Category Archives: Special Days

Around the World in 80 Days

In Jules Verne’s novel, Around the World in 80 Days, the calm, orderly main character, Phileas Fogg, makes a wager that he can travel around the world in eighty days.  He does this on October 2, 1873.  Today we have fun holiday in honor of this fictional occasion, “Phileas Fogg Win a Wager Day”! If your family hasn’t read Around the World in 80 Days, October 2 would be a perfect time to start. Of course, anytime is a good time to begin such a thrilling adventure.

We chose to “read” this classical story via audio a couple of years ago and the whole family loved it!  The reader from “Loyal Books” was excellent.  Please note that Around the World in 80 Days is not a children’s book. There are some rather mature scenes in Verne’s tale, however my youngest (11 at the time) was fine after some discussion. Actually, this book inspired a lot of discussion.

Here’s a collection of resources to add some extra fun and some lessons to the reading.

Learn to Play Whist   (this is the game that Phileas Fogg was playing when he begins his adventure)                                                                                                                     

Listen to the audio book                                                                 

Read the book                                                                                         

Several Free Printables              

Study Guide                                                                                          

Map of the trip      

Interactive Game     

Vocabulary Lists (the vocabulary is intensive)                                                                                

Oh, and the movie from 2004 staring Jackie Chan?  Let’s just say it was barely based on the book.  Just barely.

betty jo




Special Days in October, 2018

Here’s the October, 2018 Special Days list!  It’s filled with holidays, observances, food themes, awareness days , historic figures and authors birthdays, science and historic based anniversaries,  and even some spooky stuff!  If you’re looking for something seasonal and fun to include in your lesson plans, a day to celebrate, or special foods to add to your menu, this list will give you some awesome ideas!

Resources for teaching through October, including a PDF of October’s Special Days, can be found at the end of this list.

October’s Themes, Awareness, and Observances

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog
  • AIDS Awareness
  • Animal Safety and Protection
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Audiology Awareness
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Bat Appreciation
  • Birds of Prey
  • Bilingual Child
  • Blindness Awareness
  • Book
  • Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Bullying Prevention
  • Children’s Magazine
  • Chiropractic
  • Church Library
  • Class Reunion
  • Clocks
  • Computer Learning
  • Co-op Awareness
  • Crime Prevention
  • Cut Out Dissection
  • Cyber Security Awareness
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Depression Education and Awareness
  • Domestic Violence Awareness
  • Down Syndrome Awareness
  • Drum
  • Dyslexia Awareness
  • Emotional Intelligence Awareness
  • Emotional Wellness
  • Energy Management
  • Ergonomics
  • Eye Safety
  • Fair Trade
  • Feral Hog
  • Financial Planning
  • Free Thought
  • German-American Heritage
  • Global Diversity
  • Go On A Field Trip
  • Halloween Safety
  • Health Literacy
  • Improve Your Home
  • International Dinosaur
  • Liver Awareness
  • Kitchen and Bath
  • Medical Librarian
  • Menopause
  • Orthodontic Health
  • Pastor Appreciation Day
  • Prescription Errors Education and Awareness
  • Photographer Appreciation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Polish American Heritage
  • Positive Attitude
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
  • Protect Your Hearing
  • Raptor Month
  • Reading Group
  • Right Brainers Rule
  • Roller Skating
  • Sarcastic Awareness
  • Self-Promotion
  • Spina Bifida Awareness
  • Squirrel Awareness
  • Stamp Collecting Month
  • Starman
  • Strategic Planning
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness
  • Walk To School
  • Window Covering Safety
  • Work and Family
  • World Animal

October’s Food Themes

  • Apple
  • Apple Jack
  • Bake and Decorate
  • Caramel
  • Cheese
  • Chili
  • Cookie
  • Country Ham
  • Cranberry
  • Eat Better, Eat Together
  • Eatable Roots
  • English Pudding
  • Farm to School
  • Pasta
  • Persimmons
  • Pizza
  • Popcorn Poppin’
  • Pork
  • Pumpkins
  • Rhizomes
  • Rhubarb
  • Sausage
  • Seafood
  • Spinach Lovers
  • Tackling Hunger
  • Vegetarian Awareness

Daily Specials for October, 2017  (the * means that the special day does not fall on the same date each year)

Oct. 1

  • CD Player Day
  • Child Health Day * – 1st Mon.
  • President Jimmy Carter born 1924
  • Fire Pup Day
  • Homemade Cookies Day
  • International Day of Older Persons
  • Lace Day
  • Less Than Perfect Day
  • Model T Ford introduced 1908
  • Nigeria Independence Day 1960
  • People’s Republic of China National Day 1949
  • Raccoon Appreciation Day
  • Vegetarian Day
  • World Day of Bullying Prevention/Blue Shirt Day * – 1st Mon.
  • World Habitat Day * – 1st Mon.

