Squirrel Appreciation Day

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!!

Have you ever seen a flying squirrel? What about a squirrel touching up her lipstick?

I have the pleasure of belonging to a group of women who scrapbook and our mascot is the squirrel. We have had many “squirrely” adventures! So indeed I have seen a squirrel stop, pull over and touch up her lipstick.

Photo courtesy Laura Morlok, one of my Scrappy Sisters!

Today we are going to focus a bit more on the 3 types of squirrels you may encounter in nature: the flying squirrel, the tree squirrel and the ground squirrel.

The flying squirrel doesn’t really fly… remember the scene in Toy Story – where Buzz Lightyear is “falling, with style” – that’s exactly what a flying squirrel does… They glide through the air after launching off a tree branch. Fascinating for sure. Check out this great video by National Geographic Wild: World’s Weirdest- Flying Squirrel

Tree squirrels, as their name implies live in trees. Some of the most recognized of the tree squirrels are the grey, red and fox squirrel. They may bury food in the ground so tgey have it for later.

Ground squirrels can sometimes be mistaken for gophers due to their burrowing underground. They eat nuts, seeds and plants. They even eat small insects.

Did you know chipmunks and marmots are also in the squirrel family? There are so many cool squirrel facts I compiled a list of my favorites and created a copywork activity pack. Here is a sample you can use. The full version is available in my TPT store for only $1.25. It comes with 9 facts in print and cursive.

I can not resist sharing this youtube video…. If you can not get out of the house to go squirrel watching today – have no fear. This Mom and her babies will keep you entertained for quite some time. Squirrel Clown Car

One of my favorite websites as a classroom teacher was SCI Show Kids. It’s geared at kids TK – grade 3, but my 4th graders loved it, and I dare say – kids are kids. The information is great. They have a video called: Why do Squirrels dig? I have created a FREE companion worksheet to go along with the video.

Watch the video and use this FREE companion worksheet! (answer key not included, but you can get it in my Squirrel Appreciation Day activity Pack!)

Some other great activities you can do: 

String Fruit Ring Cereal on yarn and hang it outside 

TP Tube and squirrel food with peanut butter

Do you have a park that has lots of squirrels? Why not load an empty egg carton with different food samples (nuts, fruit, etc) … set it under a Tree and watch what happens! 

Make a felt puppet or stuffed animal. The complete instructions, pattern and other great Squirrel Appreciation Day activities are available in my TeachersPayTeachers Shop. 

If you are looking for a GREAT BOOK to compliment nature studies, begin nature studies or just as a stand alone book about squirrels – I highly recommend this one:

The Series of animal stories by Thorton Burgess is a MUST HAVE for every household! You can get many of them for FREE as Kindle editions.

I hope your appreciation of Squirrels has increased!

Come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.


Sources: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/squirrel-appreciation-day-january-21/


Kid inventors day

Happy Kid Inventors Day — also called K.I.D. January 17th is a special day. It is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin who invented the first swim flippers at age 12! Mr. Franklin went on to invent many more things (perhaps you can research what they were) as well as become an important statesman in American history. Here is a FREE organizer you can use for this research:

Research Organizer Worksheet for Kid Inventors Day

Kids have brilliant minds, and today is a day to celebrate that. There are no limits on inventions. I bet you have a great idea. I know I would love an automatic laundry folder!

Rube Goldberg was an inventor and a cartoonist. He is famous for drawing cartoons that contained inventions that solved simple problems in the most over complicated – outrageous ways. The main character of these cartoons was named Professor Butts. Today we call these inventions Rube Goldberg Machines. Mr. Goldberg drew over 50,000 cartoons over his life. Around the globe contests are held for the best “Rube Goldberg” Machines!

Take some time to check out his Zany Cartoons in the Rube Goldberg Gallery https://www.rubegoldberg.com/image-gallery-licensing/

Perhaps you will be inspired to create your own Rube Goldberg Machine. If it does fold laundry, will you let me know?

