Today is Valentine’s Day, the day when our nation celebrates all things LOVE. We enjoy this holiday in our house because it’s when we intentionally show one another the greatest of commandments: love! It’s also a great reason to take a break from homeschooling and simply enjoy one another. But we don’t just lie around eating candy on Valentine’s Day. For years I’ve worked very hard to make this day special in every way. My goal is to shoot an arrow of love and laughter straight through every activity, craft, and meal we have together. Here’s how our homeschooling family celebrates Valentine’s Day.
Setting the Scene
Did you know that the Bible references “love” 551 times in the NIV? There’s no better week of the year to focus on the source of love—God—and His word. The week before Valentine’s Day, our family usually ditches our normal Bible curriculum or group work and begins studying love and it’s many definitions, uses, and forms in scripture.
In years past, we memorized love verses, focused on how God loves Israel, and studied how Jesus loved those He encountered. My favorite love lesson for Valentine’s Day came when, as a family, we studied the book of Hosea. What a picture of God’s undying love for His people, despite their unfaithfulness! Why not spend this Valentine’s Day studying true love in God’s word as a family! Start by memorizing 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 with your students. Print out one of these lovely verse images or create one of your own!
Crafts are the best part of Valentine’s Day for my little ones. I have to admit that crafts are not my forte. It’s much easier for me to create a lesson, dig into history, or even make a themed meal! Somehow, when it comes to scissors and glue, I’m all thumbs. That’s why Pinterest and the internet are such amazing inventions (and it helps to have a crafty 11-year-old at my side who must get his crafting talent from a distant relative!).
I love the idea of making your own Valentine’s Day cards and integrating a math lesson, Pioneer Woman-style. Give your kids a budget for card making supplies and send them to your local craft store (with coupons in hand). Not into cards this year? There are millions (literally) of crafts to choose from online. Check out this Pinterest board or try your hand at these kid friendly crafts from Parents.com. Older, more seasoned crafters will love these beautiful and more challenging crafts by Martha Stewart’s crafting gurus!
The True Way to Their Hearts
Caesar Chavez said, “The people who give you their food give you their heart.” If your family is anything like mine, the best way to earn their love and capture their hearts is through food. So food is center stage in our Valentine’s Day celebration. It starts with a fun breakfast of heart-shaped pancakes or toast (based on the child’s desires), along with heart-shaped bacon strips (just shape and twist before baking).
I make each child’s favorite beloved lunch food. For my youngest, it’s always a strawberry smoothie and a thick piece of homemade bread slathered with butter. My middle child loves tomato soup and grilled cheese, and my oldest prefers a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a side of apples and caramel dip. After lunch, we make the family dessert together. Some years it’s heart-shaped cookies, others strawberry pie. This year we’re going to choose something from this list!
I make our family’s favorite dinner meal each Valentine’s Day: spaghetti and meatballs with parmesan broccoli. Whatever you choose to make to warm your family’s bellies, make it fun, make it about your family, and involve your children in the process! Here’s a great list of valentine inspired meals to get you started.
Notice that our family doesn’t do many formal lessons for Valentine’s Day. But if you’re determined to integrate a Valentine’s Day lesson or two, here are a few great ideas. I hope you love Valentine’s Day and enjoy your time together as much as our family does. When it comes to this holiday, all you need is love to make it special!