Tips to Combat Winter Blues
Winter can be a discouraging season for a homeschooling family. Once the excitement of the holidays end and bright decorations are packed away, cold weather and gray skies can feel never ending.
I have found I must be intentional about combating winter blues. With reduced sunshine, I am quick to feel drained and discouraged. My kids are equally disheartened and long for the activity of a bright summer day.
If this sounds familiar, don’t let winter blues drain your homeschool spirit. Here are my family’s top activities to combat the blues.
Go outside – I know this sounds crazy. If you experience weather like us, it’s cold. Still, bundle the kids in heavy clothes and take time to go out. It will initially seem like a lot of effort for a short period outside, but it really will be worth it.
- Take a nature walk. Watch for birds. Note the effect of winter on plants and trees. When you’re back inside, keep a log of your observations.
- Set up an outside thermometer and track the temperature each day.
- Do you have snow? Build a snowman, have a snowball fight, go sledding, or make a snow angel.
- Use a magnifying glass to study snowflakes.
Don’t forget the hot cocoa once you’re back inside.
Learn something new
- Try a short unit study on something your kids would enjoy.
- Learn a new craft.
- Create a unit study with one of your kids’ many questions. Do they want to know how crayons are made, how men walk on the moon, or maybe why do cats have whiskers. A quick search online or books from the library and you can find the answer.
- Put up a bird-feeder and make a field guide of the birds visiting to your yard.
- Learn a new instrument or song.
Add some fun to school
I’m not suggesting you throw out books and stop school. Just consider a few tweaks and changes to liven things up.
- Plan your next read-a-loud to be a book that’s been made into a movie. After finishing the book, have a movie day with popcorn.
- Have the kids exercise between subjects. Math assignment done, do ten jumping jacks. Spelling finished, time for some burpies. Get really silly and join them!
- Cook a dish that relates to something you are studying. A country you are reading about or a historical dish from a time period.
- Invite a grandparent or other individual to be a guest teacher to share a special lesson or talent.
Go on a field trip
- Find a local art museum, symphony, children’s museum, or theater.
- Visit a nursing home. It’s a good idea to call ahead and make arrangements with the facilities activity director.
- Find a local church with an available gym and organize a weekly PE hour with other area homeschoolers.
- Visit an animal shelter and volunteer to play with the cats or walk a dog.
Do something crazy
- Set books aside and declare a game day.
- Take a break from a hard subject to build a puzzle.
- Spend an afternoon building Legos with your kids. Really, the dishes can wait.
- Move PE to a local store or mall and walk the aisles. You’d be surprised how many people walk in stores during winter months.
I know schedules are important, and we feel a need to follow curriculum. If we stay on task each day, we can dream of beginning summer break sometime in May. That aside, we cannot let winter blues overcome us. Look for opportunities to add some fun to your day. Be intentional in combating winter blues, and I guarantee spring is just around the corner.
Teresa is a wife and busy homeschooling mom. With a passion for writing, she shares the adventures and lessons of her faith, family and homeschool.