Indoor Activities for Busy Moms and Crazy Kids
January 27, 2021
Mercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor
From Cabin Fever to Winter Retreat
Cabin fever is a real thing! Here in Colorado, we get lots of winter stormy weather that causes us to stay inside. But with all that togetherness can come much bickering and boredom. How do we keep everyone productively occupied?
Sometimes these days call for a whole different schedule. I often surprise the children and say something like this: “You may take math off today, but for the next hour, you must stay occupied with something creative, productive, or educational.” Believe me, they find something to fill that hour and come up with the greatest creative ideas.
An idea that helped me during days where I was overwhelmed with caring for little ones, teaching older ones, and making life, service, and ministry still happen: I made it my goal to do one engaging thing and one eternal thing with each one.
Something engaging could look like saying “yes” to the preschooler who wants to play with clay, or stopping to read the kindergartener that favorite book, or taking time to really listen to the elementary child’s long-winded story, or enjoying the teen’s sudden late-night gab session.
Something eternal with each could look like praying with each child that brings a problem to your attention, making that morning devotion with them a priority, or praying over each one at bedtime.
In my Winter TOS editorial, I share a schedule of events for your own special one day mini-retreat with your kids. This covers both staying engaged and doing something eternal while beating the winter blues. Let me know if you try it and how it worked for you! email@example.com
Winter seasons are just that—seasons. They pass. Spring will come. Make the most of your winter season by staying present and staying engaged. When they see you tucked away and isolated or depressed, it may teach the same habits generationally. Even if you don’t feel like it, get up and do something with them today while you have this time that you can never retrieve again as you keep them Home. Where They Belong.
Navigating the Mid-Winter Doldrums by Dr. Mary Hood
Activity Pages from TOS Digital Holiday Supplement (includes 30 pages of coloring, dot-to-dot, matching, and more)
We teach fashion design, online. We provide short- and long-term subscription access to over 500, professionally produced, step-by-step video lessons taught by fashion industry professionals. We teach sewing, draping, pattern making, fashion art, childrenswear, and much more. Click our “lessons” menu at https://www.UniversityofFashion.com to browse through our lessons and watch previews.
Beating the Winter Blues
Christmas is over . . . New Year’s is past . . . and the winter blues have set in. Even before I got out of bed this morning, my wife lamented the fact that there’s nothing on the calendar except a long, boring stretch of school.
“I want to go to Florida for a month,” she announced, half-joking but mostly serious. Unfortunately, we’re not going to Florida for a month, and I’m pretty sure that for those of you who live in Florida, the “winter homeschool blues” find you there as well.
I’m afraid the answer to these blues isn’t taking a trip somewhere but merely remembering the truth. The truth is that these coming days with your children are the best days and that homeschooling isn’t a season to be endured but a relationship to be enjoyed. You may have been forced inside . . . but look at it as a gift from God to a busy mom with busy children (yeah, I’m still having a hard time, too).
Anyway, let me direct you to my good friend Diana Waring’s book Beyond Survival. Diana has been there and done that and knows how to encourage homeschool moms, and you’re going to smile as you read her book.
So, enjoy these brief days of being inside and check out those Florida flight prices.
Oh yeah . . . and be real,
P.S. Start the school year off right by getting the Smiling Homeschooler Page a Day flip calendar and the book 365 Day Homeschooling Mom. It’s a great way to start each day with a dose of homeschool encouragement!
Banish the Sugar Cravings! Do you struggle with a sweet tooth? Trying to lose weight but can’t kick the sugar habit? Sign up now for the FREE Ditch the Sugar Habit Challenge with Julie Naturally. The 21 Day Challenge will help you ditch the sugar for good.
Two Ideas for Preserving Your Sanity in Winter
Sanity. It’s a precious commodity, especially in January. One year, I had had it! Something had to change. So I leaned into my unique personality gifts of sarcasm with a touch of drama. My first idea as I embarked on preserving my mental health was to schedule my mental breakdown. I figured, if I scheduled it, I would not blindside my family with my mental meltdown. I even wrote it on the calendar for all to see. Soon my kids (those who could read) and my husband began to ask all sorts of inquiries about the day.
“What does this mean, Mom?” kids asked cautiously.
“Do we need to talk, honey?” my husband asked gently.
