You can have a lot of fun in your homeschool when you incorporate special days in the month of January in your planning. Here are some international and national holidays that you might want to celebrate this month.
Special Observances in January
January has a major holiday or two that you’ll want to remember. Here are some special dates to note.
New Year’s Day
Welcome to January 1st, the first day of the year! Of course, new beginnings are worth celebrating at any time of the year. But especially in January, New Year’s Day brings the hope of a fresh start. As you commemorate a happy new year, it’s a great time to help your children set goals and make a new year’s resolution.
- How many books do they want to read?
- Which book of the Bible do they want to study?
- Do they hope to learn to play an instrument? Or participate in a new sport?
- Which skills do they want to sharpen?
One other fresh start that happened on January 1, 1982, was the opening of Ellis Island. Take a deep dive into your family history this month, whether or not your family came through Ellis Island. New beginnings are always worth celebrating, so check out these 10 interesting facts you may not know about Ellis Island.
On January 6th, Christians celebrate Epiphany. This is one of the religious holidays of the Christian calendar. It is the day that Western Christianity commemorates the Magi visiting the Christ Child. Even if you don’t typically observe this holiday, you can use this guide to the Epiphany to teach your children about the historical and theological significance of this special day. It also marks the official end of the 12 Days of Christmas.
Martin Luther King Jr Day
While Black History Month falls in February, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year. This has been a U.S. federal holiday since 1986. You can find beautiful picture books from your local library that will help your kids understand the significance of his life and mission. And then you can engage your kids with some fun crafts that are themed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday
You can celebrate Benjamin Franklin’s birthday on January 17th. Benjamin Franklin is such an interesting Founding Father to study. You can dive into science, history, Poor Richard’s Almanac, and more as you learn about Franklin and celebrate his birthday. He was the first person to be the United States Postmaster General. While he never became a U.S. President, several Founding Fathers did. You can take a detour into studying Presidential Inaugurations, which happen every four years in the U.S. when we elect a new president.
January’s Fun Holidays
If you want to mix in some different holidays in your January celebrations, then you’ll love this list of important days. Some of these are just perfect for homeschooling families! Celebrate one or celebrate all for a fun-filled month of learning.
Festival of Sleep Day
Just before you bring out the homeschool routine again, have a cozy celebration on the 3rd for Festival of Sleep Day. Or, if you miss that, Cuddle Up Day is on January 6th. This would be the perfect excuse to stay cozy and jump into some new read aloud favorites for the new year.
National Static Electricity Day
On January 9th, you can focus on this hair-raising holiday with your budding scientists. This will be a fun excuse to do hands-on activities to learn more about static electricity.
Need some resources? Check out these links:
- Free Printables and Unit Studies About Electricity
- 10 Hands-On Ways to Learn About Electricity at Home
Houseplant Appreciation Day
On the 10th of January, you can jump into some botany-themed studies while you celebrate Houseplant Appreciation Day. Need an excuse to buy some new greenery? This is your day! Or what about decorating some new pots for your plants. There’s so much to do with this fun holiday that will be engaging plus educational.
National Bagel Day + National Hat Day
The 15th of January includes two fun holidays. If you can’t choose between the two, then plan to celebrate both! Believe it or not, bagels date back to the 16th century. These chewy bread products are related to a Polish bread that had become a part of the Slavic diet in the 1600s. Immigrants from Eastern Europe brought bagels with them to the United States, and they’ve become a mainstream staple in the American diet after the 1870s.
While you run to your corner bakery for some fresh bagels, you can simultaneously observe National Hat Day by wearing your favorite hat. Then head home and decorate or create a new hat to wear this month. You can even invite friends over for a hat making party.
National Winnie the Pooh Day
So many of you will love celebrating Pooh Day on January 18th. He’s a beloved children’s character and almost 100 years old! National Winnie the Pooh Day actually commemorates author A.A. Milne’s birthday in 1882. What can you do on his special day?
- Read your favorite Winnie the Pooh book, of course!
- Learn about the history of the Winnie the Pooh stories
- Draw a picture of Pooh or your favorite scene from a book
- Draw a map of the Hundred Acre Woods
National Popcorn Day
January 19th marks National Popcorn Day. This is the perfect excuse to call a movie day in your homeschool, snuggle on the couch, and pop some buttery popcorn. Popcorn also makes a great material for crafting. Pop up some extra popcorn and create some bird treats to hang outdoors for your feathered friends.
Penguin Awareness Day
Want an excuse to learn more about penguins? Then January 20th is your day! There are currently over 18 known species of penguins. You could visit a penguin exhibit at a local zoo. Grab a picture book from the library to learn more about penguins. You could make a penguin fact sheet with everything you learn. Then, break out the craft supplies and see who can make the cutest penguin out of household materials. You can also study the arctic region as you learn about penguins.
Which international days can you celebrate this month? January 26th is the official national holiday of Australia. This public holiday celebrates the landing of the First Fleet in Port Jackson in 1788. You can really go all out on this day to learn about the Land Down Under. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Draw a map of Australia
- Make a salt-dough map of Australia and add physical features
- Learn about Australia’s unique animals
- Play backyard cricket
- Try pin the tail on the kangaroo
- Study the Great Barrier Reef
- Craft Australian paper flowers
- Cook up some Aussie food
Finally, on the last day of the month, have a blast doing everything backwards! This might drive you crazy after a few hours, but odds are that your kids will love it. It’s a fun way to end the month!
- Wear your outfit backwards
- Eat dinner in the morning
- Have dessert first during all your meals
- Eat breakfast in the evening
- Say goodbye to people when you meet them
- Say hello when you leave
- Try to talk and write backwards
More Weird Holidays to Celebrate
Here’s some more inspiration that you can use year-round to celebrate special days of the year.
- Statehood of Alaska on January 3rd
- World Braille Day on January 4th
- Bittersweet Chocolate Day on January 10th
- International Customs Day on January 26th
- National Handwriting Day on January 23rd
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Founded in 1977, Alpha Omega Publications is a leading provider of PreK-12 Christian curriculum, educational resources, and services to homeschool families worldwide. AOP follows its mission every day by creating and providing quality Christian educational materials to thousands of students through curriculum, support services, and an accredited online academy. Visit Alpha Omega Publications online or call 800-622-3070 to learn more.