Family Traditions and Homeschooling

Family traditions. Every family has them. Whether you have one or one hundred, some sort of “tradition” has seemed to wiggle its way into every family I know. Your traditions may be in the form of homeschooling, celebrating birthdays, going to church, military service, cooking, singing, camping, or a plethora of other things. Regardless of what they are, traditions are something that we all grow up experiencing.According to Wikipedia, family tradition is defined as: an aggregate of attitudes, ideas and ideals, and environment, which a person inherits from his/her parents and ancestors.

I must confess that it was quite difficult for my husband and me to establish our “own” family traditions once we moved away from our home state of Washington to New York. Up until then, we had relied heavily on both of our extended families and the traditions they passed down over the years as our own. However, my husband joining the Army changed all of that.

Christmas Eve 2003 was one of the saddest days I had experienced in a long time. It was my first Christmas away from my family in 26 years, and I literally did not know what to do. It hit me hard. And it was at that moment my husband and I realized just how important family traditions are. So we began to establish our own.

To us, homeschooling and creating family traditions go hand-in-hand. The idea of creating our own family traditions became very exciting. Immediately we created an abundant list of traditions that we wanted to start and prayerfully began to implement each one. The first was cooking something special twice a week as a family. This was a huge hit with our oldest child, who at the time was 2, and quickly became a keeper. Aside from creating these new and fun family activities, we knew that we were building a foundation that would get us through some difficult times ahead during several long deployments.

It was not until our very first deployment that I actually understood the significance of tradition helping keep our family unity. In June of 2004, we said goodbye to daddy as he left for his first year-long combat tour to Iraq. Shortly after this departure came the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and before we knew it, Christmas and into the new year. And because we had already made some new creative ways for our family to celebrate these holidays, the consistency and familiarity brought both my daughter and me a comfort in knowing daddy was still a part of what we were doing, even when far away.

Family traditions have carried us well into the middle of our 5th year-long deployment that we are in the midst of right now. Three children later the traditions are stronger than ever and have given each child a sense of security and identity in this ever changing military homeschooling lifestyle.

The best family tradition we have started, by far, is homeschooling our children. If my husband and I had not been pulled so far away from everything we knew, we both agree that the birth of homeschooling in our hearts would have been a lot more difficult to conceive. And for this, we are forever grateful.

What are your favorite family traditions? Have you had to create any of your own? I would love to hear some of your most beloved traditions. Please leave a comment below and share them with me.

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  1. Let me first say, “Thank you for you and your family’s sacrifice!”

    For our homeschool tradition that we do daily is say The Pledge of Allegiance followed with the Our Father, prayer. It marks the difference in the “school room” between rowdy play time and school, another words pay attention time!

    I have been anti-tradition for a long time. I saw my family gathering at both of my grandparents homes for Christmas and they all could not stand each other. We usually had to drive over 8 hours to get there only to be around people that my parents did not like. So I began spending my holidays with the people I enjoyed, An ex-step dad, dear friends, later my husband, then my children. With the addition of three kids, traditions have developed unintentionally. We always cook big meals and graze, talk and catch up with each other. We drink lots of coffee, when my family and friends are in for a visit. We have been attending the Nutcracker ballet, first with my dad taking out kids to the local ballet, then when my daughter entered ballet, we go to her shows with my dad and step mom, and a group of friends. It is great fun, and the gals love to get all dressed up and encourage the boys to dress up.

    1. KB,
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us 🙂 I can relate with not wanting to carry many of the “traditions” my family had passed on – and I too, saw a lot of discord amongst family members and that hurt my heart. I love the traditions that you developed unintentionally 🙂 Your children are blessed!
      In His Love,
      Carlie K.

  2. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your military service ( wives should get benefits) and your husband’s. The military is a difficult life, congrats to you and your hubby for making family a priority. God bless your family.

    Our family traditions include the Jesse tree at Christmas, along with an Advent storybook, pj’s, turkey, and football on Thanksgiving, birthday dinner (kid’s choice), summer trip to the Wisconsin Dells….We have made the family under our roof the priority. God gave us his family and we’re trying really hard to make positive changes and live according to the Golden rule.

  3. This is my 1st time sharing on this board, so first a huge Thank You to Carlie and her husband, Michael for standing up and protecting us, and Carlie for standing by and supporting him. As a former military wife, my husband is a Navy Vet, deployments are very difficult . I’ll keep Michael in my prayers.
    I grew up in a very old fashioned Italian family, so my childhood was full of wonderful family traditions. From Sunday mass, which the entire extended family attended together, and the brunches that followed at our families Italian Restuarant ,(which is stil family owned and run today after79 yrs), to weekly cooking traditions, every Wenesday we made the fresh raviolis, manicotti, ( the manicotti was made homemade) the sauce, meatballs, desserts and so on. To holiday traditions which were huge. To family gatherings and so on. These were some of my fondest memories.
    I have tried to implement some of the old ways into my own family traditions. My 5 kids range from 25-12, they look forward to weekly Italian dinners, holidays, birthday tradition I implemented. These became especially important when my husbands job moved us from NY to California when he was in the Navy, then we moved back to NY, and in 1997 we moved to NC. My oldest is now 25 and a mom herself, she is carrying over traditions implemented in her childhood to her own daughter. Which is a wonderful thing to watch.
    I love that my kids look forward to certain thing because of traditions, all because traditions filled my childhood and are my fondest memories.
    I’m now home schooling my 12 yr old for the 1st time this yr, and she is a competitive Irish Dancer, so we are forming new traditions. It’s a never ending thing forming and following family traditions. It’s one of the greatest things a family can do. As my kids will carry on my old family traditions to new ones for their own, and that is a blessed way of life to me. I could go on and on, as this is a great topic, but I know you all get where I am coming from.
    Carlie thanks for sharing and starting this topic. It’s wonderful.

    1. Kim,
      Thank you so much for sharing with HHM for the 1st time 🙂 I am honored 🙂 And thank you for the prayers for my precious husband! I’d LOVE to come to one of your Italian Sunday dinners 🙂 What a rich heritage you come from, that is wonderful. I can only imagine the blessing it is to carry on such amazing traditions and seeing your children take them and add even more. I am glad you enjoy this topic, I think it is something that everyone can relate to. Have a wonderful week ahead!
      Bless you,
      Carlie K.

  4. Thank you for the sacrifices your family makes!

    We also moved away from extended family not long after marriage but we didn’t start making our own traditions until our kids came along. One of our favorite is that Daddy cooks chocolate chip pancakes for supper every Sunday night. Last year I starting purchasing a Christmas tree ornament on our really fun field trips. It’s fun to decorate our tree and remember all the great places we’ve visited together as a family.

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