Whether it’s bitter cold outside or the snow is coming down just a bit too much, some days we find we’re stuck inside a bit too much. Homeschooling is hard, but when we’re stuck inside due to the weather, our moods go downhill. Are you facing the same difficulties? When regular school is not a great option, we call for a homeschool snow day.
Play a learning game. Turn your school in to games. I resort to this even on the normal days! On snow days, there are all the more reasons to “play” school.
Cook. Whether it is preparing pancakes, making cookies, or enjoying waffles, my son loves to join in the fun. The bonus is the eating at the end!
Watch something or read something…together. Find a learning website or movie, but to make it a learning experience, do it together. I don’t have a television (we only use online shows and movies), but when I do resort to media, I often send the kids to it while I finish cooking or cleaning. Watching something educational together and talking about it makes the experience much more valuable to a child. We watched a science documentary as a family a few months ago. Although it was clearly for adults and much was beyond Raisin’s understanding, because we watched it together and talked about it, I am certain he learned from it! Sitting and reading books together is also perfect for a day that needs snuggles.
Create. Play-doh, painting, crayons, glue, tape, scissors, and a giant paper cutter. These are the things with which creativity is explored. This week we’re working on those Valentines! Raisin loves to create artwork on the computer, so I am letting him go for it for Valentine’s Day. But the Play-doh and crayons work as well. I love it when I see learning sneaking in!
Play with toys together. My kids love someone to play with. When we are all stuck inside, it’s time I sit down and build, play, and explore the toys with them.
What do you do on your “snow days”? As a homeschool parent, do you call “snow days” when the weather gets nasty?
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Do you have a rough time homeschooling during the dreary days of February? I share my thoughts over at Blessed Beyond a Doubt today! I share things for homeschoolers to remember on those dreary days. I start by comparing September to February. This originally appeared on Blessed Beyond a Doubt, February 2014.
In September, I had energy for homeschool.
I had shiny new curricula to work through. I had boxes of brand-new pencils and crayons. A clean schoolroom was a ready environment for learning. Besides that, there were fall holidays to look forward to, and new friends to meet at co-ops and on field trips. We were ready to do this!
Fast forward to January and February. The sun goes down before we begin dinner. The crayons have broken, the pencils have been lost or chewed on, and the weather is drab (and, for us, it is actually too cold to go out in!). Some of our school books are just not what we need. I am sick of the routine, so it’s hard to keep going my son is just bored! Our binder of activities falls apart, and the school room is a mess. I dread the morning whines, and I am sick of the weekly planning.
So, when life gets like this, it is time to revisit September by remembering how and why we started! Here are 7 things I try to keep in mind during the long winter months.
Remember the progress. During the gloom of a wintery February, it is time to compare handwriting to week 1, acknowledge the difficulty level of his current math unit compared to what he was working on last year, and look at how much of the history timeline has been filled out!
Remember to be flexible. Schools get snow days (or “cold” days). If we get any schoolwork done on those days, I feel we are already ahead. I should not feel guilty taking a “winter day” myself every now and then. My kids need flexibility because they are kids, and I need flexibility because I am with my kids all day.
Remember to change. When a curriculum is not working, it’s time to try something different. When the schedule gets monotonous, we need to change that up too. My child has changed in the past four months; maybe his school routine needs to change too.
Remember to exercise. When it is too cold for outside recess, we still have to find a way to exercise: videos, running around the basement, a community gym class, or even just walking through the mall or store. We can take a recess at just about any time my son needs it, and in the winter, we definitely still need it!
Remember why we homeschool. There are lots of factors to contribute my decision to homeschool. On all of those whiny days, it is still the best decision for us. Remembering those reasons helps me get from morning to night!
Remember to love. I think it is appropriate that Valentine’s Day is in the midst of dreary February. It’s a reminder that we love those around us unconditionally. On a bad day, there are still plenty of little moments to cherish.
Remember that we are not alone. There are many other homeschoolers out there. And beyond other homeschooling friends, I remember that my Heavenly Father is helping me on those hard days too. He’s only a prayer away.
In short, we homeschool because we love our children and we love to see them learn. Now, remember that every hour from now until April!
What do you do to keep homeschooling through the dreary winter months?
Go over there to see the original post about the seven things I suggest for you to remember on the dreary days of February!