Join Blog Contributor Christel as she talks to us about beating the winter homeschool blues.
Can I be honest? Cabin fever is real and during the winter, it can ruin your regularly functioning homeschool routine. Kids start climbing the walls, whining about being bored and saying they have nothing to do. The winter blues in my house can stop us in our tracks.
What are the Winter Blues?
Many people don’t believe the winter blues really exist. They find it hard to believe a change in seasons can impact your mood. Scientific evidence shows the seasons can affect your mood because of the way your body responds to sunlight. The sunlight has a positive effect on the hormones in your body. Since the winter has less sunlight, it is no surprise that more melatonin is produced which causes lethargy and even depression.
Winter Blues and the Homeschool Student
As a homeschool mama of a large family, keeping my children educated and occupied comes with a few challenges. Sibling squabbles, chores, household organization, and school can create a few tense moments throughout the day. When winter arrives, the “normal” is even more of a challenge. The kids begin to feel cooped up and many of our normal meetings or co-op activities are cancelled because of the weather.
“It’s only December?”
I find myself asking that a lot during the winter. We start our homeschool year in September and don’t take a lot of days off. By the time winter break rolls around, I often feel like we have been in school FOREVER!
The curriculum seems mundane, the routine feels old and summer feels like it won’t be here for ages.
So how do you Beat the Winter Homeschool Blues?
Take a Break
Yes! Close your books and put the schedule away. Every year, we take a break from school for about two weeks. We use this time to visit family and friends, wake up late, binge watch some of our favorite movies, and sometimes, just do nothing. I have found this time gives my kids a chance to get more creative and build relationships with one another.
Get Out of the House
Winter time is a great time to visit some of the places you wrote down on your field trip list during your school year planning. Unlike during the summer months, the museums are usually empty. This makes visits so much more enjoyable for my family. A field trip is an excellent way to integrate many of the skills and topics that you have covered so far. Check out this field trip report from Perfectly Blended and Blessed, to help the kids capture their experience.
Winter is also the perfect time to go outside! Just because they temperatures are a little chilly or there is snow on the ground, doesn’t mean you can’t go out to play. Getting the kids moving helps beat the winter blues. Take a walk in the park and observe some winter habitats! Go sledding or just build a snowman.
Break the Routine
One way we combat the winter blues is by deciding to break the routine. As a person who loves creating an extensive plan for the year, the idea of breaking the routine seems insane. However… I am telling you, breaking the routine is amazing! During the winter, move away from your normal curriculum or work schedule. Incorporate a few unit studies on new topics. Integrate math by baking and cooking.
Take a live e-course, such as the Trees of Scripture Nature Study, from HALA. You also can dig deep into topics using documentaries and videos on Netflix or YouTube. Stepping away from what you planned might just be what is needed to get out of the rut.
The Winter Blues doesn’t have to ruin your homeschool. You know it’s coming, so go ahead and greet it with a smile. This year, you will be prepared!
Looking for a few history, STEM, and fun activities to try? Head over to Perfectly Blended and Blessed and download the Winter Blues Buster Pack.