Homeschooling with the Seasons: Winter

The following is a post by contributing writer Michelle of Raising Cajuns.

While many homeschoolers take some time off from formal lessons during the beginning of winter to relax and process major holidays, the rest of winter is also a wonderful time to shift gears and adjust your learning rhythms to better fit with the season.

The cold, dark months of winter are a perfect time to spend a little more time indoors, take it easy, work on projects, and set goals for the rest of the year.  While you’re snuggling up by the fire or sharing hot chocolate this winter, consider incorporating a few of these learning opportunities and adjusting your rhythms to flow with the season instead of fighting against it:

  • Read, Read, Read – Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up for read alouds, listen to audiobooks while crafting, or find separate blankets to do lots of independent reading.

  • Honor the Dark and Quiet – Many people do this during a Winter Solstice celebration, but you can incorporate similar winter traditions throughout the season.  Talk about why the days are shorter.  Regularly light candles, a fireplace, or a fire pit.  Make lanterns.  Dedicate one night a week to no electronics after sunset and let your body truly experience the darkness and silence of winter.
  • Work on Projects – December is often spent making handmade gifts, but you can continue that momentum throughout the rest of winter.  Schedule lots of project days and guide your children to follow their passions and dig deeper into something that truly interests them.
  • Study Nature – People tend to pick up nature studies in the spring, but there’s still lots to learn and observe in the winter.  Make a bird feeder and participate in Project Feeder Watch.  Join Project Noah to document species in your backyard and discover new species from around the world.  Plan a spring vegetable, herb, or flower garden.
  • Rest & Recharge – Go to bed early.  Start a family gratitude journal and have each person write in at least one thing they are grateful for at the beginning or end of each day.  Commit to fewer activities and enjoy the ones you keep even more.  Welcome this time of rest as a way to gather up energy before the busier days of spring take over.

Michelle is a wife, mother, writer, and Cajun who prefers everything extra spicy. She writes about their homeschool adventures at Raising Cajuns.