Photo by Ester Schlimper
Every year around this time, pumpkin patches emerge around town, decorations go up at homes across the city, and parents everywhere start thinking about costume ideas. That's right, it's the yearly Halloween celebrations and if you're a homeschooling family, it's also a great time to incorporate lessons related to the season into your homeschool plans.
If you're not sure where to start, here are some general ideas:
For History or Geography lessons:
- Give a lesson on the History and traditions of Halloween as you and your family celebrate it or the reasons why you don't. Customize your lessons to be based on your faith perspectives whether pagan or Christian.
- Study different cultures and their traditions such as Mexico and their celebrations of 'Dia De los Muertos'.
For Art lessons:
- Try incorporating art projects that include seasonally related items. It can be Halloween specific such as painting your own Halloween scenery or decorations or creating an 'Autum' related project. You can use fallen leaves or branches to create indoor designs.
- Use recycled materials found at the beach to create Halloween related art.
- Sewing crafts such as those for costumes or general decorations (i.e. stuffed pumpkins, hanging ghosts, creating a fall quilt)
- Older kids can have fun incorporating technology and developing their own seasonal film or documentary.
For Reading, Grammar lessons, or Writing lessons:
- Try Literature and narration exercises on books or stories about the season (i.e. The Tale of Jack O'Lantern).
- Have children create a seasonal book, or create and recite poetry or finger rhymes.
- A fun idea could include having the children create their very own joke book.
For Science lessons:
- Try conducting science experiments such as making slime or invisible ink.
- Give Astronomy lessons on the moon.
- Create unit studies on the biology of animals that are normally associated with Halloween (i.e. cat, spider, etc.).
- Have kids plant a fall garden.
- Give lessons on the study of leaves and their life cycle (why they change colors and fall).
- Teach about pumpkin carving and creating your own jack-o-lanterns.
For Math lessons:
- Play a game using pumpkin seeds.
Other things include:
- Cooking lessons with pumpkins or other seasonal vegetables or fruits (i.e. apples)
- Safety awareness including stranger safety, fire safety, crossing the street, etc.
- Nutrition lessons on what is healthy and not (especially good during a season full of candy),
The main thing to remember is that even though Halloween celebrations are varied from family to family and religions, you can still make the season your own while still providing valuable lessons for your kids. That is part of the beauty of homeschooling, you can decide how and what your kids learn about the season.