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Top Five!

Sometimes we all need just a little break from school!  The ideas below can be used
for a nice break from school & yet be very educational too!!

     The following is just a collection of ideas!  Pick and choose those you like.  Make a full day-off school learning experience or just choose a few ideas to add alittle zest to the 14th of February!!  Have Fun!!

Please note:These ideas came from many sources.  Some of them came from the Unit Study created by Charity Lovelace and was available at her website til she closed it down.
I've changed some ideas - but I give Charity full credit for any idea that came directly from her!!  Some of her ideas were just too good to change any!!  In Charity's original Unit Study she set up the different areas (work-stations) and the child/children would move from station to station through the day.  You could do this yourself, also.  Just choose
any of the activities below and set up your day according to your own needs.  There is
no possible way you can do everything listed below - just pick and choose!!

     The history of Valentine's Day is not completely known.  Obviously, it has it's pagan
origins.  It's believed to have come from the ancient Roman holiday, Lupercalia which was
celebrated on February 15th.  During Lupercalia young men would draw the name of a young lady from a jar and would pin it to his sleeve.  This is where the saying "wear your heart on your sleeve" comes from.  Sometimes the young man would give his chosen lady
a gift.  This was in honor of the Roman goddess, Juno.
     Somewhere in time, efforts were made to Christianize Lupercalia.  And the holiday was
moved to February 14th in honor of Saint Valentine.  There are different legends about who Saint Valentine was.  But we know that he was martyred.
     King Henry the Eighth declared February 14, Valentine's Day by a Royal Charter in
the year 1537.  Sometime during the 18th century, hand-crafted "valentines" were exchanged amoung "sweethearts".     Around the 1860's it became popular to send Valentines here in America.  While many cards were handmade around this time Valentine Cards also started to be sold commercially - some with lace, ribbons, dried flowers and other little novelties.  Esther Lowland is said to have been the first to commercially manufacture and sell Valentine Cards.  It is reported that she grossed $5,000 her first year in business sometime during the 1840s.   After seeing British made Valentine Cards she
made her own elaborate cards and took them stores to show as samples.  Later she hired
an assembly line of workers to make her cards. She continued to expand her business into
an $100,000 a year enterprise!

Using the internet, encyclopedias or other resources find information about
Valentines Day:
Explain the meaning of Valentine Day symbols:
Who was Saint Valentine:
History of the Valentine:

History with Questions:

Books to use to research Valentine's Day:
The Story of Valentine's Day by Clyde Robert Bulla
Happy Valentine's day!  by Carol Barkin & Elizabeth James

     Using the information you gained in researching the History of Valentine's Day, Saint Valentine and Valentine Cards do one or more of the following activities:

1.  Make a book - Using Artpad paper 12 X 18 size - tear out several sheets and fold in half
     to arrive at a folded size of 12 x 9.  Choose how many sheets you will need to complete
     your book.  This will vary with age and how much your child wants to do.  Stuff all sheets
     inside each other at the fold - open and staple on the fold.  Using 12 X 18 size Construc-
     tion paper (choose one sheet of child's preferred color) make a cover.  Attach the cover
     after the inside is finished.  The cover can be laminated with clear contact paper or a
         To make your book - have your child use the history information he has learned
      above to write out a short synopsis of it.  Divide your child's story into parts for each
      page.  You can type it out and paste on each page or write it out for each page.  Then
      have your child draw and color pictures for each page's information.  Or you can cut
      and paste pictures unto appropriate pages.
         When the book insides are finished - make your cover.  Draw, paint, color your cover
      illustration/s - then laminate if desired.  Staple together.

     NOTE:  This booklet can be made into the shape of a heart.  Or the cover can be nicely
     decorated with paper lace and homemade hearts.   This booklet can also be saved to be
     put together at the end of the day and include projects you have done from all the
     different learning areas (Language Arts, Math, History, Science, Art etc).  It is totally
     up to you!  Your own unique project.

 2.  You've been hired by the local newspaper to go an interview one of the following
     individuals - after the interview write a news story!
     Esther Lowland
     Saint Valentine
     J.C. Hall - founder of Hallmark Cards

3.  Learn to Say "I Love you" in as many languages as you like.  Write out as many as you
     want for your "Valentine Book" above.  Or tape yourself saying each.

      I Love You in other languages:

4.  Have Fun with Valentine Similies:

5.  Make Valentine Envelopes:

6.  Make Valetines to give to people - make your own and fill them with encouraging words
     of love to elderly church members or neighbors, your pastor, church pianist, mailman,
     grandparents etc.

     What better time to learn about the heart then at this time of year.  Obtain and have a basket of books to use for these activities.  Any books on the heart will do.  Also gather
any encyclopedias.  Feel free to use the following Websites too.  If possible find an outline
of the heart.  These can be found in "The Body Book".  A child can color this outline.

1.  Take an Online Tour of the Heart - see how it works!  Fascinating!!

2.  After taking the Online tour - do any of the enrichment activities at these website:

3.  Depending on the age of the child - they can draw the heart, cells, platelets, arteries,
     etc.  A booklet could be made showing the heart and how it works.

4.  Look at a drop of blood under a microscope if you have one.   Discuss what it looks like.
     Draw what you see.

5.  Do some research into why exercise is important to a healthy heart.  Have your child do
     some vigorous exercise for several minutes and then check their heart rates - or have
     them check it.  Why does the heart rate increase?  After several minutes of rest check
     the heart rate again.  Explain the difference.  What does exercise do for your heart?
     Take some time to do alittle research into how to keep a heart healthy by proper diet
     i.e. less fat.

