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If you’ve been homeschooling for any amount of time, then you’ve most likely heard about the winter homeschool slump. It’s typically something that will catch you off guard and before you know it, you’re scrounging to get back into your normal routine. Instead of trying to navigate through the slump, let’s talk about ways to beat it all together!
Where does it come from and why does it happen?
That’s the question that plagues us all, but there are a few answers to consider. For starters, the days are much shorter in the winter time. This means it is getting dark much sooner than before. The weather is also much, much cooler - especially depending on where you live. Most outdoor attractions are closed and parks don’t seem appealing considering the amount of clothing you have to put on just to stay warm.
All that aside, there’s just something about staying in bed longer and taking a more relaxed approach to the day. Downside is homeschooling possibly taking the back seat and the stress of playing catch up.
To prevent the overwhelming sense of figuring out how to make it through the winter, try the quick tips below to beat the winter slump.
Switch up your schedule
Since you already know the winter months tend to be slower, adjust your schedule to accommodate that. Plan less activities, supplement curriculum and resources, and opt in for learning that’s less strenuous on your schedule. Some homeschooling moms cut their homeschool days in half and adopt a 3-2 approach. Three days of the week are spent doing the bigger subjects and the other 2 days are spent doing the lesser.
Plan indoor field trips
Although the weather outside is frightful (LOL), there are still places you can enjoy from the inside. Science museums, galleries, planetariums, and historic homes are typically open year round and make for great educational experiences. Call ahead of time to be sure and don’t forget to ask if they offer homeschool (or educator) discounts.
Here are 59 Fun Educational Field trip ideas from Intoxicated on Life
Take learning outside the box
If you’re struggling to open the textbooks during the winter, substitute them altogether (if you can) with more hands-on learning. Make cooking and doing chores teachable moments to work on life skills. These are things you can do as a family without feeling “schooly.” Always remember that kids are little sponges and are learning even when it’s not from formal teaching.
Do a unit study
Unit studies are one of the most versatile ways to learn about a topic. They are perfect to do if you are homeschooling multiple kids of various ages and grades. During the winter months, consider doing winter-related unit studies. Here are a few topic ideas:
- Arctic animals
- Winter foods
Movie study ideas
Hot air balloon festivals happen during the winter months. Check for one near you.
Take a break.
Although most families are already taking time off for the holiday season, consider extending your break. For those who homeschool beyond the traditional nine months on, three months off, the winter months seem better to cope with. Try switching up your break time in the winter to give you more time off. You can still incorporate small bursts of homeschooling by reading books, watching videos/movies, and doing some cool projects/experiments.
Grab some ideas here 101 Things To Do With Your Kids When It’s Cold Outside and Surviving the Homeschool Winter Slump
Dealing with the winter homeschool slump can be stressful and overwhelming. Use the quick tips mentioned above to get a jumpstart on dodging it in your journey. In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you! Have you dealt with the winter slump before? What are some things you did to get through it? Let me know in the comments below!
Enjoying the journey,
Michelle Osborn is the owner and founder of Yellow House Book Rental, specializing in providing homeschool curriculum for rent or purchase, as well as counseling and guidance for homeschool families. She is a wife, a 22-year homeschool veteran, and mom of four, and grandmother to 5 grandchildren. Three of her children are now entrepreneurs, running their own businesses and doing quite well. Michelle’s passions include serving by leading worship at her church and encouraging homeschool moms through one on one, social media and speaking engagements. She has found her niche in helping parents homeschooling their teens through the high school years and on to pursue their dreams
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