I had the attention of my family.
“I’m losing it, folks. I’m going to crash on this day,” as I pointed to said day on the calendar.
What happened next was magical.
Sensing my tension, my family began offering suggestions on how to preserve my mental health! They even volunteered to clean the house! That’s how alarmed they had become!
My second idea worked better. After we celebrate the New Year, we start talking about winter projects and goals. We talk about skills we want to learn, books we want to read, or crafts we would like to start or finish. Each kid sets up a box or area where supplies are easily accessible. We plan family outing”We determine to go outside once a day, adopting the phrase, “There’s no bad weather, just inadequate clothing.” We plan cooking days and story nights and invite friends over to share meals. All confirmed ideas make it to the calendar without the benefit of my sarcasm or drama gifts. The new proactive planning sessions were even more magical.
I’ve learned to listen to that, “I’m losing it,” feeling and then get my family involved in designing the solution to our family’s mental health.
Beth Mora, creator/teacher-on-camera for Here to Help Learning’s Homeschool Writing Program (grades 1-6) and homeschool conference and women’s events speaker, loves to blog at Home to Home. She serves up HTHL’s Writing Tip of the Week for those teaching their kiddos to write. Everything she does, whether laughable or heart gripping, is done to honor One. God’s grace is the salve that has healed her own life and is what she offers liberally to others.
Pillar of Future: Hope for Homeschooling in 2021
Turning the page on 2020 brings Dickens’s iconic words to mind:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, . . . it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Disruption caused by school closings, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing restrictions led many educators and families to despair. But the same disruption led others to innovate and discover for the first time one of the best tools for educational flourishing: homeschooling.
Last spring, more than 50 million students were forced to learn from home, and surveys indicate many found a silver lining (homeschooling) that will yield benefits for years to come.
Concern about the traditional school environment was a primary motivation to homeschool before the global pandemic of 2020. Moving into 2021, safety concerns and dissatisfaction with Zoom-schooling are leading reasons why twice as many families are homeschooling now than before the pandemic. The positive learning environment and individualized flexibility homeschooling enables are sure to lead to “the best of times” for many new homeschool students and families.
And it is certainly a reason for hope as we look to the future of homeschooling. At HSLDA, we’re here to help—especially if you are new to homeschooling in 2021.
As a HSLDA staff attorney, Dan Beasley assists individual homeschooling families and advocates for homeschool freedom in the courts, legislature, and court of public opinion. Dan is also a homeschool graduate and homeschooling dad of four. http://www.hslda.com/
Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
Congratulations to Jennifer T. from Ohio who won our November giveaway!
for the month of January
Dyslexia Gold – Catch Up Intervention Reading Program
If you have a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia or struggles with reading (even if they aren’t dyslexic), you might be looking for a proven program to help them improve their reading and spelling skills.
Review From The Life We Build
Many children and adults have difficulty reading due to dyslexia. While I don’t believe our daughter Anna has dyslexia, she does occasionally mix up the letters b and d. Phonics, in regards to spelling, has never really been a strength, which baffles me given her reading ability. I am always interested in finding programs that will help her bridge that gap.
The Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle contains four online programs: Engaging Eyes, Spelling Tutor, Fluency Builder, and Times Table Tutor. The recommendation is to use the program for 10-15 minutes a day, and we found that this was pretty accurate in the amount of time it took Anna to complete an activity. We rotated the programs in order to get an overview of the offerings from Dyslexia Gold. With the program Engaging Eyes, there is a target practice game that requires 3D glasses; Dyslexia Gold provides the glasses. Spelling Tutor has your child practice spelling certain words; it requires paper and pencil. Fluency Builder is phonics based. A particular phonics sound is focused on, and at the end of the lesson, a short story is presented with questions that follow. Times Table Tutor is the practice of multiplication; it will work on each number individually.
This is a brief description and review of the Catch Up Intervention reading program from Dyslexia Gold (previously called Full Bundle). You can see a thorough description and 40+ reviews from homeschool moms describing their families’ experience with this program on the Homeschool Review Crew site.
Enter the contest for your chance to win a 3-month subscription to the Dyslexia Gold Catch Up Intervention reading program. You can enter several times!
The WINTER issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
is now available for FREE online!
Click the graphic to read it cover to cover!
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