Are you hoping spring blossoms a little early this year? Perhaps it is the letdown after the holidays. Maybe it’s the weather, or being indoors. Perhaps it’s the routine of routine. Whatever IT is, many of us find ourselves — and our children — fighting the February blahs. Here are 10 ideas to spark up our days!
1. Take a break.
By February we have passed through Labor day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The next break can seem a great distance away. We occasionally took a week off from our regularly scheduled program. This was typically an educationally productive time for the children working on favored projects and hobbies, while giving me time to catch my breath and rejuvenate.
2. Switch gears.
A unit study where the family works together, reads several great books, sings, watches related videos, and researches an interest can add joy to the days. February offers several holidays that might work well with a unit. Book studies are always interesting and can be whatever length we need depending on the book we choose. Researching a family interest adds a special spark to any unit study.
3. Reread an inspiring homeschool book.
There were a handful of books that I reread nearly every year for inspiration (and still do). What books did you read when starting out that had a motivating effect on you? Mind you, this isn’t the time to think of switching to a new method or approach (best to wait until AFTER spring hits) — just pick the brains of those who have gone before and reap a harvest of inspiring ideas. Visit our Get Started page for favorites.
4. Take a field trip.
One of the best pieces of advice we received when we first started homeschooling was to take “field trips” (otherwise known as “family adventures”) on government holidays. By doing so, we miss the large crowds and usually have the undivided attention of the attendants. We can also take a more leisurely pace. If you live in an area where winter’s snow has not ruled out an outdoor excursion, try the zoo or a state park. They won’t be crowded this time of year. You’ll enjoy the change of scenery and the fresh air. The children can get some much needed exercise. It’s an uplifting way to beat cabin fever. You’ll also find the venues amazingly bug free! If it is just too cold to be outside, try an indoor science or history museum.
5. Spend a week pursuing a learning lifestyle.
This ended up being one of our favorite things to do to fight winter doldrums. It was also a great reminder that education really is a 24/7 adventure! Homeschooling works best when it is simply another part of a rich and creative life. Yes, we do (and should) plan, schedule, find the best materials, and the rest. But leave that room to breathe, to take advantage of the serendipitous, and to capture an interest when it is at its peak. A week doing just that primes the pump, so to speak.
6. Let the children teach.
One of the best ways to tell how much your students know is to have them narrate to you. Pull out the ole narration jar (or pull ideas from these 30 narration ideas) and let your students teach you! What do they know about their favorite subject?
7. Get outside…no, really!
A brisk nature walk has a way of accomplishing two very important things:
- Gets the body moving from its sluggish hibernation mode.
- In most places you’ll have a chance to view many things you will not see any other time of the year.
So get outside. Try spending at least part of each day for a week outdoors. Pull out those nature journals. Make notes, take pictures, or sketch. Then when you come inside, fill out those notebooks with your observations. What rabbit trails can you follow?
8. Play some educational games.
Devote a part of each day for a week to playing educational games. Let everyone pick their favorites. Maybe rotate through a predetermined list of acceptable options.
9. Read some great books!
There are so many ways to build educational pursuits around great literature, that you can really spend all day reading/interacting with what you read and learn an incredible amount! Grab some good books, great read-alouds, and ideas for making the most of your adventure.
10. Start a new Bible study.
There is no better cure for the February blahs than inspiration from God’s Word. Do you find it difficult to make time for consistent Bible study? Start a new routine! It may mean getting up 30 minutes earlier or instituting “reading time” for all children to give you the time you need. Then decide on a quiet place to study. Have pens, notebooks, references, or any other useful-to-you materials handy.
Find a new Bible study to get you or the whole family started. It might simply be a new daily Bible reading schedule, a published Bible study, or a new devotional. God will meet you every day you show up!
In another month or two, the weather will have turned, the air will have freshened, we will have the catalogs out planning another year, and will begin looking forward to the summer. In the meantime, enjoy those young people and have a great February!
All kinds of free unit studies and book studies.
Go-alongs for many family favorites.
Things to Do: February
Ideas for celebrating February holidays and other events.
Bible Study Tools
All kinds of helpful resources to choose from.