St. Patrick’s Day is only a week away. It’s one of my five favorite holidays, so I try to find lots of fun things to do. Here’s a peek at some of the crafts we’ve done over the years:
I waited to share last week’s school adventures for two reasons. First, because we’re talking this week off due to St. Patrick’s Day and Turkey’s birthday, so I wouldn’t have had anything to share this week, anyway. Second, I wanted to make sure I got to include the field trip we took on Monday to the Missouri History Museum!
In addition to Monday’s St. Patrick’s Day field trip, we did all of our St. Patrick’s Day reading last week, in addition to our regular history lessons. We learned about who St. Patrick was, why we commemorate him on the Christian calendar, and why we see the celebrations we do on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s always one of my favorite times of year!
Turkey and Bunny kept at fractions in math. I’m amazed at how quickly they’ve gotten into pretty complex things, including borrowing from whole numbers and more complicated common factors. They’re both taking to it really well, though, which is a relief to me! Ladybug is working on 3-D shapes, which isn’t really new for her, but it is fun! Everybody did well on their math tests, so I guess I can keep my job for the time being.
In history we learned about Julius Caesar. I really enjoyed these lessons, and now I want to read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar again…it has always been one of my favorite plays. I think we may read some excerpts of it out loud in the coming weeks, just so the children can get a feeling for what it sounds like. The timing of the lesson was perfect, too, as the Ides of March fell just after we learned about Caesar and Brutus!
Our science lessons focused on Uranus and Neptune. We’re almost done with our science text for the year. I did order the botany curriculum for next year when it was on sale last week, and I’m toying with the idea of just starting on it this year. If we do that, we can get through a zoology book from the Apologia series next year as well, which would be nice for Turkey and Bunny before they (gulp!) move on to Junior High science.
Our study of Scottish history has us approaching the unification of England and Scotland. We found out from Ryan’s mom that she’s part Scottish (I can’t believe I didn’t know that after all this time!), so the children have a renewed interest in learning not just Scotland’s story, but their story. And now when we go to the Scottish games or Tartan Days, I don’t have to feel like we don’t fit in. I may not be Scottish by birth, but I’m with people who have some Scottish blood in them somewhere…that makes me very happy!
We won’t be doing much school-related for the rest of this week, but I do think we’re going to watch the Great Performances production of Macbeth. Between that and the field trip, I can feel like we still had a productive week on vacation!
Today we attended a homeschool event at the Missouri History Museum–“CÉAD MÍLE FÁILTE,” which is Irish for “One hundred thousand welcomes.” The highlight of the event was seeing dancers from the Clarkson School of Irish Dance.
The children loved their costumes and their curly hair!
The children enjoyed making a Brigid’s Cross in the craft area. I think we might try this again at home sometime, and try to make patterns in the cross, or at least use specific colors. They’re very pretty! (I especially liked Turkey’s all-green version!)
Today was another fun opportunity for learning courtesy of the Missouri History Museum!
It’s not a long list, but here are some of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day books:
- The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book (This collection contains a good leprechaun story from Ireland)
- Tales From Old Ireland
- Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs
- The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day
- Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
- King Puck
- St. Patrick’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning
- A Fine St. Patrick’s Day
- Leprechaun in Late Winter
- Leprechauns and Irish Folklore
- St. Patrick’s Day Alphabet
This was a fun, busy week of school! We had a lot of work to do because of our upcoming vacation, and we also had some extra stuff to do for St. Patrick’s Day. We managed to get everything done, though, and had a lot of fun in the process!
Turkey and Bunny continued working on fractions in math. They’re still adding and subtracting unlike fractions, and have added mixed fractions, as well. They both continue to do really well with this area of study, and they’re even remembering to reduce their answers (thankfully!). On Friday, we had a brief introduction to decimals, and how they relate to fractions.
Ladybug worked on the letter “l” this week. Her reading is really improving, although I have to remind her that she doesn’t have to sound out words she already knows! And she will literally sound out everything, if left to her own devices. Her reading is improving, although she is still mixing up “d” and “b” occasionally, which I assume is a normal mistake at this age.
In history, we learned about the beginning of World War II, which was both interesting and depressing. I didn’t much enjoy having to teach the children about concentration camps. Turkey and Bunny were both baffled and outraged at the idea…fortunately, I think it mostly went over Ladybug’s head. We also learned about Pearl Harbor, and how America finally entered the war after a period of isolationism. After our vacation, we’ll learn more about America’s role in the war, and how it came to an end.
We finished our lesson on the integumentary system in science this week, and got to do a few fun experiments to go along with it. We made a glue dot braille alphabet, which was particularly fun, and also used paper clips bent at varying widths to see how sensitive our hands, backs, and arms are. We only have two chapters left in our science book…I think we’re all going to be sad to be done with our study of human anatomy!
Our read-alouds for the week were all St. Patrick’s Day related. We finished the book we started last week, Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs, and also read Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland, our favorite leprechaun legend from the Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book, and The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day (that last one was just for fun). I also put another favorite St. Patrick’s Day book, in our book basket…there just wasn’t time to read them all out loud!
