Homeschool DEAR Day

by | May 3, 2018 | Homeschool Activities

Last Updated Apr 9, 2024
Drop Everything

It’s officially time to Drop Everything and Read for DEAR Day!

What is DEAR Day?

DEAR Day is recognized and celebrated in schools nationwide on or around April 12th each year.

This is done in remembrance of Beverly Cleary’s birthday.

DEAR Day April 12

DEAR Day stands for Drop Everything And Read Day.

This awesome day is the perfect time to ditch traditional responsibilities and homeschool activities, to read.

Yes, you heard right, an entire day just for reading!

With that said, our family chooses to celebrate this awesome day multiple times a year!

Why? Because we can.

Having Multiple DEAR Days

Much like the popular Christmas in July or half-birthday celebrations some families enjoy, we include multiple DEAR Days in our homeschool schedule each year.

When we have a DEAR day in our home, we typically skip all homeschool lessons and do exactly what this day was created for.

We drop everything and read.

Drop Everything and Read

With that said, there are times we do what I like to call a DEAR afternoon instead.

On those particular days, we still do our morning time activities and lessons.

Then, we simply spend the afternoon relaxing with books.

Simple, yet so incredibly amazing!!

Planning the Ultimate DEAR Day

In our home, celebrating DEAR Day on April 12th and beyond is an absolute must, and it’s one of our most looked-forward-to reading activities by far.

Not only do my kiddos enjoy the main activity of this day (reading), but they also thoroughly enjoy the planning and the setting up.

For real though.

First, they pick a fun spot to park themselves for the day.

Then, they grab their pillow, a favored blanket, and an abundance of snacks.

Sometimes there are stuffed animals that join the party, while other times it’s one of the family dogs instead.

Is there anything better than reading with a furry friend? I think not!

Supply Plenty of Chapter Books and Easy Readers

Either way, the kiddos get their space prepped and prepared for a long relaxing day full of reading.

Finally, they tackle the books.

Man, oh man, there are so many books involved in our homeschool DEAR Days.

All that said, planning the ultimate DEAR day for your own homeschool requires only a few important items.

From classic books for kids to comfort items.

Follow these simple steps for planning your first DEAR Day!

  • Visit the library for enticing new book options
  • Stock up on individually packaged (non-messy) snacks
  • Provide comfort items like stuffed toys, pillows, and blankets

It really is that simple, you guys!

Planning Random DEAR Days

As I mentioned above, DEAR Day is traditionally only observed 1 day a year, on April 12th.

However, choosing to celebrate it multiple times throughout the year instead can be such an amazing refresher!

DEAR Day for Upper Elementary

When we first decided to homeschool, I chose to make DEAR Days a semi-regular occurrence in our 3-day homeschool week simply because it can give us the major reset we sometimes need.

While I do occasionally plan these days out in advance, our most successful DEAR Days have definitely been the spontaneous ones.

From yucky weather to being behind on laundry, any excuse is a good excuse for a DEAR Day, you guys!

For example, if I planned a DEAR Day in advance and the weather happened to be 70, cloudy, and perfect, my kids would much rather be outside riding bikes than inside reading all day.

As much as I love a good plan, I thoroughly enjoy our spontaneous days of reading most of all.

3 Reasons to Plan a Random Day of Reading

I absolutely love random days of reading, you guys!

Once my kiddos bus out the snacks and put their nose in a good book, the house gets quiet and I get just a touch of my sanity back.

While my boys prefer to hang out on the couch, my youngest spreads out on the floor with some simple activity books she can master on her own.

I take absolute advantage of days like this.

From enjoying my coffee while it’s still warm to getting some much-needed rest.

Self-care aside, I tend to get so much done on our DEAR Days!

I typically focus on catching up on everyday things such as housework and menu planning and it’s so good, you guys!

Plus, my kids are reading and it seriously doesn’t get any better than that!

With that said, there are 3 major reasons I plan a random DEAR day in our homeschool.

  • Bad Weather

Sounds silly, but the weather can totally affect your mood.

If the sun is shining in through the open windows and the birds are chirping outside, moods are just higher, and lesson time just flows better in our home.

However, if the skies are gray and thunderstorms start rolling in, every single one of my children becomes lethargic at the same time and that motivation to work on lessons officially disappears.

Not going to lie, when it comes to cold dark days, I literally don’t want to move either, you guys!

Bad Weather Makes for Good Reading

These are the days we lean on all-day reading fun.

Seriously though.

Give me all the coffee and the snuggles.

With that said, it’s totally unrealistic to have a DEAR Day (or afternoon) every single time it rains.

Most days I choose to tough it out, get through the lag, and force myself to get things done.

Which in the end gives us the flexibility to take off the days we need most for reading and relaxing.

  • Extra Stress

This is a huge one, you guys!

I’m pretty sure stress is the universal language of all homeschool moms.

I mean, I totally love my kids to the moon and back, but the constant being needed thing can definitely take its toll on me.

From planning lessons and teaching to somehow managing the house and everything in between.

Stress can be a killer and sometimes it’s 100% essential to drop everything and focus on a mass reset.

So, tossing the mom guilt out the window and planning a day of reading for my kiddos while I take care of me is A-ok in my book.

Honestly, I don’t plan a DEAR Day for this reason, nearly enough!

  • Overwhelming Tasks

While weather and stress can both affect my ability and motivation when it comes to homeschooling, I saved the best for last.

This is my absolute favorite reason for having a random DEAR Day, you guys!

As a work-from-home homeschool mom, my to-do list never seems to end!

In fact, I think it grows longer each night while I’m sleeping.