When you do have a true and unique invention, designed to solve a problem, many inventors – even kids seek what is called a PATENT. This protects the invention from being produced by another inventor for a period of 20 years. Even kids can be granted patents!

Visit the United States Patent & Trademark Website. They have an awesome section just for kids and teens.


Learn about the process and meet other Kid inventors like you!

Amazon has books on inventors, some are just about inventors in general and some are biographies. This is a fun one that covers all interest levels:

Brainstorm is filled with 20 stories of only KID inventors!

Today is a day for creating, even if it’s just THINKING about your invention because we don’t always have the exact supplies laying around the house for an automatic laundry folding machine… Begin by becoming inspired by other KID inventors, then brainstorm your own awesome invention. Use this great resource as a way to organize your thoughts.

If you would like to research 10 different Kid Inventors quickly and easily I put together this great resource for you! It uses QR codes you simply scan and read about or watch a short video about how these real kids solved real problems!

Then you can organize your research and determine how these inventions have impacted your life on a handy graphic organizer!

Head over to my TeachersPayTeachers store to check it out!

Way back in 2010 we celebrated Kid inventors day in a completely spontaneous way, check out that blog post: KID INVENTORS DAY 2010

I hope you are inspired to invent something on your own. (even like my kids – it had already been invented!) Come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.



Rube Goldberg Machine Contest®, Rube Goldberg Machine® and Rube Goldberg Challenge® are all trademarks of RGI. Reference is used for educational purpose only. – not for profit

Ben Franklin Clip art courtesy TPT seller HendersonsHeadquarters.

Dress up your pet day

Pets play an important role in our homes and our lives. Don’t worry if you don’t have a pet – you can still participate in Dress up your pet day! But before you begin – make sure you have permission to dress your pet, and PLEASE make sure your pet is a willing participant.

Pet stores have plenty of clothes, but you can be creative with making a cape, using doll clothes and even baby clothes if your pet is small enough.

If you do dress your pet, be sure to take a photo and share it with us here at HomeschoolHoliday.com.

If you don’t have a pet, or can’t use your pet to celebrate this day, there are some easy alternatives.

One great way is to use a favorite stuffed animal.

Megan’s Duck dressed as a snow queen using Doll Clothes.

Even homemade costumes for a favorite stuffed animal count for Dress Up Your Pet day!

Lauren’s Cow is dressing up as a Vampire. We used an old pillow case for his smock and a trash bag for his cape. His fangs are paper.

You can also print and color our FREE Dress up your Pet coloring pages. Color these animal pages anyway you want then add hats, glasses and other fun items by coloring them or by cutting them from magazines and gluing them to the coloring pages.

There are 16 different coloring pages in this awesome FREEBIE!

For even more fun you can visit our TeachersPayTeachers store and purchase the Dress your Pet paper Dolls. This affordable activity comes with the FREE coloring pages as well as a set of 10 different color your own Pet paper dolls, ( DOG, CAT, HAMSTER, GUINEA PIG, MOUSE, TURTLE, BUNNY, FISH, SNAKE, & BIRD) and 2 color (Cat and Dog) pet paper dolls for your learner to be creative with.

Remember to come back here and post your silly pet pictures, using your pets, stuffed animals, coloring pages or paper dolls. Today is a day to celebrate that special bond we have with our faithful friends.

Penny Pie dressed and ready for her walk. She is a Party Animal!

I hope you have fun dressing your pet, live or paper! Come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

January 11 – write your name in Morse Code

The first text messaging system was perhaps the Telegraph! The telegraph used what we now call Morse Code to communicate “instantly” over really long distances for the first time in human history.

Before that news took days, weeks and even months to be delivered by newspapers. With the telegraph, a message could be sent across the Atlantic ocean in minutes!

Morse code is named for Samuel F. B. Morse. He was not the first to think of, or invent the telegraph, but he was the first to get political support for his idea. We celebrate him on April 24th – MORSE CODE DAY.

