I really enjoyed your guest post/interview on homeschooling. I'm in my 2nd year of homeschooling, 1st, K, and 2 non-schoolers. I'm wondering if you could share (with me or as a blog post) how you/your kids survive being with each other 24/7. The school part is going well, but now that's it's February, cold, etc. there are days when I wish they went to school just so all had a break from each other. Help!
Well, now it's March but in our part of the world we're still pretty much stuck in the house, so I'm going to call this question still relevant. Still very, very relevant. So, five things to remember when the winter blahs are killin' your will to do anything:
1) Everyone Hates Everything in February
Whether you're homeschooling or sending your kids to school or are childless or have children who are not doing school at all, you want to quit life in February if you live in a place with winter. The driving is awful, you're tired of putting their snow stuff on and taking it right back off, everyone is deficient in vitamin D and is extra crabby because of it, there are no good holidays AAAAAAAAAAND Lent starts. So let me assure you that your struggle is not a homeschool v. non-homeschool problem. It's a temperate climate vs. death climate struggle. And it. is. real.
2) A Small Break Can Feel Big
Sometimes if you need a break really badly, you imagine that only some length of time greater than 7 months will do. The weight of the dreariness of everything just feels so dang huge and heavy that surely it will take an age to recuperate or even just come up to some level of functioning. But if you can squeeze some sort of time- like your husband goes into work an hour late or comes home an hour early and you just drive around the block a few times with
The other night after dinner when people were fussy and had been that way all day, I said "I need a break from this business" and Tommy took everyone upstairs to play. No one even left the house, but I had the whole downstairs to myself for an hour and it really felt like a mini vacation. I was energized afterward to continue with the evening.
3) A Change. Any Change.
Sometimes it's the sameness that makes you crazy. "Why is every dang day the same dang thing over and over and over? Get me off of this ride!" If you can't switch up the actual schooling (trust me, I get it when the reservoir of creative ideas is dry. That's called "my permanent state.") switch up something in the house. Kids think that kind of stuff is so cray. Like move a bookshelf to another wall or make a new pillow for the sofa or knot one of those t-shirt rugs you see on Pinterest. I mean sure it's probably going to be a huge waste of time and look like crap and have to be thrown in the trash (wait. I'm projecting again! Mea culpa.) but the day you do it will be different which will make it bearable. Now I'm not promising summertime levels of joy or anything, but it'll feel better than barely surviving
|Playing "summer" on the three (four?) season porch last Saturday. It was 18 degrees outside.|
4) Kid Swap
Sometimes just changing the dynamics in the family for a bit helps everyone get along better. Do you have a friend or a neighbor you can swap a kid or two with for even a short time? It doesn't matter which kid, honestly. Either take turns or do a one for one swap at the same time, but see if you can make something like that happen. Try it. You don't have to do a big photography session worthy play date or Lent-themed snacks or anything like that unless that sort of stuff makes you happy (in which case you should totally absolutely do that and you will be happier!) just put a little monkey wrench into the kids' current routine of annoying each other.
5) Don't take snow days. Take sun days.
If the weather is poop, do the school work. If the weather is great, take your "snow" days then instead. Scrap the schoolwork and go outside. Or don't go outside and instead lie on the floor in a patch of sunlight and drift in and out of sleep whilst your children eat dry cheerios off the carpet.
Wait. I mean. No. Surely I would never do that. Ahem. Surely not.