Learning About Holidays
Being part of a diverse community means that our children have wonderful opportunities to learn about holidays and traditions that are different from their own.
For educators, fall represents the beginning of three months of holidays and this is a good time to discuss holidays at PIC. Being part of a diverse community means that our children have wonderful opportunities to learn about holidays and traditions that are different from their own.
In many programs, holidays are part of a program’s curriculum. For example, October is about creating jack-o-lanterns and having Halloween parades. November is about making turkeys and feasts to celebrate Thanksgiving. And December is about decorating trees, making gifts, and the celebration of Christmas.
While PIC's curriculum does not center around holidays, we believe holidays present a wonderful opportunity for families to participate in our classrooms by sharing their own cultural traditions.
There is a distinction between "learning about" and "celebrating" a holiday.
When programs “celebrate” holidays, children become immersed as full participants, even if the holiday is not celebrated in their own home, nor falls within their family’s belief system. In contrast, “learning about” a holiday means teaching children what the holiday means to the cultural/religious groups who honor it, and the various ways they choose to celebrate it.
At PIC, we learn from each other about holidays and how different families in our classroom communities celebrate them. The important thing is that the learning experience is genuine and comes from a family who celebrates the holiday.
At PIC, children learn about holidays that are less represented in our North American media and culture. While all children will know about Christmas at an early age, they are less likely to learn about Diwali or the Lunar New Year, and even more so in such a deeply meaningful way.
While COVID continues to limit opportunities for family members to come into the classrooms to share, we do invite families to share in other ways by sending in a favorite holiday book or CD, or a recording of someone reading a story or explaining a holiday or tradition.