Until a few years ago, I didn’t really “celebrate” St. Patrick’s Day, other than maybe wearing green and having a Shamrock Shake. I didn’t really understand what it was about, other than a celebration of Ireland. As silly as it sounds, it was a Veggie Tales video that my children were given that told the story of St. Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland that clued me in.
Since then, I also discovered that I have some Irish heritage – one of my great-grandmothers was descended from Irish Catholic immigrants. As a result, I’ve made a bit more effort to celebrate on March 17, and to teach my children more about the real meaning of the holiday and about their heritage (my husband has ancestors from Ireland as well).
I know that there are some non-Christian symbols associated with the holiday, but the same can be said for Christmas and Easter. That doesn’t change the original and important reason for celebrating. Also, some of those symbols are misunderstood. The reason a shamrock is used to represent St. Patrick is because he used the three leaves to teach the people of Ireland about the trinity, not about “luck”.
I recently had someone tell me that it is a “Roman Catholic” holiday. Actually, many Protestants also celebrate it, as St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland more than a thousand years before the Reformation, meaning that Catholicism equalled Christianity at the time. There wasn’t another option.
If you plan to celebrate it this year (or are teaching your children about Ireland), here are some ways that you can include it in your homeschool:
- Make a Shamrock Shake or dairy-free version
- My Book About Ireland copywork
- St. Patrick’s Day Notebooking Pages Freebie
- Video: Drive-thru History Adventures
- Video for younger children: Veggie Tales – St. Patrick
- Music video of a beautiful Irish hymn filmed in Ireland
- Art Project: Simple Shamrock Painting
- A Day to Remember at the Giant’s Causeway, by Declan Carville
- Favourite Irish Fairy Tales, by Soinbhe Lally
- The King of Ireland’s Son, by Brendan Behan
I hope that you find these useful, and that you have a blessed St. Patrick’s Day!