The International Morse Code uses the 26 English letters A – Z (it also uses some non english letters). The 10 digits 0-9 (called the Arabic numerals) and a small set of punctuation and signals needed for procedures.

When sending/receiving Morse code there are no capital letters. The letters are formed by “dots and dashes”. The dot is the basic signal and used to measure how long a signal lasts. A dash is 3 times as long as a dot. This is how the person sending (and receiving) can tell the difference. – Remember, many times – we are LOOKING at the dots and dashes when we use Morse code for activities today.

They were LISTENING! Here is a video that plays the audio for each letter of the alphabet. (I have no affiliation with this video. Please preview the video before showing to your learners I use an ad blocking extension for Chrome called Adblock. )

After each letter there is a quiet space equal to the length of a dot, then the signals for the next letter begins. At the end of the word, the space silence is equal to the length of seven dots.

The dashes and dots were designed based on frequency of use. For example, the most used letter in the English language is the letter E, it is only one dot.

So today your challenge is to write your name in Morse Code.

I found an online site that you can input text and it will play it back in Morse Code. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND doing this activity together as it is laced with ads, download buttons and other tricky areas. There were no inappropriate ads, however I would hate for a young one to click the wrong thing.


You can also use my FREE Morse Code printable and use the printed version of Morse code to write your name. These are available to all my Curriculum Club Members!

Becoming a Member is easy – you will have access to the Morse Code Freebies and MORE When you sign up below:

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For those learners who want to dive deeper into Morse Code here are some great resources on Amazon:

This book is a great way for Kids or Adults to memorize the Morse Code alphabets.It contains great illustrations and pictorial representations to help! The book includes Illustrations for Alphabets A to Z and Numbers 1 to 0. This book is written graphic-novel style and follows the amazing life of Samuel Morse, who developed a working telegraph in 1844 and changed the way people communicated. Have a learner that is REALLY into Morse code? This notebook is just the thing! It includes the Morse code, practice exercises and special paper to write your own sentences in Morse code. Makes a unique gift! This is a pair of handheld flashers so 2 people can communicate back and forth with Morse Code. Takes some practice , but fun none the less!

Finally this basic kit can be used to produce a light that flashes your Morse Code signals! Great for a basic lesson in circuits too!

I hope you enjoyed learning your name in Morse code. Come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.





3 Kings Day – January 6

For many of us, the holiday season ends with what Christians call Epiphany, or 3 Kings Day. Today is the day we remember the journey of the Magi (the plural form of magus- a member of a priestly hierarchy of ancient Persia). It is also the 12th day of Christmas. In the gospel of Matthew, the Wise Men (also called the 3 Kings, however they were not actual kings in the way we define kings today) follow the brightest star to find the baby Jesus after his birth. Melchior, Caspar,and Balthazar bring Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

NOTE: The popular Christmas Carol, The 12 days of Christmas is not related to THIS 12th day of Christmas, three Kings Day. But is in line for its own future post and curriculum!

Today you can learn about the 3 kings with books and activities:

Make crowns with this easy to use TEMPLATE:

Crown pattern you can use to make your own 3 kings day crown.

(Print onto colored cardstock if desired. Cut along the “mountain peaks” and staple or tape together to fit the circumference of your learner’s head. Decorate with paint, stickers, self adhesive gems, feathers, craft poms, etc.)

Frankincense and Myrrh are essential oils available today. Do you have them, or know someone who does ? Let your learner smell and feel them. Learn about these oils and their uses today. See why they were considered great gifts! My links are for informational purposes only, These This products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Information on Frankincense

Information on Myrrh Oil from DoTerra

Gold was the third gift brought by the Wise Men. Gold has always been a valuable item. Today we use it for jewelry and it is considered the best filling when you have a cavity!

These gifts were symbolic gifts. The gold was given because Jesus was believed to be the King of the Jews. Frankincense was for His divine nature. Lastly, Myrrh was a perfume used to embalm dead bodies. This gift foretold Jesus’ eventual suffering and death.

