[Today’s article “How to Conquer the February Blahs in Your Homeschool” was written by contributor Michelle Habrych.]
It’s coming. After the holidays, we get back to the business of homeschooling. Sometimes we tell ourselves we need to get “caught up” on our work, so we assign more work. We stay focused, but then February hits like a ton of bricks. It’s the winter blahs. Often it’s too cold to go outside, and it still gets dark so early at night. Also, we’ve been working hard for months, and we want a break.
I have a friend who warns that homeschool moms should never make a major decision in February. I’ve tried to keep that in mind going into this bleak month before spring. Before we are faced with this challenging time, let’s look at some ideas to keep us going during February.
Plan to take some breaks. What do you and the kids enjoy doing? Perhaps it’s playing games, watching movies, or reading books. When you sense you or the kids need a break, take one. Whether it’s an entire day, a morning, an afternoon, or just a couple of hours, give yourself permission to do some activities you all enjoy. If you need game ideas, read this post. Movies can be checked out from the library, watched on Netflix, or taken off your home shelves. Don’t worry about making it educational. Just enjoy the time. Read a good fiction book or a magazine alone in your room, or gathered around the fireplace while drinking hot cocoa.
Go out and do something fun. Bowling alleys, mini-golf courses, arcades, indoor trampoline parks, and other entertainment venues offer indoor fun. Get a Groupon to save money on your outing if you’d like. The goal is to have fun doing something special together. During the school day, these places can be empty! Plan something with other homeschoolers in your area or go on your own. My kids love it when we take the opportunity to do something during the middle of the week with their friends.
Keep connected to other homeschoolers. This one is easy for me, but I know some moms struggle. If you’re not in community with other homeschool moms, it can be easy to get discouraged. Community can be in person or online, but don’t do it alone. Share ideas and encouragement, especially during the winter blahs. Take time to laugh with other homeschoolers. I am part of a Bible study with other homeschool moms, as well as a homeschool group and a book club. I also follow a few groups on Facebook. Don’t do it alone, especially in February.
Declare “vacation” time. If you are able, take a whole day and call it “vacation.” Last year my kids and I had planned a trip, but due to car trouble, we had to cancel. Instead of getting back to regular life, I decided we’d do some fun things and say “Vacation!” each time we did one. For example, one day we got Frostys at Wendy’s prior to dinner and shouted, “Vacation!” It may seem silly, but my teenagers loved it! Bake cookies together, watch a TV show in the middle of a school day, or go see a matinee at the movie theater when everyone else is in school. These are the little things your kids will remember, and they will give you energy to move passed the winter blahs.
Michelle Habrych is a homeschool mom to two teenagers who enjoy reading, playing games, going bowling, and other activities to break up the blahs. She is planning some fun times to use when February comes along.