Mom: Help! Any suggestions for activities for the kids to make it through the winter blues of February?
Mallory: Every. Single. Homeschooling. Mom. is wondering the same things . Seriously can’t wait for spring to get here so we can go outside regularly.
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Homeschooling Ideas for February
I really pushed for doing a lot of extra school work during the winter. Sorry, kids! However, we planned days off for when the weather got nicer (which in New York can be a long-range goal of June or July.) But because February seems so LOOOOONNNNGGGG here’s some more ideas:
🎨1) With my art background, I like using art to teach. A fun project is to take one still life and then to render it in different media (acrylic paint, pen and ink, markers, crayons, watercolor). One year we drew a large maple leaf, about 18 inches by 24 inches. Then we divided it into different sections- one for each child to complete. I love that maple leaf painting because it represents the whole family!
You can also paint in the style of different artists: da Vinci or Rembrandt (Renaissance), Monet (Impressionism), Picasso (Cubism) and Jackson Pollock (Abstract Expressionism) for example. Use a smaller piece of paper for each one (4 x 4 ” square) and then display them all together on a poster board. It makes a great display and helps them remember the different periods of art history.
2) You can make a family quilt that shows what the past year has been like in your family. Include your own unique way to memorialize births, weddings, any trips you could take, deaths, frustrations, schooling, etc. There are so many fabrics and ideas out there, you will have to put time limits on finding ideas, ordering or finding material, and putting it all together.
3) Have an Oregon Trail unit (age appropriate): Include costumes, cooking, medicine, routes, care of animals, read diaries and then write your own diary of a “Day on the Trail.” There’s a lot of info on this topic to help you. Older children can research a particular person and “interview” them, recording the video and sharing it in my Homeschool Christian Mom FB group.
From my friend Cassandra: I like trying to get my kids to do minute-to-win-it challenges. For example, I gave them red plastic cups and asked them to build the tallest structure and have it standing by the time the minute is done. Or have a whole-egg-on-a-spoon walking challenge.
4) Some people work on getting their vegetable gardens started but it is still a little early for that here in upstate New York. Still, it is rewarding to see the plants coming up and growing happily when it is all cold and snowy outside. If you don’t have a green thumb and want to try having some plants in the house, try some hardy indoor plants. I recommend spider plant, peace lily, snake plant, jade plant or Christmas cactus.
5) You might want to turn your plant project into a science fair project. For example, each child gets 10 bean seeds. They have to come up with a watering and fertilizing schedule and journal their progress. Find out which strategy works to get the first bean crop!
6) Birdwatching can be fun. What birds come to your feeder? What if you switch foods or add suet? What time of day does each bird show up? See if you can get some good photos. We enjoy interacting with our feathered friends up close. If you can stand really still outside, chickadees will land on your outstretched hand to eat sunflower seeds.
7) Paper airplanes are a good activity. My brother and I used to make paper airplanes and mount them on a string from the ceiling at one end of the hall to the floor at the other end. We had 2 lines so we could race each other. Hot Wheels tracks can be used the same way.
8) Play a new card game but first make your own cards! The 8-10 year crowd usually gets into this project. One of my students who liked cars made a card game where you had to collect the letters to spell A-U-T-O-M-O-B-I-L-E. Other kids like the idea of making up their own board game.
10. And of course, get outside when you can. Bundle up and make it a goal to spend some time each day out in the fresh air. Go for a walk in the woods. Do you have snow and a hill? Go sledding, tubing, or snowboarding. Are you in town? Walk for 15 minutes one direction and then 15 minutes the other direction. I would probably end up walking to the library so I could read when I got back home. Ahhh, fresh air! There’s just something about being outside that is both refreshing and rejuvenating.
I post recipes that our family actually eats! Why? Because no matter how good a homeschooling day you have, you (usually) still have to make something for dinner! I hope you enjoy this recipe.
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I am Elizabeth Estelle, Homeschool Christian Mom, providing timely access to homeschooling answers for moms who have an “I’m stuck” moment during the day.
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*All quotes used with permission