Dealing With February
I have a tendency to tell myself I like all seasons of the year equally, but every year when we come around to February I astound myself. The depth and breadth of that lie! I do not like February. It is a month best contemplated from a broiling day in July, while you sip a fruity alcoholic beverage by a pool, and think vaguely about days that might be cooler in the future.
The excitement of the holidays has long gone. The motivation of January is ebbing. And now we enter the month of near-endless rain. My kids are feeling it, I’m feeling it, our homeschool is definitely feeling it: we have the February blues. It hit me this morning though: I’m steering this ship, and I don’t have to settle for hanging out in the doldrums. This morning I started brainstorming to figure out what I can do to make February at least tolerable.
The first thing I realized is that February is a month where you need to have something to look forward to every week. The thought of our next mini-celebration (Valentine’s Day) being a week away was almost enough to kill us this morning. So, through the month of February, I’ve committed to the idea of mini-celebrations every weekend. We have two filled in for us easily–Valentines Day, and our Eva-girl’s Birthday–which means there are only two extras in there. I haven’t 100% decided what we’ll do with those weekends, but I’m going to put special effort into finding unique things to do.
The second realization is that our homeschool needs a little more cozy or adventuring to get us through this rain. So, for our Friday schooling, we’re going to be taking a purposeful step outside of routine. There are a few museums around that I’ve been eyeballing, so I think we’ll plan to see a couple of those. However, a couple of the little kids are fighting off a cold this weekend so I have a few other ideas up my sleeve for this particular Friday. So far my plan for today involves:
- Pancakes for breakfast. This is only a big deal because I never do pancakes for breakfast–it always seems like such a lot of work and mess for a meal that I just want to be over and done in time to move on with the day. But today, we’re going there!
- Nature collection and journaling. We’re going to take a quick walk outside, even if it’s still raining, until we find something good to paint for our nature journals. The kids love painting, so we’ll just let that activity linger as long as everybody’s loving it.
- Poetry Teatime Lunch. We’ll try to bake something a little fun, and have a little teatime lunch while we read poetry.
- Dance workout party and yoga. We’re just not moving as much as we usually do when it’s not so rainy, and I think it has everybody a little edgy, so we’re going to make a point to move those limbs!
- Documentary and Popcorn for quiet time. We don’t usually use documentaries during school, but there’s a time and a place–and that is February.
- Lots of read alouds. It probably goes without saying, but we’ll be reading all the books. Most days we have a finite amount of time in the morning when we read ‘fun’ books before pushing on into school-related reading, but we’re going to soak up all the books today.
A change is as good as break
I read that somewhere in a homeschooling book–I don’t remember where–but it stuck with me. I’m hoping that by giving ourselves one day a week to really change up what we’re doing, we can get through February with more aplomb, and less downright staggering.
Do you find February difficult? What do you like to do to change it up?