I’m still having a hard time accepting the fact that it’s 2015, let alone almost February already. I started this year off with a more structured homeschool schedule which is going well, but, as with any new schedule it’s taking some time getting used to. Part of being more structured also means planning out lessons farther in advance. Facing the red and pink sea of hearts and candies every time I’m in the grocery store has been a reminder to stay on track with our lesson on St. Valentine’s Day. Being homeschooled means my kids don’t have a classroom full of other kids to hand out Valentine’s Day cards to. They do make cards for mom, dad, and grandparents, though. Because of this (and because I’ll take advantage of any occasion to craft something) we make all of our cards by hand, and each one is unique. This is a lot of fun for my kids (and me), and it’s something I think every kid could do with at least some of the people in their life. It’s always an enjoyable experience for my children to see how something they took the time to create can bring a smile to the face of someone they care about.
I have a lot of crafting supplies on hand, but with a quick stop at the craft store you can pick up blank cards or construction paper, stickers, glitter, and glue. Use old magazines to find fun pictures to cut out and glue to the cards, or type up a quote about Love in a pretty font and glue that in. I like how personalizing each card makes my kids think specifically about the recipient. On a holiday built around the theme of Love, it makes sense to actually take a moment to consider all the reasons why they love someone and allowing that to translate into their artwork…versus just signing their name on a generic card.
If you would like to add more elements to the experience you could give your child a certain amount of money to spend and instruct them to keep track of costs as they pick out supplies in the craft store. My seven year old still talks about the first time she was able to pay for something at a store with cash she had been saving. She even kept the receipt as a memento. Math can be exciting!
A little history can be added to the project by discussing the origins of the holiday. I found some interesting information on the History Channel website (history.com) about who St. Valentine was, and why he is revered. History and poetry can blend together: the earliest known written reference to St. Valentine’s Day is in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Parelment of Foules”, written around the late 1370’s. A Google search for Valentine’s Day poems will also provide a lot of content.
St. Valentine’s Day can certainly feel like just another overly-commercialized holiday, but it doesn’t need to be that way. We can always add more substance, and a deeper meaning. There is always time to show the people we love that they are special to us, and ultimately that’s what I want my own kids to remember on this holiday.