Silverdale Press is thrilled to announce the release of White House Holidays: Labor Day! It is the first in our White House Holidays curriculum series. The curriculum is available now for purchase.
Designed for students in grades K-12, this curriculum is a great way to kick off the school year. It is brimming with vivid illustrations, rich history, and meaningful activities. It is guaranteed to bring fun, learning, and lasting memories to your entire homeschool family.
In this unit study, students will learn about
Studies will also complete enriching activities, rooted in primary source documents.
Students in grades K-6 will
Students in grades 7-12 will
The curriculum is easy for parents to use. It features
Silverdale Press is thrilled to announce our brand new homeschool curriculum series: White House Holidays. Designed for students in grades K-12, these unit studies will enrich your students’ learning about the history of our national holidays. They will inject fun into your yearly homeschool routine and help your family make memories that last a lifetime.
We wrote these unit studies to solve some problems. I (Jill) went to public school from grades K through 12. Some of my fondest memories were celebrating the holidays with my classmates. I remember the parties and crafts. I especially remember the excitement that came with a celebration, break from routine, and a change of pace.
While we did mark the holidays, I do not remember learning much about the rich history behind those holidays. I believe the same is true for many school-age children today. This is a shame because our holiday history really is so rich.
Learning about our holidays is important for children. For younger children, holidays are a way to mark the seasons of the calendar and the progress of time. For children of all ages, holidays bind us together as a nation. They instill in us a sense of patriotism, unity, and togetherness.
I have also heard parents of middle and high school kids lament that when their students phase out of elementary school, holiday celebrations end. I found this to be true during my own schooling. I think this so sad. Holiday celebrations should continue on through the upper grades. For older kids, the holidays can be a time for deeper learning and understanding—and for developing a greater sense of meaning in history.
As a homeschool mom, I know that the holidays can be overwhelming. We do our best to celebrate them, but it is up to us to invent holiday lessons and come up with fun and creative activities. Sure, we can check out a book or two from the library. But coming up with objectives, lesson plans, and enrichment activities? That’s up to us. And that’s a good deal of work to pile onto our already busy lives.
As a presidential scholar, I also know that so many of our holidays and traditions are tied to American presidents. That is why I wanted to invent a holiday curriculum with a unique twist—one that uses the American presidency as a window into the holidays.
I also know how important primary sources are to our students’ learning. That is why I weave primary sources—like speeches, posters, letters, and photographs—throughout the lessons and activities.
Holiday history, presidential history, and fun and meaningful activities—these unit studies have it all. Not to mention, they are easy for parents to use—complete with lesson plans, teacher scripts, and primary source material.
Over this summer, fall, and winter, we will be releasing the first in our series of White House Holidays Unit Studies:
And there are more in the works!
And so I began writing these holiday unit studies—first for my own children, then for families with children of all ages. They have enriched my kids, and they have enriched me. Our hope is that they will enrich your entire family as well.
Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for updates, as well as for ideas and tips for learning about the holidays.
Posted by: Jill
The summer heat is blazing, but it’s never too early to think about how to jazz up your curriculum in the coming school year. Why not plan ahead to celebrate the holidays?
By holidays, I mean all American holidays, not just Christmas. Don’t overlook Labor Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving in the fall; Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, and Valentines Day in the winter; and St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Memorial Day in the spring. The holidays can bring both excitement and learning to your homeschool.
I know the holidays are easy to overlook in homeschooling. There is math and grammar to be finished, handwriting to be practiced—not to mention the piles of laundry and dishes. The holidays can seem like just one more thing to tack onto an already a huge amount of work.
But celebrating the holidays is worth it. Here are 5 benefits that the holidays can bring.
1. Holidays Help Students Learn History
There are rich histories behind each of our holidays. Unfortunately, many of these rich histories are not taught in schools. Do you know that Labor Day came out of a Pullman railroad strike? Do you know why we observe a moment of silence at 11 o’clock a.m. on Veterans Day? Do you know what the Pilgrims really ate on the first Thanksgiving? Many people do not. But dig a little deeper into each of the holidays, and you will discover some fascinating people, events, and facts.
2. Holidays Break Up the Homeschool RoutineIt is easy to sink into the homeschooling doldrums. The shine of new schoolbooks soon wears off. Erasers wear down. Crayons break into pieces. If your homeschool is anything like mine, complaining about math flashcards and sentence diagramming will rapidly ensue. Marking the holidays is a great way to break the homeschool routine. A special meal or baking project—we do waffles served on china and a special red tablecloth for Valentines Day breakfast—or project or craft can really get your kids excited and back into the groove of learning.
3. Holidays Help Students to Get Involved
Too often, our kids' learning is limited to the walls of our home and the words of the curriculum we purchased. But the best learning—hands-on learning—takes place outside of our homes. The holidays are a great time to help students get involved in the world beyond. For example, Veterans Day is a great time to serve those who have served our country. Memorial Day is the perfect occasion to visit a local war memorial to learn more about a foreign war and the people who served in it. Martin Luther King Day is a great time to do a community service project. The opportunities for getting involved are limitless!
4. Holidays Instill Shared Culture and Values
Holidays are about togetherness. They are about shared values and traditions. They are about uniquely American values and what makes our country great. The holidays can really bring these values home to students. Thanksgiving is a great time to learn about freedom of religion in the New World. Martin Luther King Day highlights the struggle for equality. Memorial Day shows how some have given all to preserve democracy.
5. Holidays Help Families Make Memories
One of the goals of our homeschool is to make memories. When our curriculum is not working and the kids are bored, I know I need to refocus on our goal of making memories. The holidays are perfect for memory-making. Stringing popcorn for the Christmas tree together, crafting valentines together, participating in a service project together—these are all great ways to make memories as a family.
So, consider intentionally marking the holidays in your homeschool this year. The little extra effort will be worth it!
Posted by: Jill
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