By Dinah Whitton
It’s been a few weeks since the Christmas break ended and even homeschoolers are ready for some more down time. Fortunately, in February Family Day is a recognized holiday in many Canadian provinces. Spending quality time with family is a natural aspect of home education; so, it’s an added bonus when there’s a holiday that celebrates families.
Many countries around the world have instituted holidays that promote family such as, South Africa and Australia. The United Nations has also declared May 15th International Day of Families. In Canada, the Family Day Act was first passed in Alberta in 1990 and observed on the third Monday in February. Saskatchewan instituted the holiday in 2007, followed by Ontario in 2008; and, British Columbia began observing Family Day in 2013 on the second Monday in February. New Brunswick finally followed suit in 2018. Other provinces have similar holidays that are observed, including: Islander Day in Prince Edward Island, Louis Riel Day in Manitoba and the Yukon and Nova Scotia both celebrate Heritage Day. It is encouraging to know that the family institution is still being promoted through the creation of a special day of recognition.
This holiday is an important day for home educators who consistently place a high value on family time. While it may seem redundant, planning activities specifically for Family Day can help you further build on your children’s foundation. Continue to help your children understand why healthy families translate into healthy communities. The stability of a family unit means children can be raised in a nurturing environment so they can flourish to their full potential. Ultimately this means well-rounded children grow up to be productive members of their community. Homeschool families continue to be a shining example of the benefits of spending meaningful time together. Take advantage of the opportunity to pause from your daily routine and embrace the holiday while continuing to build on your family’s values.
Here are some suggestions for celebrating Family Day:
Holidays don’t have to be expensive! Check your local listings for free events happening in your city. From skating in the town square to unique festivals, there are plenty of opportunities to explore your city as a family.
In addition to your immediate family, consider including your extended family in your celebrations. Grandparents, older aunts or uncles may appreciate being invited to an afternoon of family board games or even a potluck meal. Family Day can be a lonely time for empty nesters or childless couples, but your invitation could help boost their spirits.
Consider making a commitment to serve your community as a family. When you volunteer at a local food bank, soup kitchen or any charitable initiative you are leading by example while spending quality time together. Serving as a family helps children understand the importance of helping others in need so they will continue selfless acts throughout their lives.
If you live in a province that does not have a Family Day holiday, you might consider lobbying for one through your provincial member of parliament . This would be a great learning opportunity for your homeschool and/or homeschool co-operative that could benefit your community.
No matter what you choose to do, we hope you enjoy spending time with your loved ones on this important holiday. Happy Family Day!
If your province celebrates this holiday, we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org about your Family Day plans and maybe we’ll even feature you in a future social media post!
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