Did February bring feelings of frustration and failure? If so, you're not alone:
In this Issue:
- Why You Should Stop Homeschooling
- Need a Vacation?
- American Heart Awareness Month
- What's New?
Why You Should Stop
It only took me a few years of homeschooling to learn to anticipate the February Funk. February is notorious for bringing on feelings of stress, anxiety and burnout.
Whether these feelings are caused by personal difficulties, an exhausting schedule or a desire for sunshine and warm weather, there's only one solution - stop homeschooling.
Stop It won't hurt your family to take a break from formal lessons and outside activities for a week or two. Spend a few days in your pajamas playing games and watching movies. Once you've rested both physically and mentally, you'll have more than enough energy to make up any work you've missed.
Take an Assessment Think about what isn't working for you. Did you sign up for too many field trips and homeschool group activities? Are you overwhelmed with housework and chores? Is your curriculum a good fit for your children? Identify one or two major areas that are causing most of your stress.
Open Up Every homeschool mom has experienced burnout at one time or another. Don't be afraid to open up and share your struggles with others. Call a friend to vent, cry or simply ask for suggestions. If there are no homeschoolers nearby, join an online forum. Make sure you also remain open to change. Don't be afraid to try a new schedule or homeschool method.
Plan Make plans to resume homeschooling, incorporating any changes you've deemed necessary. Start slowly with a few main subjects or a few days of work per week. Your plan may require a few adjustments along the way, but that doesn't make you a failure - it makes you human.
I am well acquainted with the feelings of doubt and failure that can accompany homeschooling. If it will make you feel any better, you can read details about my battle with burnout in my blog entry, Why I'm Still Homeschooling.
Need a Vacation?
Don't let unstable economic times keep your family from taking a well-needed vacation. Save money and take advantage of the hidden gems in your city by vacationing right in your own backyard.
Put away the school books, shut down your laptop and turn off your cell phone. Let household chores take a back seat for a few days while you visit local museums, botanic gardens, restaurants or the zoo. Look at your city from a tourist's perspective. What activities would you recommend to a family from another state?
If you have money to spare, reserve an affordable hotel room in your city. If money is tight, pull out the sleeping bags, rent some movies and have a camp out in your living room. Don't forget the s'mores!
Here are some additional homeschool ideas your family may enjoy.
American Heart Awareness Month
February is American Heart Awareness Month, and it's a great time to study nutrition and the human body. Here are some resources you may enjoy this month:
Why Shouldn't I Eat Junk Food? contains straight forward and reliable information about food and nutrition. This is great health education resource for children ages 8 and up.
The Flip Flap Body Book uses extra sturdy fold out flaps to show children ages 4 and up how senses work, how food is digested and how babies grow inside their mothers. This book is one of my children's favorites!
See Inside Your Body was written for children ages 7 and up. This book contains detailed illustrations and age-appropriate explanations of the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, skeletal and nervous systems.
Children ages 9 and above will love The Complete Book of the Human Body. This beautifully illustrated book contains engaging explanations, along with projects and suggested internet resources that expand the learning opportunity.
Here is some additional information about Usborne Books for homeschoolers.
Homeschoolers who aren't homeschooling for religious reasons, and those who want to keep religious studies separate from academics, often have trouble finding materials and support for their home schools.
Last month, I tracked down some of the best resources for nonreligious homeschoolers and created these pages on Secular Homeschooling and Secular Homeschool Curriculum.
If you'd like to tell others about secular resources you've used, please take a few minutes to write a homeschool curriculum review.
As always, feel free to pass this newsletter on to friends and contact me with your questions or comments.
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Enjoy the journey,