Homeschooling Through the Winter
Homeschooling through the winter can be difficult at times, especially in Canada. The weather is often very cold, the snow might be pretty but isn't always inviting, but spending too much time inside can lead to "cabin fever".
So, what can we do?
Just surviving the winter, waiting anxiously for spring, isn't the best option.
Trust me, I have tried! I grew up in the South of France and was not used to the Canadian winters! I spent many winters after moving to Canada, just surviving through the winter months, counting down the days until spring. But once I had children, I changed my attitude and slowly started to see the beauty of winter.
|Into the Little Woods by our house ~ January 2013|
My three kids and I had six years together when we all homeschooled together. We didn't just survive through the winter, we continued to thrive and enjoy ourselves during those months. We spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other very well. Of course, we would get on each other's nerves, but we learned to deal with that by continuing to do interesting things together, just like we did during spring, summer, and fall!
|Just silly fun ~ February 2012|
In the winter, I found that focusing on enjoying our time at home helped us a lot. Winter naturally is a season where our homes are cozy so I think it makes sense to take advantage of that! We did also try to get outside whenever we could, even if it was for a short amount of time.
Now that it is only Celeste homeschooling, I still use these ideas through the winter months.
|Sledding ~ February 2010|
Here are some ideas that we have done over the years:
- read aloud ~ getting all cozy on the couch and listening to a story that takes you into the world of imagination
- board games, card games ~ longer games can be set up and played throughout the day. We did that with Monopoly for example
|Monopoly ~ December 2008|
- puzzles ~ similar to board games, these can be set up on a spare table,coffee table, or a piece of wood and worked on over a few days
|Window Nature Study ~ 2014|
- window nature study ~ last year, Celeste and I did a monthly window nature study, comparing the same view over the year. Watching birds and squirrels visiting your yard or balcony, learning to identify them.
|Mystery Class ~ February 2010|
- mystery class ~ this great educational project, blending geography, science, and math, starts at the end of January. This year will be our 8th year participating!
- take time to do a fun unit study ~ over the years, we enjoyed working on unit studies or lapbooks about various subjects like St Patrick's Day, Iditarod, Pirates, Greek Gods....or science related to winter, anything your children might be excited to learn about!
|Measuring snow ~ February 2011|
- go ice-skating, outside if possible
- do some winter geocaching
|Geocaching in Victoria Park, Charlottetown ~ January 2014|
- try a new hobby together! Knitting, cross-stitch, photography, art, anything that interests you..sometimes picking up something that you, the mom, enjoys will get your children curious about it..this happens quite often in our house!
- cook together, make bread together or plan a whole dinner (this book is wonderful for inspiration)
|Making pizza ~ December 2011|
- your favourite family movie series marathon..get lots of yummy snacks + drinks, put on your movie and cuddle up together. Talking aloud during the movies and should be encouraged (see what Brave Writer has to say about this).
- meeting with friends, sometimes having a theme can be fun too.
- look for winter festivals in your community for some great outdoor fun!
|Barrie WinterFest ~ February 2008|
I hope you find these ideas and suggestions helpful. How do you enjoy the winter months in your homeschool? Leave me a comment, I am always looking for new ideas!
As part of the Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team, I am excited to let you know about a winter learning ebooks giveaway at The Canadian Homeschooler! It starts January 28 and ends February 11. You can see more about the ebooks here. I will update this post when more details are available!