Oct. 2

  • Custodial Workers Day
  • Farm Animals Day
  • Phileas Fogg Win a Wager Day
  • Mahatma Gandhi born 1869
  • Guardian Angels Day
  • Guinea Independence Day 1958
  • International Day of Non-violence
  • Comic Julius “Groucho” Marx born 1895
  • Name Your Car Day
  • Peanuts Comic first published 1950

Oct. 3

  • Balloons Around the World Day * – 1st Wed.
  • Bring Your Bible to School Day *
  • Butterfly and Hummingbird Day
  • Captain Kangaroo premier 1955
  • East and West Germany Re-unification 1990
  • Arthur James Herriot born 1916
  • Kids’ Goal Setting Day
  • Richard the Lionheart crowned King 1189
  • No Salt Week begins
  • SOS (distress code) established 1906
  • Techie’s Day
  • Blues Musician Stevie Ray Vaughn born 1954
  • Virus Appreciation Day
  • Walk to School Day * – 1st Wed.

Oct. 4

  • Blessing of the Animals Day
  • Cinnamon Roll Day
  • Frappe Day
  • Golf Day
  • President Rutherford Hayes born 1822
  • Improve Your Office Day
  • St. Francis Day
  • Lesotho Independence Day 1966
  • Sputnik launched 1957
  • Author, Edward Stratemeyer born 1862
  • Ten-Four Day
  • World Animal Day
  • World Space Week begins

Oct. 5

  • President Chester Arthur born 1829
  • Denim Day * – 1st Fri.
  • Diversity Day * – 1st Fri.
  • Do Something Nice Day
  • Physicist Robert Hutchings Goddard born 1882
  • Jarrow March 1936
  • Stop Bullying Day
  • Story Telling Weekend * – 1st Fri.
  • World Smile Day *- 1st Fri.
  • World Teachers Day

Oct. 6

  • Card Making Day * – 1st Sat.
  • Come and Take It Day
  • Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend *
  • Frugal Fun Day * – 1st Sat.
  • German-American Day
  • Mad Hatter Day
  • William Tyndale martyred 1536
  • Inventor George Westinghouse born 1846

Oct. 7

  • First “American Bandstand” Broadcast 1952
  • Animal Welfare Week * – 1st full week
  • Physicist Niels Bohrs born 1885
  • Carry a Tune Week * – week with the 7th
  • Change A Light Day – * 1st Sun.
  • Explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered Catalina Island 1542
  • Fire Prevention Week begins * – week with the 9th
  • Get Organized Week * – 1st full week
  • Great Books Week * – 1st full week
  • Inter-generation Day* – 1st Sun.
  • Metric Week * – week with the 10th
  • Mystery Series Week * – 1st full week
  • Work From Home Week * – 1st full week
  • World Communion Day * –  1st Sun.

Oct. 8

  • Canadian Thanksgiving * – 2nd Mon.
  • Cephalopod Awareness Days (8-10)
  • Great Chicago Fire 1871
  • Columbus Day * – 2nd Mon.
  • Activist Jesse Jackson born 1941
  • Native American Day * – 2nd Mon.
  • Pierogy Day
  • Spinning and Weaving Week* – Mon. of first full week
  • Touch Tag Day
  • Alvin C. York Day

Oct. 9

  • Chess Day
  • Cupcake Day
  • Curious Events Day
  • Leif Erikson Day
  • Fire Prevention Day
  • First 2-way Telephone Conversation 1876
  • Musician John Lennon born 1940
  • Moldy Cheese Day
  • Pro-Life Cupcake Day
  • Uganda Independence Day 1962
  • Washington Monument opened 1888
  • World Post Day

Oct. 10

  • Angel Food Cake Day
  • Bring Your Teddy Bear To Work & School Day * – 2nd Wed.
  • Cake Decorating Day
  • Emergency Nurses Day * –  2nd Wed.
  • Fiji Independence Day 1970
  • International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction * – 2nd Wed.
  • Author James Marshall born 1942
  • Metric Day
  • Republic of China/Taiwan National Day 1949
  • Top Spinning Day * – 2nd Wed.
  • World Mental Health Day

Oct. 11

  • Apollo 7 launched 1968
  • Boer War Began 1880
  • Coming Out Day
  • It’s My Party Day
  • Remember Forever Day
  • Eleanor Roosevelt born 1884
  • World Sight Day * – 2nd Thurs.

