Learning by the Day, Week, and Month
One school year, our studies were based on the calendar. We studied the typical commemorative days, such as Columbus Day or President’s Day. Plus, we ferreted out those interesting “National Day of _____” celebrations.
It’s possible to use such commemorative days each day of the month and for each subject. Let’s just look at the month of January. National Day Calendar (https://nationaldaycalendar.com/) sorts the celebrations by day, week, and month.
January is National Braille Literacy Month. Like me, you may already be thinking of lessons that are around Braille. Who created the system and why? What is the importance of Braille? Learn about notable people who were/are visually-impaired. Helen Keller comes to mind right away. Spend time learning the Braille alphabet. (For more information about Braille, visit the National Braille Organization at https://www.nationalbraille.org/.)
National CRNA Week is in January. My first question was “What is CRNA?” Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Honestly, I didn’t know there was such a position. Reading the information at the calendar website was a learning experience (https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-crna-week-last-week-in-january/). This week can be used for career exploration and learning about anesthesiology, which can be a unit of its own. The website American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (https://www.aana.com/) has facts about the occupation as well anesthesia (https://www.aana.com/patients/all-about-anesthesia).
Each day of the month has learning opportunities. Here’s some examples.
January 2 – National Science Fiction Day. The beginning of the year is a great time to start learning about the genre by reading sci-fi and learning to write the stories. Study some of the famous authors: Mary Shelly, H. G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, or Arthur C. Clarke. It’s fun to read early sci-fi to see what has come to fruition over the years.
January 5 – National Bird Day. Before the annual migration of various bird species starts in the spring, use this day as a jumping off point to learn about our feathered friends. The National Audubon Society (https://www.audubon.org) has resources to learn about birds in your area, recognize their sounds, and beginning birding.
January 11 – National Arkansas Day. Maybe you don’t live in or near Arkansas, but this is a good time to learn about the state. In fact, the National Day Calendar has commemorations for all fifty states. These days can provide an overview of the United States geography and history.
January 23 – National Handwriting Day. What more needs to be said? How often have we heard laments about children not being taught to write or read cursive? If you haven’t started yet, this day is a good time to do so. Although late, this may be a good day to practice handwriting by writing and mailing Christmas thank-you notes.
January 26 – Australia Day. Australians celebrate the day of their founding as a British colony. Lessons galore about the history, geography, government, habitat, and more about Australia can extend beyond this one day. Watch for other countries each month.
January 31 – National Backward Day. A day for fun. The Backward Day page on the National Calendar website lists some ways to celebrate (https://nationaldaycalendar.com/backward-day-january-31/). Fun fact: Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward. Not only did the artist and inventor write from right to left, but he also wrote his letters backward. Challenge your kids to try this.
National Day Calendar has learning resources for each month (https://nationaldaycalendar.com/classroom/). You may wish to subscribe to the Classroom newsletter for more ideas. One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling is the flexibility and freedom to jump out of textbooks and “school” schedules to have a bit of fun while learning. Pick a day to celebrate each month or each week and let the learning enjoyment begin.
Susan K. Stewart, Managing Editor with Elk Lake Publishing, teaches, writes, and edits nonfiction. Susan’s passion is to inspire readers with practical, real-world solutions. Her books include Science in the Kitchen, Preschool: At What Cost?, Harried Homeschoolers Handbook, and the award-winning Formatting e-Books for Writers. Her latest book, Donkey Devos: Listen When God Speaks, was released last summer. You can learn more at her website www.susankstewart.com. Join Susan and other homeschoolers at Harried Homeschoolers Facebook group.
Science in the Kitchen https://www.susankstewart.com/books/science-in-the-kitchen/
Harried Homschoolers Handbook https://www.susankstewart.com/books/harried-homeschoolers-handbook/
Harried Homeschoolers Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/harried.homeschoolers