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Homeschool Ideas to Celebrate St Andrew’s Day

Homeschool Ideas to Celebrate St Andrew’s Day

As a Scottish home educating family you would think St Andrew’s Day would be an annual celebration. However this is not the case: we have read a lovely book about St George on St. George’s Day and we have even made Welsh Cakes on St. Davids’s Day, but beside the occasional colouring in of a saltire and a brief mention about it, we have done very little. So this year, as St. Andrews Day approaches here is a mini-guide to celebrate.

The History of St. Andrew

St Andrew was one of Jesus twelve apostles. It is believed he was crucified on a x shaped cross, called a saltire, in Greece around 60AD. Relics believed to be St. Andrews were taken across Europe by pilgrims throughout the Middle Ages. Many made their way to Scotland, and were taken to a monastery built by a Pictish King on the site of where St Andrews now is built. Andrew was offically made patron saint of Scotland 1320 at the Declaration of Arbroath, however he was revered as a saint for centuries before this time. It is said that during the reign of King Angus Scots and Picts joined forces to fight the Northumberland King at the battle of Athelstaneford in East Lothian. It was said that King Angus prayed to St Andrew asking his help in battle, as the legend goes the sky was blue apart from the shape of a saltire of clouds in the sky. Hence the Scottish flag.

St Andrew has also been adopted as patron saint of many other countries, Greece and Russia for example. However in Scotland St Andrew’s day is now a celebration Scottish culture.

Activities for St Andrew’s Day


Personally I think haggis is the food of satan and his minions. However, I live with those who would think otherwise. So if you want to be ultra traditional go for the haggis neeps and tatties. However there are plenty of other Scottish recipes to have a try (and I would recommend you do!) here are a small selection.

  • Stovies. Stovies is a traditional Scottish dish made with potatoes and left over meat. I make mine with sausages, many people use corn beef, but any left over meat will do.
  • Gamekeepers Pie. This is a bit special!
  • Cock a Leekie Soup. This is a lovely healthy soup, perfect for a cold, damp November’s day.
  • Shortbread. Super easy and super yummy.

St Andrew’s Day Crafts and activities

  • The Activity Village website has a range of crafts for younger children. These include make a Scottie Dog mobile, a felt thistle, tartan painting, and a saltire flag collage.
  • Learn some Gaelic, all I can say is good luck. Gaelic is rather difficult. Or you could listen to some Gaelic music, this is very beautiful.
  • Read some Scottish Stories.
    1. Scottish Fairy Tales by Philip Wilson.
    2. Burns for Bairns. This is a book of poetry by Robert Burns compiled for children.
    3. A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird by Jenny Chapman. This is a charming tale set off the West Coast of the Scottish Highlands and captures the landscape and wildlife of the area beautifully.
    4. The Katie Morag stories. These are a lovely collection of tales set on an island off the Scottish mainland.
  • Print off a map of Scotland and study where the key places are.
  • Study some famous Scots from history. Here are a few to look at: James Clark Maxwell, the Edinburgh born physicist, who should be as famous as Newton and Einstein. Adam Smith, the father of modern economics. James Simpson who experimented on anaesthesia and pioneered the use of chloroform in child birth. John Napier the 16th century mathematician who discovered logarithms. James Watt the amazing Glaswegian engineer who improved the steam engine which propelled the nation into the Industrial Revolution. And the messy Alexander Fleming who’s dirty lab led to the discovery of penicillin. The many great writers: J.M. Barrie the playwright who wrote Peter Pan, and Robert Louis Stevenson the poet, Sir Walter Scott and of course Robert Burns. Scotland has given the world some amazing minds.

So there is a list of different activities to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day.

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