Welcome to Homeschooling in January. For quite a while now, I’ve wanted to add a series of blog posts here that focus on the younger grades. As I brainstormed ideas, thinking back to our own frist years of homeschooling, I couldn’t not do some fun ideas centered around the seasoans and months of the year. This is how we often homeschooled using unit studies, and Ben still talks about some of the incredible things he learned about using this method.
Homeschooling in January
Whether you’re homeschooling year round or not, this will be your go-to series for all things monthly themes, activities, and ideas related. Homeschooling is so much fun but sometimes it becomes stressful because of the mundane. Allow this series to serve as a breath of fresh air for your lesson plans. Whether you use it as a basis for all of your homeschooling ideas or just a break from your usual curriculum, I hope you’ll find these collections of ideas fun and inspiring. Watch for each month’s new installments about 7-10 days prior to the beginning of each month.
January National Day Holidays
One way to incorporate uniqueness in your homeschool each month is to find out any (or all) national day holidays. The National Day Calendar website is a great source for looking at national days and weeks. Here are a few that I found pretty interesting. Where applicable, I have linked to unit studies I am aware of for each topic. Continue reading below for ideas for creating your own unit studies as well.
- Science Fiction Day (January 2)
- Trivia Day (January 4)
- Bird Day (January 5)
- Technology Day (January 6)
- Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (January 9)
- Sticker Day (January 13)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 17)
- Thesaurus Day (January 18th)
- Squirrel Appreciation Day (January 21)
- Handwriting Day (January 23)
- Backward Day (January 31)
This list can make for some pretty interesting days in your homeschool, right?
January National Monthly Observances
Using the same website resource above, there are quite a few monthly observances to consider adopting in your homeschool. The list is fairly long so I’m condensing it to a short list that I think meshes perfectly with homeschooling. Again, where I can, I have linked to resources that can enhance your studies.
- Braille Literacy Month
- Hobby How to Teach Photography
- Mentoring Month
- Oatmeal Month
- Slow Cooking Month
- Soup Month
These monthly observances can be so much fun to include in your January lesson plans! Below are some ideas for doing just that.
January Activity Ideas for Your Homeschool
There are many ways to include national days and monthly observances without having to make many changes or a huge investment in new books and curriculum. For starters, you can use the national day holidays as a time to take a break from the traditional schedule you’ve created. A perfect example would be to use Science Fiction Day as a day to watch your child’s favorite science fiction movie, read a book, and/or complete a hands-on project for either (or both) of the two.
Spend Bird Day learning about different types of birds, watching educational videos about them, and then doing a bit of bird watching from your window (unless you want to tackle the cold weather). Hands-on activities for this day could include coloring a bird activity book, creating an interactive notebook, or having a go at drawing different types of birds. You can also take a look at some Birds of the Everglades. The same ideas can be applied to Squirrel Appreciation Day. We have also put together ideas for a Squirrels Unit Study you may find enjoyable as well.
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day could be a day to learn about the different law enforcement and community helpers. If you can, consider writing thank you cards and dropping them off at the local police and fire departments. They would really appreciate that and it would help your kids be thankful for their services as well.
You can also combine similar days, especially when they’re in close proximity, and create a dedicated week. For example, you can kick off your own literacy week with Thesaurus Day and finish it up with Handwriting Day.
You may want to skip all the monthly observances and just enjoy learning all about nature during winter in the month of January. Be sure to check out our awesome list of ideas for a Winter Nature Unit Study.
The key is to use your creativity with these days. And don’t hesitate to include your kids in the planning process. You may be surprised by what they come up with!
How to Incorporate National Monthly Observances in Your Homeschool
Using unit studies is my number one suggestion for incorporating national monthly observances in your homeschool. They are easy to do and often touch base with multiple subjects while giving your kids fun learning experiences. Here’s how easy it is to create a unit study based on a monthly observance:
- Step one: Choose a specific observance to highlight for the month.
- Step two: Decide how much time you’d like to dedicate each day (or week) to learning about the observance.
- Step three: Locate reliable resources to use for teaching and learning.
- Step four: Write out lesson plans catered to the observance using the resources you’ve found.
- Step five: Have fun implementing your plans! (And it’s okay to deviate some.)
State Unit Studies
Another fun idea is to combine the study of U.S. states with your monthly studies. I have created a free unit study for each state, and here I’ll list list each state according to the dates they were admitted to the union with a link to each unit study.
- Georgia – January 2, 1788
- Connecticut – January 9, 1788
- Kansas – January 29, 1861
- Utah – January 4, 1896
- New Mexico – January 6, 1912
- Alaska – January 3, 1959
I hope you enjoy these ideas of things you can do in your homeschool for the month of January. Don’t forget that January is also in the middle of winter so you can’t go wrong with doing any and all things winter-related! And remember, I’m going to be doing one for each month of the year so bookmark this page, save the pin image, and check back next month for February ideas!