Oct. 12

  • Cookbook Launch Day
  • Egg Day * – 2nd Fri.
  • Fossil Day
  • Freethought Day
  • Moment of Frustration Day
  • Old Farmer’s Day
  • Star Spangled Banner First Sung 1814

Oct. 13

  • Earth Science Week begins
  • English Language Day
  • Greenwich  Mean Time established 1884
  • Fall Astronomy Day *
  • Patriot Molly Pitcher born 1754
  • Skeptics Day
  • Margaret Thatcher born 1925
  • White House Construction began 1792
  • US Navy Established 1775
  • Universal Music Day * – 2nd Sat.

Oct. 14

  • Battle of Hastings 1066
  • Be Bald and Free Day
  • Chestnut Week * – 2nd full week
  • Clergy Appreciation Day * – 2nd Sun.
  • Dessert Day
  • President Dwight Eisenhower born 1890
  • Food Bank Week * –  week of the 16th
  • William Penn born 1644
  • Photographic Film patented 1884
  • Wolf Awareness Week *- 2nd full week

Oct. 15

  • 1st Manned Balloon Flight (tethered), 1783
  • Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day * – 3rd Mon.
  • Grouch Day
  • Handwashing Day
  • I Love Lucy Premier 1951
  • International Day of Rural Women
  • Poetry Day
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
  • School Lunch Week * – 2nd full week
  • Veterinary Technician Week begins
  • White Cane Safety Day

Oct. 16

  • Marie Antoinette executed 1793
  • Boss’ Day * – Closest weekday to the 16th
  • Dictionary Day
  • Learn A Word Day
  • Nuclear Science Week *
  • Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity * – 3rd Tues.
  • Noah Webster born 1758
  • World Food Day

Oct. 17

  • African American Poetry Day
  • Eradication of Poverty Day
  • Hagfish Day * – 3rd Wed.
  • Author Arthur Miller born 1915
  • Mulligan Day
  • Wear Something Gaudy Day

Oct. 18

  • Alternative Fuel Day
  • Chocolate Cupcake Day
  • Get Smart About Credit Day * – 3rd Thurs.
  • No Beard Day
  • Saint Luke’s Day
  • World Menopause Day

Oct. 19

  • Cave Painting discovered in Verona, Italy 2000
  • Author/Illustrator Ed Emberly born 1931
  • Evaluate Your Life Day
  • Electric Light Bulb Introduced 1879
  • Revolutionary War ends 1781

Oct. 20

  • Baseball’s Mickey Mantle born 1931
  • Bridge Day * – 3rd Sat.
  • Information Overload Day
  • Monster Mash Day
  • Sloth Day
  • Sweetest Day * – 3rd Sat.
  • Architect Sir Christopher Wren born 1632

Oct. 21

  • Apple Day
  • Babbling Day
  • Battle of Trafalgar 1805
  • Bullying Bystanders Unite Week * – 3rd full week
  • Character Counts Week * – 3rd full week
  • Chemistry Week * – 4th week
  • Count Your Buttons Day
  • Freedom of Speech Week * – 3rd full week
  • Friends of the Library Week * – 3rd full week
  • Forest Products Week * – 3rd Sun
  • Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day
  • 1st Light Bulb 1879
  • Massage Therapy Week * – last full week
  • Inventor Alfred Nobel born 1833
  • Peace, Friendship, & Goodwill Week * – last full week
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
  • Reptile Awareness Day
  • Save For Retirement Week *

Oct. 22

  • Daniel Boone born 1734
  • Everyone Writes Day
  • Nut Day
  • School Bus Safety Week * – Mon. of 3rd full week
  • Stuttering Awareness Day

Oct. 23

  • Battle of Edgehill 1642
  • Capistrano Day
  • iPod Day
  • Mole Day
  • Pele (soccer champion) born 1940
  • Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day
  • TV Talk Show Host Day

