Mother’s Day

How to Make Mother’s Day More Meaningful

I don’t know about you, but bringing up Mother’s Day as a homeschool mom seems sort of . . .  I don’t know . . . anti-climactic? Where’s the surprise? And a child’s simple joy at surprising mom? I mean, you could gather all the supplies and leave the room. But we all know how that would turn out.

How to make Mother's Day More Meaningful

And it isn’t so much that you wouldn’t want the final result. After all, we all know that whatever mess your little ones make, when they present it with the pride only the youngest of artists can muster and announce, “I makeded this for you!” it will melt your heart. And you will love it. At least until bedtime when you are reasonably sure they won’t remember it in the morning, anyway. It isn’t that so much as the hours of cleaning afterward.

Of course, you could take charge of the situation.

“Hey, kids. This Sunday is Mother’s Day. We are going to have great fun making me something I actually want. Something I found on pinterest that doesn’t actually look impossible.”

I thought these butterfly footprints from Mommypotamus were adorable.

butterfly footprints

Then again, that seems a little self-serving. Sure, the kids will love it if it is messy enough. And you will love it because you picked it out yourself. But where is the fun in that?

OK, so you could wait and hope that dad remembers the holiday and thinks of something grand, whether it is burnt toast in bed with half a cup of coffee (try not to think where the rest might be) or dinner out. I’m not trying to say that dad can’t handle it. You just may be blessed with a husband more like mine. Who believes that mom should be honored and loved every day.

Which sounds great and all until you realize that it just means that he has no intention of doing something special on this or any other day.

So, no messy glue creations for me unless my children happen to take the initiative or I give some direction.

But really, what is it that I want to teach my children through this? Sure, appreciating what I do for them is great. But I get that already in their sweet little smiles, the artwork on the fridge and the dandelion bouquets presented as if they were the finest roses.

Really, I want them to learn to value others, to put the needs of others before their own and to recognize the importance of the contributions that they can make, regardless of how small. Basically, I want them to learn to serve.

That’s why I thought this year I would forgo the subtle (and not so-subtle) hints, the mess of art supplies and any thought that something I found on pinterest would end up anywhere but the trash once I tried to do something with it. Instead, I’m going to take them shopping for another mom.

A mom we don’t even know. And we’re going to drop it off at the Crisis Pregnancy Center to be given to a mom who may not be feeling very celebrated right now. Hopefully, many heart warming, messy crafts are in her future, but for now, we can help out with diapers, formula, some cute little outifts and maybe a toy.

Because serving others is the greatest gift.

Plus, it means I don’t have to stand in the two hour line at the restaurant!


Happy Mother’s Day! (And a cool lapbook)

Happy Mother’s Day!

[Missing picture here]

And today is probably not the day to start a lapbook on the subject. Most homeschoolers, I believe, start these kinds of things the week before, at least. Most homeschoolers, I believe, are a little more proactive. And they don’t do lessons on Sunday.

Anyway, I just came across this nice looking (free) Mother’s Day lapbook while surfing around and thought maybe someone could use it. Those of you who start this stuff the day before major holidays at the latest can save it for next year.

And an interesting tidbit: After all the work Miss Jarvis put into attaining a day to celebrate Mothers, it only took a few years for her to regret it. It quickly became one of the most commercialized holidays in America, resulting in Miss Jarvis calling it “a Hallmark holiday.” Greeting cards, she thought, were a lazy out for the more personal and more involved art of letter writing.

I wonder what she’d think of e-cards?

Homeschooling Mother’s Day

I don’t remember a lot of specific lessons from elementary school.  Those I do stand out as something out of the ordinary.  Very often, they were craft projects made by enthusiastic hands for my mom for whatever the next national holiday was.  Sure, they consisted of a lot popsicle sticks, pom poms and pipe cleaners glued together in seemingly infinite combinations, but in my imagination they may as well have been the tools of a seasoned craftsman.

I remember those things.  Paper plate baskets with construction paper flowers for May Day, clothes pin reindeer for Christmas, heart shaped men with accordion-like arms and legs for Valentine’s Day.  I remember those things fondly.  They are some of the kinds of things I would like my children to remember when they grow up.

But now we are coming up on Mother’s Day, and something seems strangely narcissistic about setting children to making Mother’s Day crafts.  After all, I am both teacher and mother.

Children, today we are going to make these cute note holders out of rulers and clothes pins.  Don’t you think I’ll like that?  It will give me such a nice place for me to display the work I’ve told you to do.

I could leave it to dad, but he is not overly enthusiastic about holidays in general.  Of Mother’s Day, he simply says,

What?  You only honor your mother one day a year?  What about the other 364?

To which I say any mother has only so much room for potpourri sachets and picture frames made from twigs.  One Mother’s Day a year is just about right.

But I never get anything like that, and my refrigerator is not overcrowded with picture frames made from every material under the sun.  Sure, I get hugs and kisses (and occasional “attitude”) as well as numerous dandelion bouquets throughout the day.  And I obviously wouldn’t trade those for anything.  But a small part of me would like to give my children some of those same memories I have of school as I happily cut and colored and pasted bits and pieces to surprise my mom.

Hmm…Maybe I can just drop them off at Michaels for the rest of the week.  They have some cute projects for mom.

What do you do for Mother’s Day in your homeschool?