Saturday, February 6, 2010

Homeschooling Through The Winter Months

Do the long days of winter seem longer than you like?. If you have a houseful of little ones who are inside most of the time, it can be a challenge to even the most patient of moms. I personally look forward to the winters months because we are able to get more accomplished that we usually can't because the warm sunshine is beckoning us outdoors. Winter is a time for us to 'buckle down' from whirl of events from the holidays and to settle into a nice steady routine. I know that many moms can get cabin fever, whether you have big or little ones, so here are a few suggestions:

1. Make a list. Yes, a list. Write out all the things you wanted to do with your school--projects, crafts, lapbooks, art, science experiments. Be creative. Dream and dream some more and then add it into the months of January-March. Watch the months go by faster because you have things to look forward to that break up the monotony of the week.

2. Have a party and celebrate life. Pull out the streamers and balloons or just keep it simple. whether it be Valentine's day or celebrating an accomplishment. You could bake cookies for them learning a new math concept or godly character or plan a tea party. You could plan a surprise party to bless dad and cook all his favorites while you honor him when he gets home from a long day of work. Be sure to take plenty of video-- children love making home videos!

3. Plan family field trips. Many museums are offer free days during the winter months, check your local listings. Go bowling, ice skating, sledding, visit the library, or just go shopping together to get some fresh air and fun. Just be sure to use hand sanitizer so you don't pick up any illnesses.

4. Plan some hospitality. Invite the grandparents and make some memories or that family you've been thinking about having over for months. Children love having company and you will be blessed by opening your home.

5. Don't take your school too seriously. There will be those days--you know what days I am talking about! Simply breath in and out, close your teachers key and do something the whole family enjoys. Break out the board games or even have them all go on a book time alone in their rooms. You homeschool will not collapse because you took a break for a day or two. In our big family we truly appreciate times of solace because there are so many of us--silence can be a rare thing. You could also call a craft day or home economics day and have them bake or cook to their hearts content.

I plan to tackle some sewing projects with the girls these months---yo-yo projects, aprons, costumes, etc. This is something that is harder to focus on in the warmer months because everyone wants to be outside. I am also going to have my older daughter plan out the garden by creating a garden journal for us this year so we will be prepared for the spring. She will be in charge of it all so she will have to study what can be planted with what and where using catalogs and books for research. It is good to teach older daughters how to run a home because this is equipping and preparing her for the future. Whether she is married or not she will still have to know how to run a home and cook and clean.

I also try to plan other important things into their schedule such as:

Music time: practicing instrument or piano/learning and singing new hymns (you can find some hymnals here) as a family
Exercise time: working out to a video or playing outside in the snow
Reading time: books I have planned for them read for the year
Personal devotional time: every child who is reading in our home has their own Bible--the little ones have Bibles at their own level. It is good to start them in this habit of praying and reading early on so that it will become a life-time habit. We can help them by doing this by instilling good habits early on. Older children could be learning theology and a biblical worldview and much of that can be accomplished simply at the dinner table or through listening to sermons while they work or clean.
Character Studies

The days go by fast when the mother has a plan for the day. Whatever your plan is be sure to pray and ask the Lord what He might have you include. He might want you to 'hibernate' and focus on getting things under control at your home or maybe He is nudging on your heart to do something such as service projects as a family. Be sure to obey Him as you journey ahead making this winter a productive one for you and your family.

Are you encouraged here?


Amanda Sikes said...

Oh my how I needed this post. The winter months are strechting before me and my littles. We homeschool so we have been doing much of that but it is getting old to the little ones and they and I need to break out of our normal routine. I will be trying some of your ideas. They will keep up home and safe and warm but it will be different.

Thank you and God bless you and your family.

joyfulhelpmeet said...

What a wonderful post. i know your comment section isnt very active (neither is mine) but i am checking up on your posts and this one was a real winner. God bless you in your pursuit of Him
in Christ

Jenn4him said...

Amen! Thank you. We happen to be moving next week, but when we get back to lessons I am going to follow these steps. I was just saying that I was getting really excited about how next year is coming together, but I need to finish this one well. I really enjoy your blog.

Camie said...

Thank-you for the encouragement! I love the beautiful pictures too! Your blog is so lovely! This has been a tough school year for us, it's nice to know I'm not alone...

Blessings to you!


Amanda said...

I loved this post. I really needed to hear #5 today. I'm having one of THOSE days. My 2 year old is grumpy, I'm feeling a bit queasy, and my 1 year old is teething. I was feeling a bit guilty about not doing school with my older two. Thank you! I love the idea of planning a surprise party for my husband. I think we'll do it! :)

Bob West said...

God has greatly gifted you
I enjoyed visiting your blog
God Bless

Mrs.L said...

Beautifully written!!

Mrs.L said...

Beautifully written!!


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