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Kids Are Always Learning (Even on a Holiday)

Kids Are Always Learning (Even on a Holiday)

(Last Updated on March 8, 2024)

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in over a decade of homeschooling, it’s that learning can happen anytime, anywhere, and in many different ways

We definitely don’t need to be in a classroom. And it doesn’t even have to be a school day! 

In past posts, I’ve shown how kids are always learning – on weekends, on vacations, and even when they’re bored, sick, or having a bad day. This past New Year’s break I was reminded, yet again, that kids are always learning… even on a holiday!

Learning on New Year’s Day

I didn’t have a lot planned for our New Year’s holiday this year. As it turned out, that was a good thing! 

Kids are naturally curious. Without the pressure that comes with learning things they have to learn, they often gravitate to very creative pursuits as they explore things they want to learn. And this kind of self-directed learning is incredibly effective!

Below I’ll share a few of the things that my kids (“Oldest” in 9th grade, “Middle” in 6th, and “Youngest” in 2nd) came up with to occupy their free time on our day off. While none of these would probably be considered “school” in the traditional sense, I can’t help but think that this holiday break was great for their education!

  • When they needed to cleanup the half-completed game of Monopoly: The Mega Edition they’d started with friends a few days before, they decided to fully document the game progress so they could pickup where they left off the next time those friends visited. This first involved photographing the board from all angles. Then they worked for hours to tally every player’s money, properties owned, hotels, etc. and created a detailed spreadsheet. 
two homeschool boys creating Mega Monopoly game spreadsheet
  • We took some time to read more in our ongoing family read-aloud, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Youngest and I finally had a chance to play Stratego together. We talked about game strategies, good sportsmanship, and basic game courtesy like helping setup and cleanup. (Side Note: Stratego is on my list of US History Board Games for Kids – check out that post and the others in my Board Games for Kids series for great educational-but-still-fun game suggestions.)
homeschool girl playing Stratego
  • The kids each came up with a list of New Year’s goals and we talked about what makes a goal realistic and achievable. 
  • While reading an Aesop fable, Youngest realized we had another copy of the same fable in a different book. She read them both and we compared/contrasted the two versions in detail. 
Two Aesop fable books
  • Oldest and Middle remembered their Gravitrax set and MagnaTiles and played for quite a while constructing all kinds of contraptions. 
Homeschool boy playing with Gravitrax Starter Set
  • As a family we read and discussed a chapter in Proverbs and journaled about it. This reminded the kids of their Thankful Journals, so we got them out and added an entry in those books, too.
  • Youngest suggested (and setup for us) an afternoon Tea Time, complete with sweet bread. This led to an unexpected discussion about the tea box’s claim to have found the “first American herbal tea”. We talked about marketing strategies and how we could prove or disprove their claim.
  • Since we had more time for cleanup on this “day off”, we tackled the String Art project the kids had gotten in their Christmas stockings. (For more stocking stuffer and Easter basket ideas, check out this post here.)
Homeschool boy creating string art project

So, as it turned out, the kids occupied themselves the entire day without much intervention from me at all. 

There was no classroom in sight. No school to-do list. No textbooks or worksheets. But it all sounds a lot like learning to me!

For more examples of learning on non-school days, check out the other posts in this Kids Are Always Learning series:

If you’re struggling to break free from the “textbooks + classrooms = education” mindset, my book, Think About Homeschooling: What It Is, What It Isn’t, & Why It Works, is for you! Remember… before there were textbooks or classrooms, people were learning! No matter where you are on your homeschooling journey – or if you haven’t even started yet – Think About Homeschooling will help break down the educational stereotypes and habits that are holding you back from reaching your fullest homeschooling potential!

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Kids Are Always Learning (Even on a Holiday)