Homeschool Blahs

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It’s that time of year again.  February.  I know it’s coming.  The fact that February is a month of the year that always comes after January, and is never skipped in favour of March has not escaped my notice.  Since homeschooling, February is my very least favourite time of the year.  I couldn’t tell you why, only that it is.  I always schedule a weeks break around the first week of February and if possible we go away.  As we went to Paris last year we felt we couldn’t justify time away again.  Next year we will go away.  It is like I go into a type of hibernation, so weary do I feel.

When I first started homeschooling it would be the time of the year (the only time) I would start thinking about putting the children into school.  In fact one year, when they were about six, I trooped them down to the local village school to enroll them!  Yes, really!  I am much more forgiving on myself now.  I know it’s coming and I try to treat it as a necessary evil.  Something to get through with as little damage to the children’s schooling as possible.

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that my passion and energy for homeschooling seemingly know no bounds.  That is until February.  And then I have to work really hard to recapture that joyful exuberance.  Each year I worry it’s gone forever, only to find it returning a few weeks later with a vengeance.  I go with the flow now!

I thought I’d jot down a few practical things I do to help our home school.

  • The first and probably the biggest is to take a break.  This blog’s been fairly quiet recently for a reason.  We’ve not done an awful lot to write about.  Last week we took it really easy.
  • This week we have a done some home school but changed the pace and subject content to stop that ‘in a rut’ feeling we get each year.  So we dumped Saxon and Mathusee for some Freddie maths (Life of Fred).  We stopped all independent writing and wrote an essay together contrasting the styles of Cimabue (studied last year) with his student Giotto (studied this week), and had loads of fun doing it.  We stopped history and science and took up an intense artist study for a week with lots of hands on activities.  We started reading and discussing Dante’s Divine Comedy whilst making Lego Technic.
  • We read some new, inspiring and most importantly, easy read books.  T11 started the Redwall series, the girls began to read Janette Oak’s Love Comes softly series which is giving them a real passion for the home and I read some slow, beautiful, natural homemaking books peppered with some of my favourite Amish books.  Lovely.
  • As Gary gets up at 4.30 am every morning he is often asleep before 10pm.  I usually use the time between about ten and two to school plan, often starting even earlier than that.  I don’t sleep, so it gives me something productive and quiet to do during those potentially lonely hours!  In February I ignore all the heavy academic planning and choose to look up stuff for our more frivolous studies, such as the younger girl’s Easter adventure box, which will be on Mr Men!  Who can’t start to feel uplifted and excited when faced with fun Mr Men foods, activities and games to make and play!
  • I have little choice in my sleep.  I’ve been an insomniac all my life and rarely get more than two hours a night.  But if I could, and if I thought it would do any good, I’d tell myself to go to bed earlier and GET MORE SLEEP!!

I’ll not be posting again until Monday when, God willing, our little home school will be in full swing again, with all the enthusiasm I can muster.  I’m banking on the fact that enthusiasm will breed enthusiasm and soon I’ll be back to normal as I am each year.  Just as soon as I can say goodbye to February.

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22 comments

  1. You’re definintely not alone in this. It seems that February is a low time for most homeschooling families. Not sure why that is, but you’ll find many others in the same situation as you are, if you do a quick search on the internet.

    Luckily you’ve had enough experience to know that it will pass. Hang in there and we’ll see you back here soon!

  2. Yeah, February is Cabin Fever Month here. Winter is feeling really long, but Spring seems far away. We take off a week in the middle and visit family away. It doesn’t cost much (fortunately) and we get a way for a bit. You’ve got some great ideas though!

  3. February isn’t my favourite month either. Thankfully, it is short!
    Are you going to post about your reading?
    My husband only needs about 5 hours sleep which is good whne work is busy. We have found that the downside is that some of the children don’t need much sleep either and have dropped daytime naps relatively early. This isn’t a problem now but has meant that on a couple of occasions I have had a tiny baby and a toddler who has decided that he/she really doens’t need a nap!

    1. Hello Sarah! It’s nice to know your name! I wasn’t sure if you were a Sarah or an Elizabeth! You’re right, it is short (maybe seems a little longer than it actually is!). Would you like me to post about my reading?
      I know what you mean about the little ones. A4 needs considerably less sleep than the others.

  4. Somewhere between January and February is my blahs month. It really will depend on what winter is like. If it’s been a dull gray winter, than the blahs hit hard.
    I”m an insomniac too, all too often. Ironically enough it’s most often on Saturday nights when I HAVE to get up to teach Sunday School…….. Princess is also an insomniac.

    1. My sympathies for the insomnia! I can’t decide if it’s a blessing (more hours in the day) or a curse (sheer exhaustion most of the time). All I know is it’s here to stay and I need to make the best of it, blessing or curse!!

  5. Getting fresh air is probably the most helpful thing we do. Even in the cold we make sure we go out at least once every day.

  6. First of all, LOVE that photo! What a sweet puppy! I’m right there with you on those February blahs…but great tips on overcoming them. Hang in there…March is only a couple weeks away. 🙂

  7. You know, I think we all go through that and have a particular time of year that is just not a favored time. I love your list of practical things that are helpful to your homeschooling. God bless you.

  8. Hello again! I was reading this post today. I have to admit that it’s a relief to hear that other mom’s go through this as well. This is our first year homeschooling and from mid January up until now, I have felt like a big failure. We went from going strong to nearly nothing. Thanks for the encouragement and helpful tips!

  9. Thank you for your post today 🙂 My “February” is after Christmas to mid- January. I tell my husband that it might be better if the kids go to public school and I just can’t balance everything right now. Then I feel horribly guilty for such suggestions, knowing that my sons are thriving in homeschooling. It must be some kind of after the holidays blahs. I would blame the gloomy, winter weather, but I am in Northern California (not so gloomy). I thought that I was alone until now, and I had never realized that this is becoming an annual occurance. Thanks for pointing this out. Next year I will be better prepared for it 🙂

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