When I was a child in public school, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday was not a national holiday. However, my Mother always called the school and said she refused to send me to school out of protest. For me, MLK's birthday was a day to demonstrate in downtown Washington, D.C. ~ despite snow, rain, or freezing cold, for Dr. King to have a holiday. As well, my Mother read me books about Dr. Martin Luther King, and we listened to an LP record of his speeches. For my kids, while it is another day of homeschool, we concentrate on the reason for the holiday. The kids really got into MLK Day this year. We made a unity wreath out of the kids' hand prints and did several fact worksheets about the times, events, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We really enjoyed a new book called The Bus Ride by William Miller. It provided a great launching point for explaining segregation. Then we watched the movie, Our Friend Martin. We also listened to several speeches by Dr. King. They really enjoyed listening to his voice. In future years, I look forward to using the book called The Civil Rights Movement for Kids With 21 Activities. Most of the activities were a bit over the little ones' heads, but in a few years it will be a great resource. I did many of them with the big teen a few years ago.
By far what the kids loved the best about the day was our family tradition of making gingerbread men. Yummy!