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Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies
February didn’t break me this year.
There were moments when I felt like February was winning but, in the end, I came out ahead.
Today, I thought I’d share what helped just in case the Februaries are lingering in your home…
This was not our first February, and for that I am thankful. I have learned that February is a harder month for homeschoolers.
We’ve been here before, and I know that it doesn’t last forever. I know that once the days are longer and warmer, our energy and motivation will be renewed.
As a result, I adjusted my expectations and slowed our pace.
February Didn’t break me because I was prepared…
… with lowered expectations and plenty of back-pocket ideas to carry us through.
Here’s what helped:
- Twinkle Lights– I kept our twinkle lights up until last weekend, much to my husband’s chagrin. Twinkle lights spread joy after a gray winter day.
- Rainbows– I added another rainbow maker to our home. We have had one of these for years and it never fails to spread smiles. It doesn’t matter if you are buried in snow or under the weather, the moment those rainbows dance across your walls you can’t help but smile!
- Tea– We had a pot of tea every single afternoon. We’d sit in front of the fire and read books or play games. The tea made it more magical. The kids love this grape tea and I am all about this cinnamon tea that Kara introduced me to.
- Fresh air– We got outside, even on the most frigid of days. Unless it was freezing rain (I have to draw the line somewhere), we made it a point to get outside. It helps, and it’s a fantastic excuse for afternoon hot cocoa!
- Yoga – Kara and I are both obsessed with YogaGlo and with good reason. It’s a sanity saver! Plus, they have a practice for everything. Do your shoulders hurt? They’ve got one for that. Headache? Yup, that too! Has your Lady Holiday got you down? Look no further, homeschool mamas!
- Coffee and Books – I’ve gushed about our simple morning routine before, but this is a winter sanity-saver!
- An amazing read aloud series– This year, our family got lost in The Green Ember series. The series is new to me and so I am experiencing it alongside my children and that makes for a memorable experience!
- Amazing books for me – My go-to winter survival strategy has always included books. Just because you are a busy homeschool mama, don’t forget about yourself! Here are a few titles that I could not put down:
- Smartick – We all worry about math, don’t we? (Or is that just me??) Smartick has been a blessing this winter. My kids ask to do it every single day.
- Brave Writer – Yes, we gush about Brave Writer all the time on our podcast. But the thing is, Brave Writer has revolutionized our homeschool routine. I start each morning with A Gracious Space and it helps our homeschool day get started on the right foot.
- Gameschooling – Kara and I talked about gameschooling back in the fall. I have used games as a winter survival strategy for years. This year, I made our #GameschoolChallenge public (and it’s still happening if you’d like to add more play to your homeschool day). Do you want to see some of our favorite games from this winter, by subject? It’s hard to choose, but here are some of our favorites:
- Rabbit Holes – Often, we want to stick to a schedule. We want to check off boxes so that we know we are covering all the bases. But amazing things happen when we follow our children’s current passions and dive down rabbit holes with them. Rabbit holes allow for delight-driven learning. Here are just a few we loved this winter:
- 50 States study – We are using Pin It Maps, living books, YouTube, games, and this curriculum from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum to study each of the states, one by one.
- Biographies – My daughter has been super-interested in learning about famous people in history and so we have been enjoying oodles of biographies. We love two series in particular:
- STEM projects – My oldest has been obsessed with this book. It is the new companion book to Rosie Revere, Engineer and it has inspired countless inventions using our Tinker Kit. (And, while we’re on the topic of science/STEM books that my oldest has loved recently, you should know that Bill Nye is coming out with a chapter book series and my oldest gives book one two thumbs up!)
- The podcast itself – Honestly? I think having Kara as my homeschool sister and chatting with all of you wonderful homeschool moms and dads has made this winter so much more fun. So thank you all for tuning in and chatting with us each week!
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us: how was *your* February? What helped? what will you change next year? Share here!
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