Winter can be a boring, filled with snow and cold and nothing to look forward to after the excitement of the Holidays. Personally, I love winter. It’s time for new goals, a new perspective and I usually have less on my calendar than other times of the year. I have an excuse to stay home.
But my kids don’t see it that way. They see it as boring months that stretches on forever as winter seems to do. To help get my kids through these hibernating months, we have added fun to our school days to help make the winter go faster. Here are some of the things we have done.
One of my kid’s favorites is our hibernating. We curl up on the couch with good books. I read to them and they read to themselves. They like me reading best. We pop popcorn and grab blankets and read until I can’t hear my voice anymore. We dump a bucket of Legos on the floor and let the little ones (the big ones too) play with them as I read. We have read “Summer of the Monkey’s”, “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch”, “Mara, Daughter of the Nile”, and lots of Louis L’amour. They are great historical novels. Our family favorites are “The Walking Drum”, “Fair Blows the Wind” and all of the Sacket Series.
For the little ones we read “Winnie the Pooh”, “Understood Betsy”, “Little House on the Prairie”, and “The Door in the Wall”. It you have never read “Winnie the Pooh” out loud to your older kids you are missing a treat! They are so fun to read and you are never too old for Pooh! There are lots of book lists out there, but one of my favorites can be found at www.amblesideonline.com . They have books listed by grade starting with preschool.
Another regular for winter is Sun Days. These started when we lived in Alaska and the sun would disappear behind the clouds and we wouldn’t see it for days. When it came out we would have a Sun Day like schools have Snow Days. We will do the minimum of school and then it was outside to play! Even though we are not in Alaska anymore we still have our occasional Sun Day- just for fun. One year my kids built an igloo that they practically lived in all winter. A single light bulb heat those things toasty warm. Who knew?
We have also had history nights. We have a dinner with costumes and maybe a presentation or play that goes with the time in history we are studying. One year we removed the dining table legs and we all lounged on the floor eating our Roman dinner in our modest togas. The kids spent days making costumes, decorations and of course, the food. We were in sunny Rome itself for the evening, instead of the dark, cold winter.
One of my homeschool friends heard about our history nights and she asked me to help her do one for all the LDS youth in our area and their friends. We chose the medieval times. We had the attendee’s pay a modest cost to help pay for the dinner and we had a nice crowd of kids who got to see that homeschoolers can actually do cool things! We had a banquet that the kids ate with their hands. Then we had a costume parade, played games and danced. We even had a court jester who wandered around singing rhymes about the people who attended. Very fun! It was a huge success.
One more idea we do for winter is science marathons. We take the time to do the science kits we tend to neglect during the rest of the year. So we have plants with foil on their leaves, rocks growing crystals, etc, dotting the house. My kids really love the hands on stuff!
Winter blues can be a thing of the past if we make sure that we plan some "cool" in our days! Hibernating in winter can really be cool!
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