Friday, November 8, 2013

Remembering Holidays

Last year I struggled a lot with remembering holidays.  No, I'm not talking about Thanksgiving sneaking past while I wasn't looking, I mean remembering in time to enjoy our crafts and books BEFORE the big day.

Okay, okay, I still struggle just a smidge, but it's much better this year than last so I thought I'd share my tips and tricks with you.  And, if you've already got it all figured out, I'd LOVE to hear yours, too.

#1 Calendar Holidays and Project Time

I printed out a simple, two page per month, calendar and wrote down the holidays we wanted to incorporate into our school year.  I'm not by nature a "get down and glue-ey" kinda girl, so I tried to keep it down to one a month.

After picking the holidays, I decided how many weeks I wanted to spend working on projects.  Most are one or two weeks.  Then I wrote my plans ON my calendar.  If it isn't written down in my house, we never get to it.  Is anyone else like that? 

 (the notes across the week of the 6th are a new attempt to better keep track of Makenna's assignments, I'm going to post about it in a week or two)

As the school year has progressed, I try to look at least a month ahead each week so I can get ideas ready (and get themed books checked out from our local library before they're all gone).

#2 Using Pinterest
I find most of my ideas for crafty projects on Pinterest.  I love Pinterest.  It's so simple to pin a whole board full of fun ideas, in fact, it's maybe a little too easy.

I have to force myself to only pin the simple and easy projects that I know we can do (I have a separate board called Homeschool Projects so I can still pin everything else on my holiday boards).

I also try to pick ones that use materials we already have around our house which means we can do them anytime (aka: we don't have to wait until I remember to pick up supplies).

#3 Keeping It Simple  
After working hard to keep my pins simple, I look them over and pick a few.  I copy and paste the picture of each project into a document file.  I keep the pictures small enough so I can print them all out on only ONE sheet of paper.  Then I stick that sheet of paper to our white board as we get close to our scheduled weeks of project time.  

With that one piece of paper, I've got every simple and fun idea we want to work on.  It doesn't get easier than that.

And just so you know, we rarely get every picture on my one piece of paper done.  Checking every box (or project) isn't my main goal.  My goal is to have fun cutting, gluing and getting into the holidays with my kids and if that means we spend a whole week slowly working our way through only 1 of the 4 crafts, well, I'm okay with that.  Keeping things simple and as laid back as possible (which doesn't come naturally to all) makes all of us so much happier.

I just stuck our Thanksgiving projects on the board yesterday (pictured above): we're planning a couple of turkeys, a pilgrim, a thankful pacman (that's what Makenna's calling it) and some cookies.  I'll post pictures as we get closer to Thanksgiving and let you know how it went!


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