In some countries children leave their shoes by the door so the 3 Kings can leave them a gift. (What a wonderful tradition! If you don’t already do this, consider beginning)

If you are looking for a more detailed activity perhaps you would like my 3 Kings Mobile available in my TeachersPayTeachers Store.

Click Image to Visit TPT and purchase.

The mobile comes in an easy to use color set you can print and assemble as well as a black and white version for you to print and color yourself. You can also use the black and white file as a template and trace the patterns onto patterned scrapbook paper. (I mean your learner – I have to admit I’m totally into this activity myself!)

Custom 3 Kings Day wall hanging created with Black and White template and scrapbook paper.

Here is a short video showing one strand of the Mobile hanging outside. This lets you see the double sided nature of the print and cut version.

Another cultural 3 Kings day tradition is Three Kings Day Bread. It is called: Rosca de reyes or Ring of the Kings. A figurine of the baby Jesus is sometimes hidden in the bread to represent the flight of the Holy Family. Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2 (Candlemas Day)

Visit your local bakery for your own Ring of Kings or improvise by making cupcakes and hiding a baby inside one.

Which cupcake has the baby?

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

Sources: https://www.newsweek.com/when-three-kings-day-and-how-it-celebrated-epiphany-772690



January 4 – Spaghetti Day

I have a feeling I know what’s for dinner tonight! Spaghetti! Why? Because today is National Spaghetti day!

This long, thin pasta is made of milled wheat and water. Some theories state explorer Marco Polo brought Spaghetti from China but it is most likely that pasta was created in Sicily much before Marco Polo’s time!

The name Spaghetti comes from the Italian word spago which means thin string or twine.

If you would like to read some books about Spaghetti Day here are my recommendations:

This is a “Math” book that gets kids thinking about area and perimeter.

This fun “I can Read” level 2 reader is about eating too much spaghetti!

You can try to make your own spaghetti – there are plenty of recipes online.

You can also create some fun art with Spaghetti by gluing it to paper in abstract ways. If you are really ambitious, you can color the spaghetti first.

It’s easy – I recommend reading through the directions first before beginning so you are familiar with the process, but anyone can dye pasta !

Here is what you need:

2 gallon freezer bags (one for each color you want to make)

Dry spaghetti (works with other pasta too!)

Food color drops like these:

Rubbing alcohol

Measuring Teaspoon

Parchment paper (or equivalent)

Cookie sheets for drying spaghetti

  1. Put the dry spaghetti into a large zip top bag. I use the 2 gallon size but they can be hard to find. Gallon size does work. Use a separate bag for each color you want to make.
  2. Add one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol to your first bag and zip the top closed securely. Rub the spaghetti (or other pasta if doing so another day) and the rubbing alcohol around in the bag to evenly distribute the alcohol. This should take about 1-2 minutes. It’s fun for kids to do, being careful not to break too much 🙂
  3. Repeat for each bag of spaghetti/pasta you have.
  4. Now go back to your first bag and add 10-20 drops of food coloring depending on how vivid you want the colors. Seal the bag nice and tight and roll the bag around to evenly distribute the color. Remember, this is fun, creative and ART – it does not have to be perfect.
  5. Repeat for each bag/color you want. If you would like to get scientific you can do a little bit of color mixing and add drops from different bottles and see what happens….
  6. Let your spaghetti sit in the color bags for about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the spaghetti from the bags and let it air dry. Overnight is best but if you spread it out flat* it will dry faster.

Now you are ready to create!

*NOTE: The spaghetti/pasta is still wet and as such can get food coloring on your hands when you transfer it to the cookie sheets for drying. You may want to wear disposable gloves, or just go for it. I did not include these in the list of needed items.

I hope Spaghetti Day is delicious fun for you and your learners!

