Using The Fall Holidays To Make Learning Fun
Holidays can be a difficult and stressful time in our homeschool. The excitement of the season makes your little learners antsy and less attentive, and you’re stressed with holiday preparations. But the holidays also present some unique learning opportunities. Let’s talk about some ways that you can use the fall holidays to make learning fun.
Math Lessons In the Kitchen
Have you ever taken a moment to think about how much you use your math skills when you’re cooking or baking? Every single time you prepare food you use math. Cooking with your children gives them real-life, hands-on experience with counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, weights and measures, and calculating time. Cooking together has been an excellent way for my family to spend quality time together while practicing these math concepts.
Allow Your Children to Help Plan and Budget For Your Holiday Menu
My children love being in charge of choosing what we’re going to eat, no matter the occasion, so this one gets them really excited. And they don’t even know that they’re learning! Pull out your cookbooks and local grocery store sale flyers and allow your children to develop a budget and plan a holiday menu. Even your littlest learners can help choose a few of their favorite recipes and count how many guests your meal plan will need to feed.
Study Science In Nature
Fall brings some interesting changes to the world around us. Why not take a break from the textbooks and study how frost forms, why it’s colder in the fall, or why and how leaves change their color and fall from the trees? You might go to the park and watch the squirrels scurrying around gathering food and talk about why they store food away for the winter. You could learn about migratory birds or where frogs and toads go in the winter. Just take a walk around your home, on a hiking trail, or in the park, and let nature inspire your next history lesson.
Take Advantage of Holiday Travel
If you’ll be traveling for the holidays there are ways to keep your children learning while on the road. One of our favorite road trip games is choosing an object to count and see who can count the most of that object. It can be anything you might see on or near a road like road signs, a certain color of the car, pumpkins on display, or whatever your children might like to look for. You can also turn your destination into a geography lesson or practice map skills. There are lots of fun learning activities you can do while trapped in the car.
Holidays In History
Turn the holidays into a history lesson. Study the origins and traditions of the holidays, like the pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving, where jack-o-lanterns came from, and why pumpkin pie is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert. Learn about how holiday traditions have changed over the years. Now is the perfect time to study the pilgrims and Native Americans. There are religious holidays in the fall that you could incorporate into your studies. And you can incorporate a bit of geography by studying the fall customs of other people around the world.
Nature-Inspired Holiday Art
Art has always been my students’ favorite subject, and bringing nature into the lessons makes it even more appealing to them. Go for a walk and gather leaves, acorns, pinecones, and any other fun things you can find, and let your children explore their creative side by making some holiday decorations. String up leaf garlands, fashion little turkey place card holders from pine cones and leaves, gather some fall flowers for a beautiful centerpiece and make a beautiful wreath with all of their bits and bobs. The sky’s the limit with this one.
Learning doesn’t always have to come from a textbook. It’s okay to set the structured curriculum aside and have fun learning over the holidays. You’ll be making wonderful memories while still educating your children and keeping their skills sharp.
There’s no doubt that homeschooling families need communities where they can lift each other up and be support systems for one another. Sometimes even we as adults need to learn from others to be able to effectively teach our kids. This is where Mentor Moms come in. Each of our Mentor Moms has a wealth of knowledge and is eager to help you navigate the challenges homeschooling brings in order to make your experience less stressful, and less confusing, and to reduce your learning curve.