February 1: It looks as if it’s going to be a musical month with birthdays for John Williams, George Frederic Handel, and Gioacchino Rossini and also a special day for George Gershwin, the anniversary of the debut of one of his most famous compositions. We’re also participating in the Journey North Mystery Class Investigation. (Thanks to Melissa of the Bonny Glen for the tip.) It’s Friendship Month, American Heart Month, Library Lovers’ Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Cherry Month, and National Hot Breakfast Month.
February 5: Lord’s Day and then Super Bowl. Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Kick-off is at 6:25 PM EST.
February 7: It’s always fun to see that Laura Ingalls Wilder and Charles Dickens, two of my favorite writers, share a birthday. I think we’ll read some Little House today and maybe we’ll try something with the little ones that I did long ago with the older urchins: make a churn out of a coffee can and make butter. I think I used Tinkertoys for the dasher, but we don’t have any of those, so I’ll have to come up with something else.
February 8: On this date in 1932, John Williams, American composer and conductor, was born in Flushing, New York. I still enjoy the music from Star Wars although I have grown weary of the saga. Play it and remember, if you can, the first time you saw a Star Wars movie.
February 10: February is Friendship Month. Send a friend a letter or a card or a valentine. Renew an old friendship or make an effort to start a new friendship.
February 11: Thomas Alva Edison’s Birthday. On February 19, 1878, he patented the phonograph. Draw an invention that you would like to build. Name ten machines or inventions that are no longer in common use. (Actually, Computer Guru Son prefers phonograph records. Who knew they’d become popular among the musical snobs?)
February 12: On this date in 1924, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue premiered in New York City. Play it and draw a picture of the city that Gershwin put into music.
February 13: Betsy-Bee will be seven years old today.
February 14: Valentine’s Day. We’ll be giving out valentines to all our friends and neighbors with these verses printed on them: “Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.” I John 4:7-8
February 15: In 1874, Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer, was born. Of course, he wasn’t a “sir” when he was born.
February 18: On this date in 1885, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published. Some people say Huck Finn is the Great American Novel. What novel do you think best epitomizes the American experience?
February 20: President’s Day. Since February is National Cherry Month, and George Washington may have cut down that cherry tree, and my Engineer Husband likes cherry pie and we’re still celebrating National Engineers Week, I declare today Cherry Pie Day. “Can you bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?” I’ll let you know how the pies come out.
Memorize the names of all the presidents of the US in order.
February 22: On this date in 1620, the Indians introduced popcorn to the Pilgrims in Massachusetts. That fact sounds like a good excuse to enjoy some popcorn, the homeschool snack.
February 23: Handel’s Birthday. Listen to some Handel today. The Messiah is great, but be adventurous and try something else.
February 26: in 1932, Johnny Cash was born. Can I go see Walk the Line? It’s on my movies-to-see list.
February 27: Birthday of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Evangeline? Hiawatha? I love this book illustrated by Susan Jeffers.
Also born on this date was Gioacchino Rossini who said, “Give me a laundry-list and I’ll set it to music.” What a challenge! Can you and your children set some words to music today? Perhaps something more significant than a laundry-list—a Bible verse or a poem?
February 28: Shrove Tuesday, also called Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Greasy Tuesday). On the day before Ash Wednesday, you were supposed to use up all the butter and cream in the larder before the Lenten fast. Tomorrow, March 1, is Ash Wednesday. Read about Shrove Tuesday in England.