Thursday, March 4, 2010

Finding the Fun in March

Hey, I'm on a roll with this topic! :-D

Whether March has come in like a lion or a lamb, fun has blown in with it; look around and maybe you can see the fun too! Home education doesn’t have to be a dull daily routine. You can make it exciting with just a little bit of planning. Choose one day each week to do something special, and you won’t be overwhelmed. Your first course of action should be to pray and ask God what He would like you to focus on this month. Ask Him to send teachable moments for all of you. Then consider the following ideas.

Have you heard that our calendar has one date that is a command? It’s March 4th! (Think: March forth) Why not have your students do a Bible study on God’s command to go forth? Maybe your students would like to act out the march around Jericho. May you could teach them the song “Onward Christian Soldiers.” The March Forth theme can add interest to your school day.

Because March brings spring winds with it, it’s a great time to fly a kite. This activity could be paired with a lesson about the atmosphere and air pressure. You might look at the history of kite-flying, which appears to have had its beginning more than 2000 years ago in China.

A fun March art/craft activity is making a pinwheel out of paper, a straight pin, and a pencil with a good eraser on top. Templates can easily be found online. Here’s one: http://familycrafts.about.com/od/creativepaper/ss/pinwheel_3.htm Then your students can take their pinwheels outside and let the wind spin them! You might pair this with a lesson on windmills and wind turbines. Ask your students why God made the wind. What purpose does wind serve?

March 15 is the Ides of March. In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Julius Caesar, a soothsayer warns Julius to beware the Ides of March – the day he was doomed to be assassinated. High school students may enjoy learning about Julius Caesar and acting out the murder by his trusted friend, Brutus.

Of course, the “big” holiday of the month is St. Patrick’s Day. Children don’t have to be Irish to enjoy March 17. You have a wide variety of options for home education: leprechaun folklore, St. Patrick’s history (he was born in Britain but was kidnapped to Ireland in his youth; he escaped and later returned as a missionary), the science of rainbows, the geography of Ireland, Irish foods, and of course a celebration of the color green. You might teach your students how to make reuben sandwiches or corned beef and cabbage while serving green punch and cookies.

Palm Sunday falls on March 28 in 2010. Young students may enjoy acting out the scene of Christ entering Jerusalem as the people waved palm branches, laid the branches before him, and called, “Hosanna!” My daughter was perhaps six years old when we did this, and she got so excited that she yelled “Eureka!” by mistake. (We had been studying the Gold Rush earlier that day, which included a search for “gold” nuggets in a container filled with sand and an exclamation of “Eureka” when gold was found.)

Don’t let March blow through your homeschool without claiming some fun for your family! You’ll be making something more than fun; you’ll be making great family memories.

Happy homeschooling! (also published in Christian Online Magazine)

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