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

Fruitcake Toss Day – January 3

Perhaps the “holiday” aspect of fruitcake toss day was invented because so many people do not like fruitcake. Did you have the opportunity to make or buy fruitcake last week on FRUITCAKE DAY? You need that fruitcake for today so you can toss it !!!

That’s the whole point behind Fruitcake Toss Day – to throw your fruitcake.

One of the largest fruitcake tossing events is held each year in Manitou Springs Colorado. If you can’t attend their celebration, or one in your area, why not host one of your own with your family, class or co-op?

There are some great activities you can do to make your toss an exciting event.

I would suggest if holding an event, you can have a tasting station. It’s fun to see people react to their first taste of fruit cake. You may want to have some milk on hand to wash down the fruitcake taste.

You can also have a catapult building station. Participants load a bit of fruitcake in their homemade catapult and see who can launch it farthest. Be sure to use equal size pieces (if you want to be very scientific, use a food scale).

You can even use a slingshot if you have one or want to make one of those.

See if you can hit a TARGET. Glue the printable I created for you FREE to a box and place it on a table for the competition. To avoid the target getting ruined quickly you can place it in a page protector. Otherwise, just print several copies to have on hand.

The Target is available in our Curriculum Club Exclusive Content area.

Not a member of the Curriculum Club? It’s Free! If you would like to download this target and the other great freebies we have in our Member’s Only area – just sign up!

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Another great activity is the “traditional” distance throw. Simply cut a chunk of fruitcake, and see how far it goes.

Our family did the distance throw. We laid out a measuring tape along the front lawn as a reference for each toss. The “Bugs” had to see where their piece landed and record it on their data collection sheet.

Lauren launches her fruitcake first. I used the computer to circle it on the picture so it can be seen “flying” through the air.
Megan, ever observant, used what she saw happen with Lauren’s fruitcake to her advantage and tossed next.
Douglas may be small, but his toss was mighty!
This was our Fruitcake Toss 2010

There is plenty of math in this holiday!

After you throw your piece:

*convert the number of feet into inches (1 foot = 12 inches).

*Graph the distance the fruitcake is tossed for each family member. My Fruitcake Fun Bundle includes this graph you can use.

*Throw the pieces several times and calculate the average distance.

(Math refresher if you need it: the average is found by adding up the numbers from each toss and dividing by the number of times you tossed. For example, Toss 1 = 24 inches , Toss 2 = 55 inches , Toss 3 = 17 inches , Toss 4 = 87 inches and Toss 5 = 10 inches . Now find the sum of the numbers: 24 + 55 + 17 + 87 + 10 = 193. The fruitcake was thrown 5 times, so divide by 5 and the average is 38.6 inches. )

Who threw the farthest?

Who threw without breaking their piece?

Best 2 out of 3?

Let younger learners use a calculator – that is a very important skill and not at all cheating!

Whatever you decide don’t forget to recognize your participants. The Fruitcake Fun Packet includes a set of 5 awards for you to use. The awards included are:

Fruitcake Tossing Champ, Best Average Distance, Throwing Fruitcake the Farthest, Hitting Fruitcake Target, and a blank for your creative idea.

If you are interested in The Fruitcake Fun Activity Pack – It is available in My Teachers Pay Teachers store:

I hope you’ll join us next time for another fun holiday.

I hope Fruitcake Toss Day is filled with FUN for you and your learners!

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.


Putting the peddle to the meddle

January 2 is celebrated as 55MPH day. The history of the speed limit and the different limits in each state is a fun way to liven up a winter afternoon.

Driving may be a long way off for you – or just around the corner. Perhaps you have been driving for years and years. I bet whether you are a driver or an observant passenger you are aware of speed limit signs.

Did you know we have a National speed limit in the United States?  Well…we did from 1974 until  1995 when Congress gave control back to the individual states.

The EMERGENCY HIGHWAY ENERGY CONSERVATION ACT was signed into law on January 2, 1974 by President Richard Nixon. This lowered the speed limit to 55 MPH nationally in hopes drivers would be more fuel efficient.

