Memories, Memorial, in memory. These words are often used in our vocabulary and contain weight and meaning that often touches the heart. A memorial, according to Mr. Webster, is something that is “designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc.” That is precisely why Memorial Day was established, to remember those who have served and sacrificed for our nation. This day, which marks the beginning of summer for many of us, is about so much more than barbecues and block parties. But, what is Memorial Day and why do we celebrate it each year? Go beyond the barbecue and teach your children the true meaning behind Memorial Day with these Memorial Day lesson plans for homeschoolers.
8 Great Memorial Day Lesson Plans for Homeschoolers
- History Channel – Explore the real history of Memorial Day with the History Channel including videos, a complete history of the day, and famous traditions.
- War Memorials – What better way to understand “memorials” than to research them! Choose a war in American history and research memorials around the nation. Have your children print pictures of different statues, plaques, etc. to create a poster that represents various American memorials. Or Google “War Memorials near me” to find locations to visit and learn more about your local community.
- Parade Floats – Have fun as a family creating Memorial Day floats out of shoe boxes. Pick a different group of veterans or service groups to honor for each float. Then show them off in a family Memorial Day parade. Consider attending a local parade as a family to complete your celebration.
- Living History – Chances are you have someone in your family, church, or network of friends who is a veteran. Often we lose veterans before we hear their complete story! Give your veteran a call and set up a time for an interview. While your child will be learning many different lessons, they will feel honored at a chance to tell their story. Have your homeschooler create a list of interview questions and conduct the interview themselves, then do the final write up at the end. And, don’t forget to add this to your Language Arts or History log book!
- Memorial Day Math- Some of you have children who love math and are more engaged when working with numbers (and may be bored to death by history!). Get your math lover’s attention with this online lesson from Education World where children are challenged to graph and analyze war and veteran statistics.
- Decoration Day – Did you know that Memorial Day did not start out with this name? Have your young sleuths research Decoration Day, the original Memorial Day. Then have your homeschooler create a poster, blog article, PowerPoint presentation, etc. with what they find!
- War Poetry – The challenges and horrors of war are beautifully highlighted through war poetry. Spend time leading up to Memorial Day reading a new war poem each morning. Your child will enjoy listening to the rhythmic and beautiful language and may find a new appreciation for our veterans and poets alike! Start here with this list of war poetry from poets.org.
- Crafty Creations – What would a holiday homeschool lesson be without a few hands-on projects and crafts! Find 1,000 ideas for your Memorial Day lesson plans on Pinterest. We especially love how they can learn about the armed services while creating some fun, memorable, and beautiful crafts!
However you choose to spend your Memorial Day, we pray it is a peaceful one as you enjoy the freedom and rest that our service men and women have brought to our nation, past, present, and future!
How are you planning to spend your Memorial Day? Tell us in a comment below!