Oct. 24

  • Bologna Day
  • Disarmament Week begins (UN)
  • Food Day
  • Medical Assistants Recognition Day * – Wed. of 3rd full week
  • Peace, Friendship, and Good Will Week begins
  • United Nations Day
  • World Development Information Day
  • Zambia Independence Day 1964

Oct. 25

  • Charge of the Light Brigade 1854
  • Saint Crispin’s Day
  • Magic Week begins
  • Pasta Day
  • Artist Pablo Picasso born 1881
  • Punk for a Day Day
  • Punky Night * – last Thurs.
  • Sourest Day

Oct. 26

  • Erie Canal opened 1825
  • Gun Fight at the OK Corral 1881
  • Hillary Clinton born 1947
  • Frankenstein Day * – last Fri.
  • Make a Difference Day * – 4th Fri.& Sat.
  • Mincemeat
  • Mule Day
  • National Pumpkin Day
  • Red Cross Founded 1836

Oct. 27

  • Explorer James Cook born 1728
  • Cranky Co-Workers Day
  • International Creation Day *
  • Navy Day
  • President Theodore Roosevelt born 1858
  • St Vincent and Grenadines Independence Day 1979
  • Tell A Story Day

Oct. 28

  • Chocolates Day
  • Mother-In-Law Day * – 4th Sun.
  • Plush Animal Lover’s Day
  • St. Jude’s Day
  • Physician Jonas Salk born 1914
  • Statue of Liberty dedicated 1886

Oct. 29

  • Cat Day
  • Gateway to the West (St. Louis Arch) completed 1965
  • Hermit Day
  • Internet Day
  • Oatmeal Day
  • The New York Stock Exchange crashed (beginning of The Great Depression) 1929
  • Psoriasis Day
  • Turkey Independence Day 1923
  • Visit a Cemetery Day

Oct. 30

  • President John Adams born 1735
  • Ball Point Pen patented 1888
  • Candy Corn Day
  • Create a Great Funeral Day
  • Haunted Refrigerator Night
  • Mischief Night (Devil’s Night)
  • The National Organization for Women (NOW) founded 1966
  • 1938 Radio Broadcast of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds 

Oct. 31

  • All Hollows Eve/Halloween
  • Books for Treats Day
  • Caramel Apple Day
  • Carve a Pumpkin Day
  • Day of the Dead
  • Girl Scout Founder’s Day
  • Knock Knock Jokes Day
  • Magic Day
  • Mount Rushmore Completed 1941
  • Nevada Statehood 1864
  • Reformation Day
  • Samhain

Free Printable –  Special Days in October

October Special Days Learning Resources  (currently being updated for 2018)

Here’ is the collection of my favorite “go to” resources for special days studies

How I use Special Days lists in our homeschool blog series :

Special Days and the Evolution of Morning Calendar Time

Special Days and Biographies

Special Days and Geography

Special Days and Science

October’s Special Days Activity Companion offers a wonderful collection of learning ideas for the entire month and is suitable for all ages and learning styles. Great for families who enjoy learning together! Get your copy of October’s Special Days Activity Companion  at Learning Tangent Homeschool Magazine’s Shop!

I make my monthly special days calendars by using several sources including old calendars,  holiday books, newspapers, and the web. If you know of a special day that I do not have listed, please comment and let me know what it is so I can add it in.   Below are the links to my favorite online calendars.

Happy October!

betty jo

Wiffle Ball

According to the  Special Days in August  list, the 14th is the anniversary of the invention of Wiffle Ball.  Wiffle Ball is one of the best backyard activities!  The game doesn’t require expensive equipment, a large area, or a lot of people.  It’s wonderful for PE and science (and history too)!  Here’s some resources to learn about the history of the game, the science behind the Wiffle ball, and the rules on how to play.

“It all began in the summer of 1953 …”        

The Science of How a Wiffle Ball Works    

Game Rules                                                  

Wiffle Ball Pitch – Science Video

Have fun learning and playing!

betty jo

Special Days in August, 2018

The 2018 August calendar has loads of special days!  The following list is made up of August’s holidays, observances, food themes, awareness days , famous birthdays, science and historic based anniversaries, and more.  So, if you want an occasion to celebrate, pick up some trivia, or add foods to your menu, this is the right place for you. And, of course you’ll find multiple opportunities for “on the calendar” themed studies for your classroom, homeschool,  co-op/support group, or club.