To Do List - So Many Things

Skipping the formal sit-down lessons and planning a day of reading for the kids so that I can focus on my ever-growing to-do list is such a genius idea, you guys!

My kiddos will still be learning and engaging in something semi-educational while I can practice the art of catching up.

They will grow their vocabulary through literature and I will prioritize tasks while shortening my to-do list!

This is what I call a win-win.

*Extra Tip: If the tasks you’re behind on have to do with homeschooling instead of the home. Consider having a DEAR day for 1 or more of your children while catching up on lessons with another child.

If all your kiddos are behind on lessons, plan consecutive days of reading, swapping readers each day.

Half DEAR Days are a great option for this as well!

DEAR Day for Big Kids

While planning a DEAR Day for your homeschool can be relatively easy, it is important to consider various tactics for different age groups.

When it comes to big kids vs little kids, big kids definitely tend to be on the easier side of things.

DEAR Day Reading for Elementary Grades

With that said, I know that not all children are avid book readers as my children are.

So, consider providing a selection of both reading-level chapter books and easy readers to mix things up and encourage all-day reading.

You can even lean on comic books, picture books, brothers, or magazines if needed.

If you’re planning an all-day reading celebration for multiple age groups, consider separating younger children and older children to limit distractions.

Then, let your older kiddos curl up with a blanket in their favorite spot with a plethora of their favorite snacks.

Finally, let the reading commence!

DEAR Day for Little Kids

While reading is the main focus of DEAR Day, I personally have a younger child who can’t read books just yet and I know just how tricky that can be when the theme of the day is Drop Everything And Read.

DEAR Day for Preschool and Kindergarten

My young daughter has a very small attention span and chapter books definitely aren’t an option!

This is exactly why I chose to add some hands-on activities to our DEAR Day that were just for her.

If you’re planning an all-day reading extravaganza for your older kids, consider leaning on preschool activities such as puzzles, blocks, and sticker books for your little ones.

With that said, sticking to activities that can be done independently and quietly, without ending in a mess is a must, you guys!

Older children will struggle with focus when little ones are making noise and creating chaos in the home.

If you have multiple children under 5 and are trying to encourage all-day reading for your older children, consider implementing a quiet time routine and looping through fun activities to keep little ones busy all day long.

Or, if need be have your little ones stay with a grandparent or family friend for the day.

More Reading Fun

If implementing multiple DEAR Days into your homeschool schedule is something you are seriously considering, try combining them with other fun homeschool activities and reading challenges to mix things up from time to time!

Plan a half day of reading in combination with a fun loop schedule full of activities.

Or, simply suggest unique places for your children to read.

Either way, encourage both reading and fun!

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Homeschool DEAR Day

Meet the Author

Life & Homeschool Author

Hey guys! I’m Mary, homeschool mom of 3 amazing kiddos.

I’m so excited that you decided to check out my little corner of the world!

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, you already know that I’m obsessed with coffee, organization, and all things simple.

I’m also a huge dog lover and introvert 💗

My homeschool style is very eclectic.

I enjoy a solid mixture of structure and free range. I set goals for myself and my children each week, but I put no pressure on perfection.

We use a wide variety of curriculum in our home.

Some of our current favorites are The Good and the Beautiful, Life of Fred, Beautiful Feet Books, and Lifepac.

While my kids do spend a good amount of time learning at desks, they also spend countless hours exploring their creativity and practicing a little independence.

I love mountains, rainy days, and sitting by the campfire. 

Our family recently relocated to the PNW and we have been enjoying finding new nature spots to explore together 🙌🏼

I can’t wait to connect and share all the things I’ve learned on our new journey! 

Just a Note…

Thanks for checking out the homeschool activities helps portion of the blog! 

I have so many fun ideas planned for this category! I can’t wait to share them all with you.

I hope you found this article helpful and come back to visit again soon!

Want to connect on social media?

You can find all of our social accounts below!

FacebookInstagramPinterest

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group too!

This group is open to all homeschool moms.

Whether you are already knee-deep in your homeschool journey or just dipping your toes in — all homeschool moms are welcome!

Looking forward to connecting! Simply Be Wild & Free Life + Homeschool Blog

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Connect with our brand on social media and join our homeschool group on Facebook!

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Meet the Author

Life & Homeschool Author

Hey guys! I’m Mary, homeschool mom of 3 amazing kiddos.

I’m so excited that you decided to check out my little corner of the world!

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, you already know that I’m obsessed with coffee, organization, and all things simple.

I’m also a huge dog lover and introvert 💗

My homeschool style is very eclectic.

I enjoy a solid mixture of structure and free range. I set goals for myself and my children each week, but I put no pressure on perfection.

We use a wide variety of curriculum in our home.

Some of our current favorites are The Good and the Beautiful, Life of Fred, Beautiful Feet Books, and Lifepac.

While my kids do spend a good amount of time learning at desks, they also spend countless hours exploring their creativity and practicing a little independence.

I love mountains, rainy days, and sitting by the campfire. 

Our family recently relocated to the PNW and we have been enjoying finding new nature spots to explore together 🙌🏼

I can’t wait to connect and share all the things I’ve learned on our new journey! 

Just a Note…

Thanks for checking out the homeschool activities helps portion of the blog! 

I have so many fun ideas planned for this category! I can’t wait to share them all with you.

I hope you found this article helpful and come back to visit again soon!

Want to connect on social media?

You can find all of our social accounts below!

FacebookInstagramPinterest

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group too!

This group is open to all homeschool moms.

Whether you are already knee-deep in your homeschool journey or just dipping your toes in — all homeschool moms are welcome!

Looking forward to connecting! Simply Be Wild & Free Life + Homeschool Blog

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