This is our third year homeschooling and February is by far the hardest month for us. All the excitement of a new school year is long gone, no more winter holiday anticipation and we pushed through January using every last ounce of enthusiasm we had. The curriculum is working fine, the projects we have schedule are interesting, and the books on the list look excellent, but every single minute feels like a chore.
I am not going to freak out about the schedule this year, I know we will catch-up when the sun comes out and the days get warmer. Instead, we have been spending a lot of time this week on nature study. Being a naturalist at heart, this is the most authentic way I have to teach. My sense of wonder and need to learn more, is usually contagious. We slip on our galoshes (the two feet of snow quickly melted and left rivers streaming through the neighborhood) and walk without any real direction or objective. We listen, we look, we touch. She asks questions, brings things home for further study or decides what she wants to learn about. There is always something. Look, the first crocus!
Yesterday it was raining to hard to get out so we did some backyard bird watching. We found two species of bird that we don’t normally see in our area, the purple finch and the white throated sparrow. We identified and researched them both and ended up learning all about why birds ‘winter’ in different regions.
Another fun way for us to shake up our routine is creative writing. We started using Rory’s Story Cubes which really help the reluctant writer by sparking the imagination and giving the story a few building blocks. This week she wrote about a fisherman at the library, who witnessed magic aurora lights that made time stand still and created rainbow colored apples. Illustrating the story is probably her favorite part. I think she writes by imagining the pictures first, so her stories are always very colorful.
At least Valentine’s Day is coming up, a nice little excuse to fill our table with crafts of pretty paper, glitter and hearts!
How do you push through the winter blues in your homeschool? Do you take a break, switch things up or plow ahead with your eyes on the end of the year?
I hope you all are feeling well and enjoying your week!