One of my favorite things about homeschooling is having the flexibility to depart from our regular routine. Special days like Valentine’s Day are a great reason to take a break from the normal homeschool day and add in some extra fun! Here are some of our favorite ways to make Valentine’s Day memorable.
1. Serve a special Valentine’s Day breakfast.
If you have the time and the energy, you can make a special breakfast like heart-shaped pancakes or waffles, berries, raspberry muffins or a pink strawberry smoothie.
Or if departing from your normal breakfast routine will cause too many issues, think about adding a simple touch or two to mark this as a special day. Get some red or pink flowers for the breakfast table. Use Valentine’s Day themed paper plates or napkins. Sprinkle the table with a few candy hearts or little goodie bags. Write a special love note for each person in the family.
Making the occasion special doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Simple surprises are often have the greatest impact!
2. Have a Valentine-themed school day.
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to take a break from your regular school work for the day and add some holiday fun to the routine. Here are a few ways to weave Do some hands-on math and science in the kitchen by baking a special Valentine’s Day treat. Read Valentine’s Day themed books together. Do some fun Valentine’s printables or coloring pages with your little ones. Write Valentine’s Day cards for friends and family. Show your children how to look up Bible verses that include the word ‘love.’ Choose one to memorize as a family.
3. Share your family’s love story.
Have you ever told your children the story of how you met your spouse? Now is also a great time to share any stories you know about how your parents or grandparents met and fell in love. You might even want to look through some old family photos. Hearing these stories and seeing these images gives kids a sense of history and the knowledge that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
4. Serve others as a family.
I can’t think of a more appropriate way to commemorate Valentine’s Day than by showing our love to those around us. It could be as simple as taking some special Valentine’s treats to your local librarians (who undoubtedly know you all by name!), your pastor, or a neighbor. You could deliver flowers to a single person or someone who lives alone. Valentine’s Day can often be especially sad for those who don’t have someone to mark this special day with. Or you could do a random act of kindness like paying for the person who is behind you in the drive through. See if you can brainstorm some creative ways to serve together!
5. Show love to each family member in the way that’s most meaningful to them.
Have you heard of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman? In this book, the author proposes that there are five main ways of demonstrating and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. If you’re not sure how your family members best receive love, this can be a great family conversation topic. Helping children recognize that different people feel loved in different ways and that not everyone experiences love in the same way they do is a valuable skill that will serve them throughout life.
All of us need and want to receive love in all the different “languages” but most people have one or two that speak most powerfully to them. If you do know the “love language” of your spouse and children, see if you can make a special effort to demonstrate love today in the way that speaks to them (and encourage your children to join in thinking of creative ways to show love to other family members).
For someone who has words of affirmation as their primary love language, a hand-written note detailing some of the things you most appreciate about them might fill up their love tank. Another fun Valentine’s activity that is sure to resonate with your words of affirmation family members is to cut out colorful paper hearts and write messages of encouragement or compliments on each heart. Even simple messages like, “You are funny,” “You are creative,” “You are kind,” and “You are a hard worker” can be very powerful. Maybe you can work together as a family to make enough hearts to decorate each person’s bedroom door or the wall beside their bed.
Quality time family members might enjoy a special family game night, watching a movie together, or taking an outing to a favorite park or hiking spot. Cooking a meal together, doing a craft project, or having a special Valentine’s day afternoon teatime are also great options. The key is to do something together!
Children who receive love through gifts are often delighted by little presents like a balloon, some candy, or a small stuffed animal. Taking extra care to wrap the gift nicely or present it in an unexpected way (like a scavenger hunt or a treasure map) can be especially impactful to gift receiving types.
Physical touch can go beyond quick hugs and kisses. We often rush through a hug, but see if you can linger for a moment or two; let your child be the first one to let go. Try to think of some new ways to add more touch to your daily routine. Holding hands while you pray at the table, pulling kids in close for snuggles during history or literature readings, dancing together as you listen to upbeat music, or ending the day with a relaxing foot massage or back rub are all great ways to pour into a child that values physical touch.
Acts of service might look like preparing a family member’s favorite snack or drink and bringing it to them, doing a chore that they are usually responsible for, or surprising them by making their bed or tidying their room. People who value acts of service are often quick to jump in and assist others, so make sure you express appreciation when these family members pitch in. That’s their way of showing love!
Sometimes the love languages show up differently with kids than with adults. If you need some help figuring out how to show love to your child in a way that’s meaningful to them, The 5 Love Languages of Children is a great resource.
We’d love to hear how you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your homeschool! Let us know in the comments below.
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