Calendar activities help small children grasp the concept of time, as divided in days, weeks and months. For older children, calendar activities can be a five-minute reading on what happened this day in history. It does not have to take long and the benefits speak for themselves.
Today, for instance, is the birthday of Western Civilization – an event marked by the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC and acknowledged by most historians as the turning point in the Greek-Persian wars. Because they won the Battle of Marathon, the Greeks started believing in themselves as a nation and as a culture. After this battle, the Greeks started developing what we today call classical Greece, which is, of course, the foundation for Western thought and civilization.
I would not know this had I not signed up for The Writer’s Almanac emails from NPR. Calendar activities play an important role in the education of children. It connects children to events, people and places which otherwise they may only encounter in certain subjects and grades.
There are plenty of free resources so you can have a five-minute calendar moment every day with the children. This Day in History is one of them, but, as you can see, they do not mention the Battle of Marathon.
I’m not trying to give you one more subject to teach and discourage you. It is true, homeschooling can become overwhelming when you think about all the subjects. Now you have to add a calendar page to your already full calendar?
If you spend 30 minutes planning your calendar curriculum for the next 12 months, and five minutes reading about it every day, I don’t think you should feel overwhelmed. I believe children become more thoughtful and thankful about “today” if they know what other people went through on this day in history. It connects them to their past and history usually inspires us and makes us wiser.
Come up with your own system – a binder with printables, an email you read to them over breakfast from your smart phone or tablet, etc – and implement it every day, for five minutes. Look back on it after 3-6 months and enjoy all the rich memories you have created with your children, sharing knowledge with them and enlarging their horizons.