February is not typically an easy month for schooling. I would say homeschooling, but I’ve heard from enough teachers that this is a universal struggle. I can’t help but think it goes beyond schooling at all. Winter is dragging on, there is little or no green growth, but we are so close. So close. Spring officially comes in March, the days are growing longer, and hope is on the horizon for warm days, ice cream cones, and beach trips. How can we best manage our days through this very long shortest month of the year?
One way I have found is to get outside more. We’ve been lucky this year in that the weather is mild. We went to the park today to get some sunshine and it was lovely. Because of that decision, not all the schoolwork will get done today and that’s ok. It isn’t ok every day, but here and there in February, it can make all the other days so much more bearable.
Mother culture time. Moms need to recharge too. I have mother culture activities in progress the same way I have books in progress – easy, medium, and hard all ready for me to pick up wherever I left off whenever the time is available. I just finished an embroidery of a worker bee (part nature study, part handicraft) and I’ve been enjoying doing some hand lettering in the evenings. It is only enjoyable when I am surrounded by a clean kitchen and sitting at a clean table, so I am always sure to get those things done early when I remind myself I can have some time to enjoy writing later.
Coffee. An occasional donut. Enough said.
Field trips. I find February to be a great time for field trips. If the day is dreary or cabin fever is running high, have a list ready of places you’d like to go with the kids. If you are well prepared, you can take this time to see the term artist at the local art museum, go to a history museum that supplements your readings that term, or find hear your composer being played by a symphony. We found that we live right by the National Underground Railroad Museum and that seemed like a great way to supplement our study of Lincoln and Douglass and the Civil War. We were lucky enough to then come upon the John A. Roebling bridge that spans the Ohio River. It was completed in 1867, only two years after the war was over. The same river that separated north and south during the war and was an impediment to those who yearned for freedom in the slave states, was spanned by this beautiful bridge so quickly after the war ended and the bridge still stands as a symbol of unity. It was also the practice bridge for it’s more famous counterpart, the Brooklyn Bridge. We learned more by getting out of the house than we would have staying home, I daresay.
Lastly, this is the time of year I start planning ahead. Planning for summer and for next year. For things like camps and weekend trips as well as books, budgets, and goals for the next grade. It is a joy to do, and prevents overwhelm come May and June when there are so many end-of-year items of my to do list. It helps me to enjoy the summer months with less stress, while being a stress reliever in the here and now as well. A win-win if ever there was one.
If you are stuck in the mire of February, and not sure how to plan your year better or how to fix some of the issues plaguing your homeschool, we’d love to help you out. We have consulting available, and we’d love to help you sort out what isn’t working so that you can get back to thriving in your role as teacher and mother. Sometimes, it is just the February slump, but other times you just need someone to help you with the task of planning the day, making time for the feast, choosing books appropriate to the students in your home, or some other specific task that you could just use a bit of outside advice on. We have a limited schedule, but we make all the time we can for mothers who ask for help. We are booking March now and would love to be of service to you!