Monday, June 22, 2009

Mondays Our Way:Celebrate Smart

Holidays, celebrations, and special occasions happen throughout the year, and they can be major disruptions to homeschooling. (They can also be major disruptions to healthy eating-does it still count as 'baby weight' if you gain it after the baby is born?) With family and friends coming over, it's easy to skip through the educational stuff in favor of late nights and to die for deviled eggs.

Still despite the holiday gorging festivities, I have found a great way to squeeze in some learning before busting out the party trays (and squeezing into something with an elastic waist). Having kids make holiday appropriate cards, decorations, and presents can really put the learning into party. (Hey, I claim creative license on that one.)

This Father's Day Monkey wanted to draw Hubby a picture as a present. Drawing in and of itself is of course a great creative educational outlet, but to take it one step further, I suggested that he draw Daddy a map to a special place that he wanted to go just him and Daddy.

He drew instructions with his map to the local riverside park. (Fun side note: if you look closely you may be able to see that our car is drawn as a taxi. Shows you where I stand! Ha ha ha.) Monkey was learning to create a map with recognizable landmarks, and how to give driving instructions-not to mention it was a great opportunity to discuss compasses and physical directions (what street is south of our house?).

Also? Adorable Father's Day gift. They did make a very special father/son trip to the park, which is another great educational opportunity, though I suspect they mostly just had fun throwing rocks in the water like they normally do.

There are a lot of great holiday/celebration educational activities. Writing letters to put into cards make gifts from the kids more personal and helps practice writing and spelling. Hand made gifts are also a big hit-like plaster hand molds, which besides being adorable keepsakes provide an opportunity to discuss science. Planning and decorating for a party provide a chance to talk math--for example, if we have four people come over, plus the five people in our family, and everyone eats two triple chocolate brownies how many brownies will we need? For bonus points: How much cumulative weight will we gain, and where can we buy bigger pants?

So remember, just because it's a special occasion doesn't mean you can't learn something...even if all Mommy learns is that the fat in a New York steak takes approximately 30 seconds to glob onto her hips.

I hope you all had a Happy Father's Day!


Jenny said...

"For bonus points: How much cumulative weight will we gain, and where can we buy bigger pants?"

LOL! That is so true about the holidays! I am always eating more at get those events.

What a cute little map. My nephew makes a map or instructions for everything and it is so fun to see his work.

Suzie said...

Sounds like a great Fathers Day