Labor Day: A Homeschool Lesson Plan For Slackers

Labor Day seems to be one of those holidays that no one quite seems to know how it came to be.

As a child, I remember this day being celebrated grandly with parades, picnics and firing up the grill. It was also the last hurrah before fall really settled in.

My mother loved fall cleaning just as much as spring cleaning (if not more) and my father, a Navy man, ran a tight ship. So, while Billy Joel and Patsy Cline played in the background, we laboriously cleaned our home.

Looking back, it was probably best for my parents’ sanity and my well-being that I did not know the history of Labor Day only to be inspired to urge my sisters to join the union I had formed to free ourselves from the unfair work environment that we were forced to endure.

Now that I homeschool my children I have the parental responsibility of teaching them about the origin of Labor day. You know, before I make them help me clean my house.

We most likely will also have a Compound cookout with our Iron Hearts, so this will have to be a quick lesson with minimal preparation. For certain public holidays, I wait until the last minute to pull the lesson together, anyway… Like this one. ‘Cause I am a slacker.

Slacker or not, this really is a fascinating and important part of our nation’s labor movement and history. So, whether you are a slacker homeschool parent, as well, or are just interested in the history of the day – I hope this helps and illuminates.

Here is my slacker Labor Day lesson plan:

Videos: We start first this video from because Marissa Tomei absolutely captivates with a real-life account of a laborer in the 1930s. We may watch several other clips, but always end with this video.

Activity: You’ll need a rope. Here’s a lesson thrills my children because we take it outside and have a tug’o war… On this page, Patricia lists additional activities that may be worth looking at, but I have not. Because I am a slacker.

Activity: The younger ones usually read a few books about jobs – while my older girls enjoy this career activity.

Years ago our Labor Day lesson consisted of me reading Scholastic’s Jobs book while the kids were playing with Fisher Price Little People because they were dressed for the job.

We’ve now upgraded to Legos. And you know what they say, dress for the job that you want…

Photo credits: Iron Heart Farmer Girl

Thank you for stopping by! Happy Labor Day! 




How does your family spend your Labor Day?




Author: Katie

Welcome! I'm Katie. Here at Forging Iron Hearts, I will be sharing the experiences of our family here in our intentional community in East Texas. You will likely see occasional posts from my wonderful husband Kevin and the other Iron Heart families, as well.