Spring Fever – The Homeschool Way
I know I am not alone in wishing a winter a satisfying goodbye. It’s not that winter here in the Midwest has been very violent this year…it’s just been maudlin and unpredictable. And wet. Very wet.
I am more than anxious for the first bloom of spring. The sunny breezy days and the increase in bird song are just around the corner.
While spring does this body good, it can be pretty tough on the average homeschooler.
Cabin fever has given way to the spring fever. It can almost be impossible to concentrate on long division and verbs. We have (I admit) had very few snow days during our homeschool run. I, instead, am more in favor of calling it a “spring day” and head to the park.
But we can’t always set aside school. In my umpteen years of homeschooling, I have learned a valuable lesson about schooling in the spring. I just go with it. We lean into those sunny, breezy days and make the most of all those springtime wiggles. It simply means we just adjust. And enjoy.
Embrace the Nature Study. Get outside with your nature journals and paraphernalia. Study spring birds, blooming bushes, and muddy ponds. Set up a corner to display nature hunt treasures…fossils, beautifully shaped rocks, daisy chains, feathers, and sketches of your neighborhood warblers. (Recommendation: Check out the Great Backyard Bird Count. It has already started for this year, but it is a fun activity for kids and adults alike.)
Enlarge your learning environment. Grab the books and tablets and head outside. We have a nice large porch that is perfect for setting up an outdoor learning space. It hasn’t always been so. There were many years we headed to the park with our read alouds and nature study materials. (Recommendation: Charlotte’s Web is the PERFECT choice for a spring read aloud.)
Focus on spring inspired artwork and music. Print out art to display and make playlists that give your students all the spring feels. You might have to do a bit of research. There are plenty of great works to enjoy. (Recommendation: A favorite art piece is by Vincent Van Gogh called Fishing in the Spring. I have a few I drag out every year…this is one of them. You can see my whole list of spring art and music on my blog.)
Plan a few extra field trips and park days. There will be undoubtedly community events in your area to check out. Be sure to look at the calendar for your local state parks and libraries. Many will have special events just in time for spring. (Recommendation: In the city we used to live in previously, we participated every year in a one mile fun walk every spring. It became a tradition. A monthly trip to the state park for a hike is also a fun way to get outdoors.)
Plant a garden! Even if all you can manage is a few windowsill pots of herbs, gardening is a wonderful way to learn and enjoy the warming weather. Gardening helps teach so many skills. The possibilities are endless. (Recommendation: If you would like to have some instant green results, try planting a radish or bean seeds in a paper cup. Both will sprout really quickly.)
Work on those Lifeskills. Go with me here. Spring cleaning is still part of my life. I take down the curtains and throw them in the washer. I shampoo the area rugs in my home, wash the windows, and a few other chores that have been neglected since the weather was more tolerable. There isn’t any reason why your students can’t add spring cleaning to their Lifeskills portfolio. We might not do it like our great grandmothers, but it still can be done. (Recommendation: Part of our Lifeskills spring chore list this year includes touching up paint in a few choice areas and hoeing out winter weeds out of the flower beds. This allows my busy son to run around the yard to his heart’s content.)
Hopefully, I’ve given you a few ideas that will inspire you to embrace spring fever! What do you like to do to make the most out those lovely days of spring?
Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.