The goal was to reduce gas use by about 2% and get gas prices lower. It was also believed the lower speed would make roads safer. – The jury is still out on if the 55 MPH law had an impact on prices or safety, but it does reduce fuel consumption.

Try it… With the modern technology cars come equipped with today it is easy to calculate how much fuel you use. On one tank, drive at your State’s posted speed limit. Record how many miles you are able to get out of a tank.  On the next tank, drive only 55 MPH and see how much MORE you get out of the tank.  This writer will admit there are many variables to this “experiment” – but faster speeds use more fuel.

Here are some activities you can do in your homeschool or classroom:

1. Map the speed limits for each state

2. Race die cast cars (brand name match box or hot wheels) and measure the distance traveled. Remember to keep the variables consistent. Ramps of same height for example.

Visit a car museum in your area. Here are links to a few in major cities. If you can’t visit, use this links to do a virtual tour of their websites and online exhibits!

The Henry Ford – Dearborn Michigan

Petersen Automotive Museum – Los Angeles 

Gilmore Car Museum – Barry County Michigan

National Automobile Museum – Reno Nevada

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum – Indiana

The Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car Museum – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Want to find more? Here is a Google search for Car Museums. Along the top it has images of many many museums!

A few more activities you can do related to the day:

Depending on the ages of your learners – take them out for a drive, or display a speedometer so they can see how it tracks how fast a car goes!

Design a Speed Limit sign for your Home or School based on the vehicles used there (bikes, trikes, toy cars, etc) . Download the DIY worksheets below.

If you would like the COMPLETE set of January 2 worksheets: Map, State mph facts, answer key and design your own Speed Limit signs, they are available in one handy download for just $1.25 in my TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS Store.

Click here to Purchase the complete set – Maximum Speed Limits in the United States

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Sources: Chickiday.com

January 1 – Apple Gifting Day

Hello and Happy Apple Gifting Day! 

Somewhere it became tradition to give apples to teachers…but today apples are for everyone. Kindness matters and an easy way to spread kindness is with a simple gift, such as an apple. 

Perhaps giving an apple symbolizes your wish for the recipient to have good health and a fruitful year. 

Start off your day by bringing apples to your neighbors, a retirement community or Veteran’s center. You can even bake apple pie or make homemade apple sauce. 

If you would like to learn about apples in your homeschool or classroom Johnny Appleseed is a great starting point. 

If you are looking to add to your library here are some personal recommendations: 

This book is a rhymed text with illustrations that relate the life of John Chapman, whose distribution of apple seeds and trees across the Midwest made him the legend we know as “Johnny Appleseed”. Part of the “WHO WAS” series – this book is sure to be a favorite for multiple ages. This Tall Tall adaptation was a FAVORITE in both my home and classroom. If you are looking for a little science behind apple growing for the younger learner: Or perhaps you would like to begin growing them at home! What a great idea!

At the very least, remember it is APPLE GIVING DAY, so please visit your local store, pick up some apples and give them away!

Here are FREE TAGS you can print (I suggest printing on cardstock) to help you accomplish that goal!

Punch a hole and attach to your apple with a cute ribbon.

I hope to see you tomorrow for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

December 31 – Calendar

Is it the end, or is it the beginning? New Year’s Eve is such a perfect day! I hope you are counting your blessings and preparing for another year of goodness in your classrooms, homeschools and family life.

Calendars hanging on the wall may not be as popular as they once were now that we have electronic calendars. I have more than 10 different Google calendars to keep track of things!

When did we begin to use calendars? I’d say since the beginning of time! A calendar is simply a way of timekeeping, of keeping track of days. Days are the space between sunrise and sunset.

Archaeologists have discovered things they “think” are ancient calendars such as the holes in Warren Field in Scotland or Stonehenge. But since we can’t ask the ancient peoples who created these, we are guessing. It’s cool to think about!

