or something special for them, or by seeing how many sincere kind words they can say to others throughout the day.
When my children were younger, I was always searching for ways my preschoolers could serve others. The book, Teach Me to Serve: 99 Ways Preschoolers Can Learn to Serve and Bless Others by Kristen Tiber opened my eyes to just how simple it was for even littles to show kindness around our community. So, if you need more ideas, I encourage you to check out that book. And, if you have olders, this is a great time to introduce them to the book Love Does by Bob Goff. I’ll include the link to both in the show notes.
August 2—National Coloring Book Day
Can you believe there is actually a national coloring book day?! Talk about fun! My girls LOVE coloring in coloring books together so having an actually day to celebrate their colorful sensations gets them all excited!
Besides being fun, did you now that coloring in a coloring book is actually connected to several amazing benefits? It improves fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination of preschoolers resulting in better handwriting, provides great stress relief for older kids and adults, and is an excellent avenue for self-expression and creativity for all.
So go grab a coloring book and some colored pencils at the Dollar Tree, and have fun coloring away together. You can take the time to color to chat about your day, listen to a great audiobook, or just relax to some cool jazz. And then, when you are done, have fun tacking up your beautiful creations to a bulletin board or refrigerator.
Well that’s it for this installation of 5 funschooling holidays. I hope you have fun this summer, and stay tuned. I’ve got a special treat for you during the next episode of the Homeschool 5 in 10. You won’t want to miss it. See you then!