Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finding the Fun in April

Now it’s April, and the typical family has around two more months of school to complete before taking a summer break. Spring has sprung, the birds are singing, and you may have a royal case of spring fever! Ask God to send teachable moments for your family. Then consider the following ideas for making your April school days more fun.

Some folks think the origin of April Fools Day may have come about when people who were confused by the transition to the Gregorian calendar celebrated New Years Day on April 1. Others say April Fools' Day simply grew out of ancient European spring festivals that involved practical jokes. Typical kids love the silliness of the day. Why not tease them with things like supper for breakfast, breakfast for supper, dessert that looks like a sandwich, or a snack that looks like dessert. Additionally, carry on a conversation in pig Latin! For educational purposes, research and read about some funny media hoaxes that have transpired on April 1. This can be part of your language arts work.

Easter brings with it a variety of opportunities for fun. There is a chemistry lesson in making hard-boiled eggs as well as in dying the eggs. Your students may enjoy researching old-fashioned egg games and then playing them! If you have never made resurrection cookies, I recommend that you try it a day or two before Easter, since the cookies have to stay in the oven overnight. Put the cookie’s name in a search engine, and you’ll easily find the recipe and directions.

April 15, the dreaded Tax Day in America, may be a good day to focus on math and play with money. Monopoly is a classic game, but there are many other educational money games geared for various age ranges. You might do a Bible study on taxes or discuss the similarities and differences between taxes and tithing.

If you haven’t planted so much as a single seed yet, now is a good time. We have a small pea plant growing in our kitchen window. Though I’m descended from farmers on both sides of the family tree, I don’t have a green thumb when it comes to gardens. However, I can manage a plant on a windowsill, and you can too. Your children will enjoy watching it sprout, grow, blossom, and bear fruit. You can tie in Bible lessons about sowing and reaping; there are several parables that have to do with seeds.

Do your children enjoy watching the birds? They’re returning from their winter “vacation.” Sitting outside or at a window with a pad of paper can count as art and science as your students draw and take notes about what they see.

Don’t let April showers wash away all thoughts of fun! With a little effort, you’ll be making something more than fun; you’ll be making great family memories.

(also published as a homeschool column in Christian Online Magazine)

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