No holiday would be complete without some crafts. I saw these adorable St. Patrick paper bag puppets on Oriental Trading’s website, and I thought they’d be fun, so we each made one (I gave mine to Moose…he loves it!).
Since there were 12 kits in the pack, we also made a few St. Patricks that could be hung up. Still cute, even if they’re not as “playable!”
I found these little fuzzy guys at Michael’s, and since I’m a sucker for fuzzy crafts, the children made them, too. Not too sure where they’re going to end up, but they’re adorable!
During Turkey and Bunny’s math test on Friday, I also made some shamrock cookies for our St. Patrick’s Day tea party…that counts as school, right? Turkey and Bunny seemed to enjoy trying to steal the cookie dough while I was correcting their tests, anyway!
I’m looking forward to our vacation, even though I have so much stuff planned in the next two weeks, I’m not really going to catch a break!
St. Patrick’s Day, one of my five favorite holidays, is almost here! If you’re looking for a little inspiration, here are some fun things we’ve done in the past, plus a few Irish-themed dessert recipes!
And, a list of fun books to read around St. Patrick’s Day:
Today is one of my favorite days of the year–St. Patrick’s Day!
The children started their day with the traditional bowl of Lucky Charms. Since St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday this year, I didn’t even need to feel guilty about it, as Saturday is the one day of the week when they’re allowed sugary cereal. I only wish I could have had some!
I dyed the lunch applesauce green, too. It’s such a small thing, but every year, it really amuses the children. They also got to have Skittles with lunch…it’s really their “lucky” day!
We had our traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage slow-cooked in Guinness…but no roasted potatoes or soda bread this year, so as not to tempt the gestational diabetic. I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to roasted red potatoes.
I did, however, indulge in the chocolate Guinness cake I made…it’s become one of my favorites, and it’s less sugary than a lot of cakes!
We had fun preparing for St. Patrick’s Day in school for the last week or so, as well. We made snakes:
And paper plate Leprechauns:
We also played my one of my favorite games, (The Alphabet Game), with green for the theme. It was fun to see Turkey and Bunny’s creativity with a few of the letters in the alphabet. My favorite part, though, was Turkey’s attempt at writing “gecko.” That’s what he said out loud when sharing his list, but when I actually looked at the list, he had written “Geico”–I guess their advertising is working!
We also used my favorite part of the hymn often attributed to St. Patrick, “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” as our dictation for the week. I know he likely didn’t write it, but it doesn’t change the beauty of the lyrics:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
We read an old favorite book–St. Patrick’s Day. This is a very simplified story about St. Patrick, along with simplified explanations of a few traditions, but the children still like it.
We learned more about Irish traditions with a new favorite book–Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick’s Day Symbols. This is a great book, and full of interesting tales. I learned a lot from it myself, and the children really enjoyed the different stories, some of which we read out loud, (the chapters “St. Patrick Himself,” “The Irish Shamrock,” “St. Patrick and the Serpents,” “A Sprig of Shillelagh,” “Leprechauns,” and “St. Patrick’s Day Parades”), and some they read on their own, (“The Wearin’ of the Green” was especially popular).
The most popular activity, however, was helping Moose make his “Leprechaun Trap” for school:
The trap was even successful, thanks to Turkey’s creativity with Legos:
As long as we read about the history of the legend of the leprechaun in Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs, and read the legend referenced in that book, (“Lazy Tom”), in The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book, and attempted to “trap” a leprechaun, I decided to give Turkey and Bunny a creative writing assignment about leprechauns, as well. The topic? “If I caught a leprechaun…” It’s always fun to hear the things they come up with when they’re writing about something mythical! Turkey was focused on having a fun day with the leprechaun, and getting him to lead the way to other leprechauns’ pots of gold, while Bunny was determined to make sure her leprechaun didn’t get away so that she could get his gold and go shopping!
I’d count this as a successful St. Patrick’s Day. I know it’s kind of silly, because I’m not Irish, (and not even Catholic!), but I really have a lot of fun with this holiday, and I seem to have made it a special day in our household in the children’s opinions, without even having to try too hard…it just came naturally!
For school this week, Moose had to make a “Leprechaun Trap.” We all had fun helping him design and assemble this project! We were also able to use things from around the house…a ubiquitous Amazon box, wrapping paper, glitter, a pencil, and embroidery thread. The only thing I actually bought for the project was a package of shamrock stickers…and if I had looked hard, I probably could have found some of those around here, too! It may not be the world’s best or most creative trap, but it sure was a lot of fun to make…Moose’s favorite part was putting stickers and glitter everywhere!
According to the instruction sheet we received with the assignment, Leprechauns like shiny things:
They also, of course, like green:
Being mischievous, they often do the opposite of what they’re told:
It was important to Turkey that Moose “actually” catch a Leprechaun, so he helped out with that task:
I love St. Patrick’s Day, so this project wasn’t even work for me…it was just a lot of fun, and I think it was great that we could all help Moose with his homework!