My home educator peeps know what’s up when I say Winter homeschooling is vastly different than the other Seasons. There’s always a point where it feels like Winter will never end, that you’ll be trapped inside forever, and cabin fever will take absolute hold. If you live in The Great White North, Winter can feel like an eternity, but there are ways to keep it moving.
Lean In: I am not a Winter person. I’m not going to voluntarily go outside in -30º. That’s just a fact. I’m Canadian AF but I still got that island blood you know! When it’s mild though, I’m trying to make an effort to get out there. Play in the snow with the kids, take them on walks, go sledding. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Not everyone can afford skiing lessons, but you can usually find some good deals on used skates in the Facebook marketplace, or scrape together enough for a few crazy carpets. Just getting outside and letting the sun shine on your face for a bit can make a world of difference to you and your kids.
Get Cozy: The Danish refer to this practice as Hygge. Intentionally setting a cozy mood in your home makes that snowy view from your window more appealing. Keep comfy throws around, get the fluffiest pillows, fill your home with books, bake things together that have all of the best smells! Is there anything cozier than vanilla and cinnamon? Don’t be afraid to dial it down a bit. Incorporate a movie or show into your schoolwork. (Remember the sense of relief you felt when your teacher rolled that TV/VCR stand into the classroom? Yeeeessss!) We all know Summer will be packed to the brim with activities, take a slow day when Winter demands it.
Celebrate ALL The Holidays (even the ones that aren’t!): Winter is heavy with holidays. Not only are they a great way for your kids to learn about other people and cultures, but they definitely add a little more fun to your learning schedule. Be culturally sensitive in your celebrations by remembering that you’re celebrating a culture not turning it into your own party. I also love to find excuses to work our family history/traditions into the mix, so when the islands start celebrating Carnival/Fête, I take the opportunity to put a focus on our Trinidadian/Grenadian roots. We use St. Patrick’s Day to actually learn about Ireland, and Valentine’s Day to spread a little love to our family and friends (because it doesn’t it have to be about couples. It’s what you make it!) with cards and messages! Anything that adds a little fun, colour, great meal, to your Winter is worth the time!
Explore The Great Indoors: I LOVE museums! There always so much to see and learn, and if you’re lucky you’re city or town will have some great hands-on experiences for kids. The bane of my husbands existence is my penchant for spending an entire day in a museum. I’d be there for hours if other people weren’t tired/hungry/bored/have to pee again… Libraries are great on Winter days as well because the kids area is usually fairly quiet since the other kids are at school, and in my experience, the Librarians love getting a more personal experience with a small group of tiny readers! Keep an eye on PD Day and Family Day activities at Museums, Libraries, and Community centres too. They almost always have something going on!
As much as I’m not a Winter person I try to keep it fun! What are your best Winter Homeschooling tips? Are there great things to do in your town, or are you more of a homebody in the coldest months? Give me all your tips!