Beat the Winter Homeschool Slump: Part 4: Get Hands On

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.

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.

Sign up for an online class. We’ve taken several Craftsy classes and enjoyed learning how to decorate cakes, crochet amigurumi, and arrange flowers. Since you can start and stop classes on demand, you can binge a whole soap carving class in one afternoon or spend a couple of months mastering the chain stitch.

Designate a table space for marble runs, giant Lego builds, jigsaw puzzles, and other construction efforts. Consider letting the kids work with their hands while you do readalouds or watch documentaries. Map the world by hand. Make a big batch of salt dough, and build your own three-dimensional maps. You can go small-scale — Heidi’s mountain, say, or the original Jamestown settlement — or large, with whole continents. A big, multi-day map building session is an engrossing boredom buster.

Skip the written. If your homeschool typically relies on narration and journaling, mix things up by taking assignments off the page: Encourage kids to make a movie, do a news report, build a diorama, make a poster, or engage in some alternate form of information communication.

Color your world. Dover’s coloring book series includes everything from fashion of the jazz age to copies of Renoir paintings to butterflies and wildflowers. Choose a few that line up with your kids’ interests or what you’re studying, pull out your colored pencils, and make coloring part of your routine.

Make Your Own Holidays

Post-holiday blues don’t just hit homeschoolers— everyone who spends weeks looking forward to special celebrations experiences a little letdown when the celebration ends. One way to ease into the new year is to make sure to mark a few fun holidays on your calendar. These silly holidays are a fun excuse for a random midwinter celebration: 

  • January 11 Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day

  • January 16 Appreciate a Dragon Day

  • January 20 Penguin Awareness Day

  • January 28 National Kazoo Day

  • January 30 Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

  • February 3 Feed the Birds Day

  • February 17 Random Acts of Kindness Day

  • February 26 Tell a Fairy Tale Day

  • March 10 Middle Name Pride Day

  • March 11 Johnny Appleseed Day

  • March 14 Pi Day

  • March 18 National Quilting Day

  • March 25 Waffle Day


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