SummaryAmanda Evinger, homeschooling Mom and author, has these tips on how families can make the most of winter by using the weather to our home school advantage.
Well, it’s an official fact — North Dakota is the coldest continental state in the United States.
Sigh (that is, sigh with a frozen nose!). My husband and I looked it up after we were getting a little fed up with seeing the minus sign on our thermometer… during the middle of the day.
After several blizzards this winter and not being able to get out of our driveway for days at a time, I was getting, well, a little “ruffled” you could say.
And then, by some boost of grace, I decided I would use the weather to my advantage. Waking up in the morning to -25 degree temps and a 10-foot snow drift outside my window (I’m not exaggerating) suddenly seemed to be a blessing in disguise!
For those of you who have cold weather to withstand at this time of year, I’d like to share with you a few tips I’ve gained from roughing it through the North Dakota winters as a die-hard homeschooler:
1. Dig up that dusty curriculum!
The quiet days of winter may be the ideal time to go through the boxes of homeschooling materials you have had stashed away for a while. Instead of battling the winter blues, you might want to enjoy teaching your kids some Latin or Spanish, make zany craft projects, play rare instruments, or finally, do that science kit you bought for your son five years ago.
If you feel at a loss for such items, I can assure you a nearby veteran homeschooling Mom will have something on hand. Homeschooling materials are experts at accumulating in a person’s house and not wanting to leave!
2. Fit in some extra prayer time while you can.
My three young children were going a little bonkers because they couldn’t get outside a lot this winter, and I was missing my pregnancy walks in a major way, so we started walking around the house in the afternoons and praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
We’ve really enjoyed it! The rule is, however, whoever runs or is disrespectful kneels for the rest of the Chaplet!
3. Get ahold of even more fabulous books than you already have, and display in inviting ways in various corners of the house.
A little stash of your son’s favorite truck books next to his bed may be a real saving grace during nap time. Have you ever wondered why librarians love to put books on display? As far as I’m concerned, homeschooling parents are librarians too!
If we can make books look appealing, they will be appealing. One project this winter was to purchase some beautiful book-ends and put rows of books in new places that were easy for my children to reach. I also have stocked up on activity-based Usborne Books and children’s Saint books by Ignatius Press, as well as finished collecting the In the Footsteps of the Gospel Series (sold by SEM).
It has really worked! My kids can be caught reading a good deal of the day — by choice! Another neat project I have enjoyed organizing in our “little house on the prairie” is to have our own winter reading contests at home, with prizes on offer for the kids who read the most! Many of us think of a summer reading program… but what about a winter one?
4, Take time to learn about the weather.
Let’s face it — icicles, blizzards, crazy temperatures, snow drifts and snowflakes can be downright fascinating!
This winter, we have all learned a great deal about the weather. One book I’d recommend is Usborne Books See Inside Weather — it’s a work of art!
5. Play catch-up at school or work a little ahead.
Last but not least, yes, winter can be the perfect time to zero in on your child’s most pressing learning needs and re-evaluate their talents waiting to be developed. Pick one easier subject and get ahead for next year as well, just to be on the safe side — you never know when you may be too overwhelmed to do a lot of school.
And in the end, remember, God is the friend of the cold and the bored.
He made the beautiful but trying season of winter, so He’ll get you through it!