Watching the stars, and the behavior of the moon has also acted as a natural calendar for centuries. Eventually as technology got better and better it was discovered the length of a year is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be precise. This causes some crazy things to happen over time. Hello Leap Year!

I bet you knew that January 1 wasn’t always the “First Day” of the new year. Ancient Romans began their year in what we call March. The Romans also gave us the names for some of the months of the year. (The Romans took their calendar from the Greeks and the Greeks based their calendar on ….we can go back to prehistoric times, so for the purpose of this blog post I chose to begin with the Roman calendar, progress to the Julian Calendar and end with the current, Gregorian calendar.)

The Roman year began in March – possibly because of the vernal equinox.

March is named for MARS, the Roman god of war

There is no clear answer regarding the origin of Aprils’ name, only several theories. It could come from the latin word for second, because at the time April was the second month of the year. Perhaps April got its name from the goddess Aphrodite. Still a third theory proposes the name came from yet another latin word: “aperire” . This word means open. April is a spring month in which many flowers and plants are “opening”. What do you think is the reason April was named? You can leave your answer in the comments or you can email me using the CONTACT ME form.

May is said to be named after the goddess of growing plants: Maia

The Roman god and patroness of marriage and weddings is named Juno. That’s how June got its name. Do you know anyone who has an anniversary or is planning to get married in June? You can leave your answer in the comments or you can email me using the CONTACT ME form.

The Romans called the 5th month Quintilis, that’s latin for 5th. It was later renamed July in 44B.C. after Julius Caesar.

Another Caesar,this time Augustus Caesar, is responsible for the name August. Previously, the Romans called it Sextillia, which is Latin for 6th.

Now we enter the “ber” months. September is derived from septem, Latin for Seven. October is from octo, latin for eight. November, takes it name from novem which is latin for Nine. Finally we have December which is named from the Larin word for ten, decem. (This is leading me to lean toward a particular theory for April, how about you?)

The Roman Calendar ended after 10 months initially. February and January were added about 700 BCE (Before Common Era)

February was named after the festival Februa. And January was named after Janus the god of beginnings and endings.

The Romans simply ignored 61 days in the winter. Imagine that. This went on for quite some time. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar proposed a reform of the Roman calendar. This reform was designed with the help of some pretty skilled Greek astronomers of the time. It took effect on January 1, 45 BC (remember when we calculate BC years we are counting down to 0 which is said to be the year Jesus was born, so 45 BC is indeed AFTER 46 BC when the calendar was proposed.)

The Julian calendar introduced Leap Years, however they were calculated incorrectly and eventually things were out of whack. Important religious holidays we not in line with equinoxes and solstices.

In 1582 Pope Gregory created what we now know as the “Gregorian calendar” in which most (but not all) western nations began celebrating the start of the year on the 1st of January. It recalculates the year accurately, including leap years, and our 7 day week.

When the calendar was first introduced, not all countries adopted it, It was not until 1752 that the British and their colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar for use. When they converted they had to drop 11 days from September to make it work! In September 1752, September 2, 1752 was followed by September 14, 1752. How Crazy is that??? I wonder when they celebrated their birthdays that year…

Here is a FREE PRINTABLE for you to help you remember how many days are in each month. It also has a page you can trace the poem to help it “stick”.

I also have a GREAT Calendar resource for you called THE PASSAGE OF TIME!

Check out my TeachersPayTeachers store for the Complete notebook!

This Calendar notebook is a fantastic resource for your learners to record memories of the day, look at the months of the year, see how their writing develops over time and more. This is a GREAT item to put in a TIME CAPSULE.

Here is your free sample:

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

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A few books you may find inspirational relating to this topic:



The History of the Calendar




13 Months in Malesso: 13 Months in Malesso’ captures a distinctly CHamoru sense of time and place, and beautifully illustrates the many ways in which the island of Guam nourishes and sustains its people.

The Romans and their many Gods: