I remember making sure we wore green to school. No green meant the Irish pinch! I’m not sure any of us really understood anything else about the day, other than green was expected and it had something to do with someone a long time ago in Ireland.
As a homeschool Mom, I’ve found ways to incorporate such forgotten holidays into our education. St Patrick’s Day is indeed about a man, St Patrick, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century. But that brings us to a lively history lesson of where Ireland is located, what was happening during that time, and how his inspiration has had rippled effects through today.
With history, comes a bit about the foods of then and now, so we might cook some traditional foods to experience the time. We might also talk about other foods and the ways they have changed; the fact that carrots were not all originally orange, but of the many colors, the orange was chosen for traditional reasons. We talk about potatoes; that staple food that helped the Irish through some very difficult economic times.
We’ll discuss Irish culture, and their various celebrations. Together, we’ll read many books, articles and sites and find even more interesting tidbits about Ireland, it’s people, it’s culture, history, geography, and even fun trivia, such as this site offers: Fun Facts about Ireland
We’ll also talk about the early Irish immigrants to the US, why they came, what challenges they faced, and maybe find ways that they impacted our culture such as: Irish immigrants
Pot of Gold
I’ll ask the kids what other facts they can think of that relate to the country or holiday and they might point out that some dog breeds, such as the Irish Water Spaniel and the Irish Setter, originated in Ireland, or that the tradition of “The Luck of the Irish” is thought to have several meanings, as this site explains: Luck of the Irish