Now that Christmas is over, I'm just about done with winter. Yes, I know it technically only started a few days ago, but once the calendar says Jan. 2, I'm ready for crop pants and flip flops again. Before I had kids, I would make it through the winter by throwing on my sweats as soon as I got home from work and watching lots and lots of Law and Order, which was fabulous, but didn't really work out so well after the first child came along. To make it through the long, dark weeks until the weather finally starts to warm up again, I've had to be very intentional about making our school work more interesting or finding fun things to do. Here are a few ways I've tried to beat the winter blahs in the past!
Crafts: You know all those cute snowman crafts that start showing up on Pinterest every September? I save them all for after Christmas to help put us in a cozy mood. If you're not the type of mom who likes to plan crafts, or if your kids don't like to do them, bring out some art supplies and let them have free reign for the afternoon while you read to them.
Cooking: Warm up your kitchen and teach some home ec skills with some baking! Find fun recipes that go along with stories you're reading (you can check out my Cook with Books ideas at the Homeschool Share Blog) or let your kids pick out some recipes they'd like to learn to make on their own. Take a deep breath and mentally prepare yourself for the mess that's going to happen and remember that this is also a good chance to teach some cleaning skills, too!
Games: If school time starts to drag, add in some games! You can play games to teach or review skills or strategy games are great for critical thinking. Let your kids make their own games, too!
Together Time: If you've got a wide age range in your family, find something everyone can work on together. Plan a unit study where everyone can work on their own level or just pick a book to read aloud to everyone. It can be as complex or simple as you want it to be, as long as you're having fun learning together!
Field Trips: As long as the weather isn't bad, this is a good time of year for field trips. Since many venues have just finished up their busy season with Christmas break and schools are back in session, most places aren't very crowded at this time of year. Take a road trip (check out the Exploring Oklahoma archives for some great ideas!) or just head to the science museum for the afternoon and enjoy!
Hopefully these ideas will help you through these next few weeks until the weather warms up and spring starts to make an appearance. If you have any other ideas, please share!