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?