Thursday, January 15, 2015

Making It A Happy January

January is that month here that often gets a bad name.

C'mon, you mix frigid temperatures plus blustery winds with trying to be a mega genius homeschooling mom and even the most saintly person is going to fail.

I speak from experience, we've been doing this gig for eight years now.

Years past have taught me that new material, even in the form of a brightly illustrated workbook, needs to be brought out in January. I hold in reserve just a few minor tricks up my sleeve because let's face it, by January even I'm tired of the monotony.

While making plans back in December and consulting our lesson plans, I also felt that the toddlers needed a shift as well. I had done great for a couple of months with printing off projects, giving them oodles of paper, glue, and other supplies to keep them busy. With Gianna turning four next month and Margaret just one year behind, I also saw that they may be ready for more structure. My current plan needed to change in order to find the balance.

That also meant that while I knew what they needed, I didn't quite know how I'd find the time planning required. In a bit of a lightbulb moment, I remembered a program my bigger kids enjoyed when they were around that age. It would serve as a great addition to other workbooks, printouts, and worksheets the girls were already doing during the week. Secretly I hoped it still existed, but the budget conscious side of me cringed knowing it would be a sacrifice.

I clicked on over to Carol's and found that she did still put together monthly packets of simple lessons and all the crafting supplies necessary to do all of them. They still have a break down of two different age groups (18 mo-3 years/ 2-5 years), as well as a regular curriculum or Christian based one. After debating it in my mind for a few days and also enduring a few days of endless "I want to do a project" from one of the girls, I jumped. I bought a set for each of the girls for the month of January.

Since we've returned to our regular school days, I haven't been disappointed in that decision. And you know what? Neither have my girls. They ask every morning if they get to do school and what kind of project they'll be doing.

Would you like another tip? I found that by moving back my big kids' school time start just by 30 minutes, I give the girls their time first in the morning. I cannot tell you how much they love that attention, the songs, the short lesson, time with mom, and the projects.

They are excited to tell daddy what they learned about that day at school. They are eager to show off their projects to him and the big kids as well. I had no idea just a slight adjustment and addition to our day would be such a great thing. I also didn't realize what a treasure that time was with them and that it would lead to less disruptions during school time for the big kids.

It's given me a new outlook for the rest of the school year and brightened our January. Now I need to find a way to keep fitting it in the budget at least for the remainder of this school year.

As a bonus, do you know what else also helps in January? A Happy Light.

I highly recommend it for my struggling, less than chipper friends who join me in this tundra.

Do you have any tips for surviving a rather bleak month? 


  1. Great idea, Sarah!
    Those little ladies are ready to work. : )
    I do Flynn's work first as well. Seems to work well here.
    Then she and I fix up a snack for the bigger kids and surprise them. Every day. : )
    You know what I used to do in the cold winter months...and still do with Flynn? I gave them their bath in the afternoon. It was less rushed, and they could play longer. I would sit and read to them while they played. And then, I put lotion and fresh jammies on them. It made the evenings run more smoothly. : )

    1. I forgot to mention...I love her hair!!!!
      That is the same cut I had on Peyton for years. : )

    2. I've been doing the afternoon bath thing this winter too for the little girls. I agree, it is less rush/work to add to the evening which seems to fly by once daddy gets home.

      I trimmed both girls' hair before Christmas. I had intended to do a bob, which ended up shorter than planned. In the end it worked out great since she's at that stage where she doesn't want anything done with it. Win-win. Hooray!

  2. What a great idea! (I just saved this so I know where to go look again.) I love seeing their adorable faces pop up in my feeder. I'd say it is sunshine on a dreary January day ;)

    1. As are your sweet peas when they pop up in my feeder :) Your meals are also sunshine to my tummy when they pop up as well. lol.

  3. What a great idea! We are looking for ways to mix it up this month too.Those packets look like a stellar option!

    1. My theory is if they even lighten the mommy load a little during these brutal winter months, they have been SO worth it. I'll look forward to hearing if you tried them.

  4. This month can move slow. Just because we havent been able to go outside. The great outdoors keeps me from going bonkers. Walks walks and more walks!

    1. I am with you there, Christine!! That is exactly what we do and go for walks. As the kids have gotten older, some opt not to always join us. The other plus side though is we usually pull the little girls in a sled for most of the walk. Bonus: extra hard/sweat breaking workout. Score! :)


You're so kind for dropping me a line!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...