Growing up, I always enjoyed decorating a box for Valentine’s day and carefully selecting the cutest cards for my classmates. When I first started homeschooling I wasn’t too concerned about my children not partaking in this tradition. It really wasn’t a big deal to me, or them, because we have plenty of fun on so many other levels!
Then, one year, we were invited to a homeschool Valentine’s day party. You bring a decorated box for your cards with cards to pass out to the other kids. I thought it might be a fun, little outing for the kids so I had them decorate simple cardboard boxes, made some homemade cards and off we went. To our surprise, this particular Valentine’s party was quite the event. With over fifty kids in attendance, we walked in and were greeted with fancy creations of all shapes and sizes that these kids clearly put a lot of time and energy into. My kids had a blast and started talking about what type of box they wanted to make for the next year! Now it’s one of their new favorite traditions.
Are you looking to incorporate a new Valentine’s tradition into your homeschool? Here are a few ideas!
Co-op Valentine Exchange
If your co-op or homeschool group doesn’t already host a Valentine exchange, start one! The one that we attend is hosted by our local homeschool group and is held at the local bowling alley. My kids look forward to it every year.
I ran into a friend at the grocery store a few days before Valentine’s day one year. She was perusing the chocolate, candy and gifts for her four young children. She told me her husband felt it was important to give their children gifts on Valentine’s day, that they would be reminded on that day that they were loved by their parents and not look for love in all the wrong places when they were older. As youth leaders, I’m sure they saw many broken kids so I could see why this was important to them. A few short years later, her husband died of cancer. It was heartbreaking but I wonder if her children remember this sweet tradition that their father did for them when they were little.
My children love creating gifts for one another. Yes, I’m aware that Valentine’s day has become a marketing scheme and some families dismiss it altogether. I completely respect that. I guess I don’t think of it as only a romantic deal but an opportunity to have fun in the cold, dreary, winter month of February! On birthdays, my kids love making gifts for each other, so on Valentine’s day they like to make cards for one another as well. It’s a sweet way to show each other that they care!
One year, an online homeschooling community that I was a part of held a Valentine exchange, snail mail style! It was great. My kids received cards from all over the country and even a few from Australia. As the cards came in the mail we would hang them up in our homeschool area and then mark on a world map where each one came from. Educational and fun! If you are part of an online group you might want to suggest this as an annual activity. Or, if your family is scattered across the globe, try a cousin card exchange.
Think about the widows that you know. I’m sure they could use a smile this Valentine’s Day! Have your kids create a sweet gift basket for them complete with a homemade card. Set aside a day to stop by their homes and surprise them with your gifts. Do you have a nursing home in your area? Consider volunteering some time visiting and passing out homemade cards to the elderly this Valentine’s day.
Do You celebrate Valentine’s Day? What are your traditions? Comment below!