6.  In Charity's Valentine Unit Study she suggested finding a beef heart at your local
     butcher.  Locate and discuss the chambers (upper & lower), the muscle and blood
     vessel on the heart exterior.  Compare this beef heart to the human heart.  What
     are the likenesses and differences.  For older children this may be a neat biology
     project - giving further insight into the heart and how it works.


1.  This idea came from Charity's unit study and it's one our children loved to do.  Give
     each child a piece of graph paper.  Empty the contents of one large bag of M&Ms into
     a large, clear bowl.  On a scrap piece of paper have your child estimate how many of
     each colored M&M there are.  When you have finished estimating, sort out all the
     different colors into separate bowls.  Then count each color - using tally marks.  Once
     each color has been counted use your graph paper to graph your results - use five
     M&Ms per graph square.

2.  Play "Valentine Battleship":

3.  Make print copy of these Valentine Day Math theme pages for grades 1 - 5:

     Read 1 Corinthians 13 - and for the word Charity - use the word "Love".  Try to memorize this whole chapter - it's easy by using the Thy Word Creation's Tape Set for 1 Corinthians 13.   At family worship read the chapter chorally together.  Talk about how
Love is and acts!  Talk about how you can achieve that in your life with your God's
help and Love!


WINDOW CLINGIES  (This idea came from Charity Lovelace).  Gather together the following materials:  paper, drawing pencils, crayons or felt pens, ziplock baggie, colored glue or dimensional fabric paint/s, glitter glue and glitter.  Have the student draw a heart on the paper and then insert it into the plastic baggie.  Close baggie.  On the outside of the baggie trace hte heart design (the paper heart inside the baggie) with colored glue or dimensional paint.  Sprinkle with glitter if you want to change the color or to get a layered
affect.  Allow the paint to dry before adding more colors or details.  Completely fill in the heart with paint - use different colors, glittery paint etc.  When the painted heart clingie
is completely dry, very carefully peel away the ziplock baggie and now you have a Heart
clingie that should stick to windows or mirrors!


HOLIDAY PILLOWCASES (simple sewing project):



VALENTINE CANDLES (easy decorations):



Play Heart Bingo:
Valentine Concentration Game:
Valentine Crossword Puzzle:

    Following are a few healthier recipes to try for Valentine's Day!!  I prefer to make healthy treats for our family.  Sometimes we indulge - but I try to find good recipes that
are somewhat healthy and still satisfy that sweet tooth.

     This Cake is dairy and egg free.  You can use either Carob Powder or Cocoa Powder.  We use the Carob (and prefer Chatfield's Carob powder over all others).    This recipe does call for Vegetable Oil (I prefer not to oil if I can get away with it) but you can experiment with using 2/3 or 1/2 the amount if you are trying to keep away from Free Fats.

1 1/2 C. Sifted Unbleached flour (can use half whole wheat pastry and half Unb. Flour)
3 heaping Tbsp Carob or Cocoa Powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 C. brown sugar or sucanat
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
6 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 C. Cold Water
1 tsp Vanilla
     Sift dry ingredients.  Make three holes in the flour mixture.  In one hole pour oil.  In one hole put lemon juice and in the last hole put vanilla.  Pour cold water over all.  Stir real good.  Pour into a sprayed cake pan.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (check often after 25 minutes) at 350 degrees.  I double this recipe.  Make it in a heart shaped pan and top with
whipped cream (you can find many non-dairy types).


1 3/4 cups Carob Chips
1/2 cup peanut butter (all natural)
1 1/2 cups peanuts
     Melt Carob bits & peanut butter in top of double boiler over hot water.  When melted stir in peanuts.  Drop by teaspoonfulls onto waxed paper.  Let harden.    Options:  You can
melt the Carob chips with peanut butter and pour into a container lined with wax paper.  Smooth out and add a whole raw almond every inch or so.  Before fully hardened score to make little "candies" (almond joys).

     Giving up Ice Cream was hard.  But this recipe is so good - that we don't miss it much.  This is non-dairy or eggs, no white sugar, no chemicals etc.  Really good.  We served these to those who came to the Health Seminar in October.  This ice cream turns out best when run through a Champion Juicer - if you don't have one - you can use an ice cream maker.  Or you can blend in blender (the consistency won't be as true with a blender but it's still good).

2 1/8 C. Boiling Water                                  1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup raw cashews (washed)                        1 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla (Pure)
2 Tbsp Emes Kosher-jel                         1 Can Coconut Milk *
2 tsp lemon juice                                           1  - 12 oune Mori-nu Firm Tofu
1 C. Maple Syrup or Fructose
      *find Coconut Milk in the Oriental section of the grocery store.  This is plain Coconut Milk - no sugar etc.

     Blend in blender the Emes Gelatin with boiling water until very very smooth.    Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.  At this point you can pour into an Ice Cream Maker.  If you are going to use a Champion Juicer or a blender - pour into a shallow plastic
container or ice cube trays.  When frozen (takes about 24 hours) run through a Champion Juicer.   It will come out like Soft Serve and you can immediately fill ice cream cones or
put it into a bowl and put back into the freezer for 1/2 to 1 1/2 hours.  Sometimes this little
time in the freezer makes it alittle more "icy" like real ice cream is.

Maple Nut Ice Cream - just add 2 to 3 Tbsp of Maple Extract to the recipe above - then freeze as usual.  Once you've run through the juicer stir in chopped nuts.

Carob or Chocolate:  Use same recipe as above but decrease Vanilla to 1 Tbsp, add in 1 tsp Maple Extract, 1/3 C. Roma (imitation coffee substitute), 1/3 Cup Carob or Cocoa Powder, 1/4 C. natural peanut butter.  Blend well and freeze as usual.

FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES Check out our Healthy Line of Cookbooks!!


More Free Homeschool Unit Studies