Can I let you in on a little secret? February is one of my favorite months. Historically, culturally, scientifically, and personally—it holds events that have shaped the world and my own life. Plus, it’s during this month that those of us in the South sometimes get to experience a winter (or more likely icy) wonderland.
A month-long celebration we shouldn’t overlook is Black History Month. It honors the achievements of men and women who have influenced American society. God gives each of us unique circumstances through which we can choose to serve Him and others. Highlight the inventions, literary works, brave actions, and fight for justice of notable African Americans.
The first installment of the Oxford English Dictionary was printed on this date in 1884. This project initially began with the intent of recording English words used as early as 1150 AD through the mid-1800s. It took forty years to publish the complete volume. However, the English language continues to develop with new words and different pronunciations or meanings. Today anyone can access this dictionary of the English language online. Just for fun check out OED’s definition of homeschool.
Celebrate National Inventors’ Day by having everyone put on an imaginary “thinking cap” and spend time exploring what life would be like with (or without) certain inventions. Make this activity like a science fair project where your child can test his hypothesis. Studying these inventors who were born in February might provide some inspiration: Thomas Edison, George Ferris Jr., and Levi Strauss. It amazes me what power one person’s idea can have to change the world (within the limits given by our sovereign God). Each invention is a fulfillment of God’s command for humans to take dominion over the earth.
Don’t forget to make Valentine’s Day special! Last year, I had the opportunity to make homemade valentine crafts with some young friends and Val the Mailbox Gal was the perfect way to deliver our notes. Find directions for the craft and Scripture valentine printables in this blog post.
Honor the Chief Executive of the United States on President’s Day. The third Monday of February was selected for this holiday because it’s close to George Washington’s birthday. Any citizen born in our country could grow up to be president. But with leadership comes the responsibility to serve the people who have elected you. Gain insight into the beginnings of three presidents and see how their experiences prepared them for the biggest job in the world.
On this day in 1930, Pluto, which used to be considered the ninth planet in our solar system, was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory. Tombaugh found Pluto mostly by accident. Today, Pluto is considered a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union because it shares its orbit with another celestial object of similar size. (You can get the full explanation in the BJU Press Earth Science textbook.) And if you’re ever near Flagstaff, Arizona, stop by and visit the Lowell Observatory. It’s a great field trip for aspiring astronomers as well as those who might be less than thrilled with science. I enjoyed my family’s visit several years ago!
This was the date in 1945 during World War II when a famous picture of the Battle of Iwo Jima was taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. US forces continued this battle for weeks after the flag raisings. In fact, of the six men shown in the photo, only three survived the battle. This image also served as the model for the monument that honors all the Marines who have died in service to our nation. Seeing this memorial in Washington, DC, is a privilege I don’t think I’ll ever forget, especially now that I know the history of the Marine Corps War Memorial. Share the bravery of these young men with your kids.
Leap Day is here! Wondering what to do? I’m pretty sure your kids will rejoice if you surprise them by making today a play day instead of a learning day. But if you decide to put something educational on the agenda, why not have them write letters to themselves to be opened on the next Leap Day? Be sure to seal the letters in envelopes so no one peeks before 2020!
Check back with us next month for more activities and events!