Resources for teaching throughout the month, including a free PDF of Special Days in August, can be found at the end of this list.

Shark Week

July 22, 2018 is the official start to the 30th year of Discovery’s Shark Week!  This must be a popular summer learning theme for homeschools, summer schools, and families, because there’s awesome resources available! Here’s the resource links to what is being shared in the  Facebook home education groups and through my e-mail subscriptions.

Free Lesson Plans                                                      

Watch Discovery Shark Videos                                                        

Sharks Study Resources                                                  

Shark Week Journal and Printables                                                  

All About Sharks –  Resources and Activities                     

Shark Themed Resources                                                            

Shark Week Freebies and Activities                                     

Unit Studies, Printables, Crafts, and Activities               

Fun Activities                                                                                     

Crafts and Activities                                             

Crafts, Activities, and Recipes                                                             

betty jo



“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” asks Indiana Jones, and this homeschooling mama is asking that too!  I know some people who have pet snakes and enjoy them and others who have extreme fear of them. Growing up in Kentucky, I’ve even heard rumors of snake handling in churches! Personally, I’m in more of a basic “just avoid them” category.  Honestly, I’d rather avoid a snake study but  “July 16 – World Snake Day” was marked on our list of  Special Days in July  , which means it’s an interest study request. I don’t want to say no to an interest study, and it’s been a while since we did an animal research project, so …

Here’s my collection of cross curriculum snake themed resources to share with you for when you find yourself facing a snake study.

Snake Facts Slide Show

Image Gallery: Snakes of the World

Labeled Anatomy Diagrams:

Live Science Article – Why We Fear Snakes

Importance of Snakes in the Ecosystem

Snake Bite First Aid

Pet Snake Care

Bible Verses about Snakes

Snakes in Religion  search results

Read Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

Snake Mythology

Snake Vocabulary Word List

Word Snake Game

Snake Jokes and Riddles

Printable Worksheets and Activities

Snake Unit Study and Lapbook Printables

Snakes Notebooking Printable Pages

Songs About “Snakes”  (Heads up! Not all will be appropriate for families)

Snakes in Art – Statues, paintings, pottery, drawings, and more, from ancient to modern day, and from all over the world. (Again, Heads up! Not all will be appropriate for families, but you can easily choose which pieces suit your study.)

Step by Step How to Draw a Snake

25 Exceptional Snake Crafts

Printable Snakes and Ladders Game  – “When you download the game, you will get a printable board and a set of question cards. With every move the player has to answer a question in order to stay on their new position. This game comes with the questions of the World of Knowledge game. But you can create your own set of questions. But you can also play it without any questions, just roll the dice and have fun!”

I couldn’t find a “snake” math resource so I’m thinking I can use some printable math task cards for the above Snakes and Ladders game.

There’s hundreds of thousands of snake related videos on Youtube and I’m sure we’ll watch a few of them.   Since we’re fans of “Good Mythical Morning” I have this one saved for ‘fun?‘ and a crazy PE idea (not real snakes but maybe a rubber one or two).

I’ve already been to my local library’s website and put some snake books on the hold shelf. We don’t have a zoo in our area, but we do have nature centers and pet stores, so I think a field trip can be easily planned to wrap up our snake study.

betty jo








American Flowers Week

These photos are showing a few of the flowers we have growing in our backyard.  We’ll be looking at them closely as we venture on to our next summer school study.

American Flowers Week begins June 28th and that’s a wonderful time to begin a summer school study about flowers!  Here’s a fantastic list of free cross curricular resources for learning about and with flowers!

“American Flowers Week is the advocacy, education and outreach campaign …”  Find out more about the celebration and how to participate at their website!   

Photo Gallery of arranged flowers from all 50 states

Free  US map of official flowers and each state’s official flower  coloring pages

Photo Gallery of Official State Flowers

Free Flower Anatomy Printables

Step by Step Flower Dissection Instructions 

Flower Science Experiments

Gardening and Flowers Vocabulary List

Wild Flower List

Wild Flowers Identification Guide

Flower Photography Tips

Step by Step How to Draw Flowers

Flower Notebooking Page

Read Flower Stories, a public domain book from 1903

Video Tips, How To’s, and Projects from Flower Experts

Video Math Lesson with Fibonacci Flowers

What flowers do you have growing in your yard to homeschool with?

betty jo