Bust through the blahs with a new twist on an old classic—the unit study.
Getting lost in a completely different world can be one of the best ways to beat the winter blues. Turn to your favorite book for inspiration, and craft a weeks-long study that will totally shake up your routine while still keeping you on track for your academic goals. These are some ideas that have worked for our homeschool, but your favorite books are the best guide.
A semester at Hogwarts. Leave a little surprise owl post at the end of your kids’ beds, and let them wake up to study at the legendary school of witchcraft and wizardry. Do chemistry experiments for Potions class, set up your telescope for nighttime Astronomy lessons, and put together a collection of readalouds to explore the history of magic. If you want, you can even track down school robes at a thrift shop — nothing’s more spirit-lifting than a little dress-up.
Little term on the prairie. Use Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic stories about frontier life or Louise Erdrich’s new classics of Native American life as inspiration for a month of pioneer studies: Make your own butter and cheese, cook dinner over an open fire, practice your handwriting on slates, and start your day with outdoor chores. This is also a great time to dive into U.S. history studies and explore the history of westward expansion.
In school with Shakespeare. Tackling one of Shakespeare’s plays together is a great opportunity to immerse yourselves in history, theater, poetry, and music. Choose a play that piques your interest, and watch several film and/or stage adaptations, considering differences in interpretation and staging. Create music soundtracks for your play. Rewrite portions of the play in contemporary language. Act out scenes in costume.
4 Other Ways to Shake Up Your Routine
Flip your routine. If you usually start the day with a readaloud and finish with your nature journal, bundle up for an early morning nature walk and end the day with your book.
Take a field trip every day. Virtual field trips let you get out of the house without, you know, actually leaving the house.
Adopt a class pet. Obviously do this only if you’re committed to the responsibilities of pet ownership, but if you’ve been thinking about setting up an aquarium or adopting a puppy, now’s a great time.
Put on an indoor Olympics. Events like juggling, bowling, sack racing, and obstacle course can keep kids moving when the weather outside is not-so- delightful.
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One of the most effective ways to feel happier and more productive? Working with your hands. Winter is the perfect time to start a new project.
You don’t have to do huge renovations to make your learning spaces feel brand new. Here are a few simple ideas that will breath new life into your school space this winter.
Sometimes when you feel stuck, setting a series of goals can help you break out of the blah.
In this five-part series, we’re helping you get through the midwinter slump in your homeschool. First up: Give your routine the boot, and try something new.
Aminata and Malcolm have discovered that a purposeful morning routine is the perfect start to their homeschool day.
I’m totally lucky to get to balance a job I love with hands-on homeschooling, which I also love, but hitting that balance isn’t always easy, and I’m learning to be okay with that.
Your official last day of school can be whenever you want—so pick a date that matches your family’s homeschool rhythm (or don’t pick a date and have a year-round homeschool).
Lauren’s excited to go back to work—but she’s not ready to give up homeschooling her two kids. We help her find a way to have it all.
Shelli's family watches documentaries every day—and screen time has become an important ritual for their homeschool routine. Here's why their daily documentary works for them.
Shelli's homeschool schedule keeps the big picture in mind while making day-to-day plans.
Believe it or not, your family probably has a routine already — and if you step back and observe your life patterns for a week or two, you’ll start to see it emerge.