Does winter homeschooling make you feel blue?
The radio and satellite stations have turned off the holiday music. Half of our outdoor lights have gone out. We are out of Christmas cookies. The tree isn’t holding up to its evergreen expectations, looking all dejected like a giant dust bunny covered in holiday crumbs. Not to mention flammable.
So now some of you may ask, “What are we supposed to do now! How do we muster the will to rise and get dressed and get back to our life of learning?”
But wait…wait…wait! Why in the name of everlasting fruitcake do we need to get dressed? I mean, lets not get crazy and lose all rational thought here! We are strong willed, determined homeschoolers. We are always willing to forge ahead, find a way, clear a new path, and especially in the comforts of an amazing new fleece hoodie night gown!
All is not lost. In fact, this is our season!
Winter Homeschooling is Coziest
This morning my eyelids peered over the top of the comforter, I willed the coffee pot to brew itself and Instagram me a cup to my night stand, cause the floor was just too far down and cold to set a toasty foot upon. And then I remembered all those little darlings who headed back to school 2 hours earlier, probably in the dark, fighting back tears through sleep crusted eyes, craving just one more morning curled up at home in their pajamas. Poor babies.
So I got up and looked to see what my spoiled darlings were up to, having no clue their peers were walking barefoot in the snow uphill both ways. I figured they were probably drinking cocoa and finishing off the New Year’s kolaches to the tune of Tom and Jerry. But though they were still in their pajamas, I found one continuing his self taught coding books, one practicing his guitar, and the other quietly toasting himself a bagel with cream cheese and reading the directions on a new game.
They were not the least bit gloomy about the end of the holiday season. It wasn’t the end of probation and back to the slammer for my homeschoolers. They were home and doing just what they wanted to do. And miraculously that involved self driven learning.
As I write this I realize, yet again, I have written an advertisement for unschooling, though it is not how we really rock and roll around here. If I keep this up I might convince myself someday.
Though the days are short, cold, and without a reason for twinkle lights, tinsel, and a yummy buffet of pies, there is much to celebrate in this bluest time of year.
Seriously, winter is the best season for homeschooling for the following reasons…
- Baby, it’s cold outside. Why go out there if you don’t have to? And therefore, no child is woefully looking out the window at butterflies and puppies frolicking in a field of spring flowers, or surfers riding waves and eating ice cream. So let’s read this adventure book aloud while drinking cocoa with extra puffy marshmallows and the wacky straws we got in our stockings. The couch looks cozy. Somebody get the dog. He’ll like this story too. They say even reducing fractions is more fun in January and February?!
- No one is expecting us. We aren’t in the midst of any big projects, there are no rehearsals for upcoming recitals, we aren’t due anywhere for a few more weeks, and no one is coming to dinner or anticipating us bringing a casserole to their place anytime soon. So what do you say we learn about simple machines by watching a ridiculous number of youtube videos!?
- Board games, y’all. In the billiard room, with maybe some candlesticks, by Professor Mom.
- If you can part with your pjs… it is an amazing time to hit the children’s and science museums, state parks, Imax theaters, and zoos because school field trips usually don’t ruin …errrr…crowd these places until standardized testing season is over. So maybe there are one or two true reasons to brave the perils of the winter elements I exaggerated in reason #1. Such as…
- There is no one….I repeat…THERE IS NO ONE….at The Great Wolf Lodge and other family vacation destinations on weekdays in January. And if you plan it just right, you can get iced in at the Great Wolf lodge with the two other families that are there (the other family of homeschool geniuses and the young couple with two toddlers and an infant trying to pretend they are on a Carribean honeymoon). True story. Seriously, how awesome it is that they have a Starbucks in house?
- Boredom breeds creativity, or at least a reason to breakout one of the 52 science kits you have stock piled for just such an occasion. Don’t forget you bought that grow-your-own-crystal kit! They grow really fast when the heat is on in the house. Just FYI, you’re welcome. The internet is full of great experiments with household items guaranteed to wow and possibly set the kitchen on fire like we almost did last year and you can read the humor in it all here.
- Because the season will change; not just from winter to spring, but from childhood to young adult. They will not always have the time or want to spend the day playing Would You Rather while doing jigsaw puzzles and taste testing new sandwich concoctions with us. Now is the time for us moms to soak it all up before they get the itchy feet and are eager to head out in the world to achieve just what we have prepared them for; to face the world no matter the season.
*This article was originally published in January 2016.