Winter can be challenging for many homeschooling parents. Along with the pressure of just starting a new semester in January come cold, short days, meaning families spend less time learning outside and more time learning in the house.
5 Winter Wellness Tips for Homeschooling Families
Although there are certainly activities to do with your family outside the house this winter, spending more time at home doesn’t have to be all that bad. Here are five quick winter wellness tips to help your family make the most of this chilly season.
1. Read Aloud to Your Students
Reading aloud is the homeschooling parent’s best friend. It helps your students understand complex language, hones their listening skills, and, if nothing else, trains them to sit still for extended periods of time.
Especially in the winter when your family may spend less time outside due to gloomy weather, reading books aloud together as a family ensures everyone in the family is entertained, learning, and experiencing a fun activity together. So, snuggle up around the fireplace or on a couch with some blankets and hot chocolate, and have fun reading aloud as a family!
If you’re looking for great read-aloud material, consider our Echoes Trilogy, which presents popular stories across nations and history in short, easy-to-read passages perfect for family read-aloud time. It’s a perfect companion for families in our Foundations program, because all the stories are organized by each week of the Foundations semester.
2. Take Family Field Trips
Although your winter field trips may not include visiting a waterpark or going on a long hike at a state park, there are still plenty of great field trips you and your family can take together to get you out of the house and exploring the world around you.
Remember, as a homeschooling family, the whole world is your classroom. You have the flexibility to learn wherever and whenever you want. Just because it is winter doesn’t mean you should stay cooped up in the house all season. (Unless, of course, a winter snow storm prevents you from leaving your house, in which case best stick to the read alouds.)
There are a number of great field trip ideas your family can take that don’t involve suffering the winter weather, from visiting a local museum to attending a fine arts performance. And, if you’re a Classical Conversations member, invite others from your local community of homeschooling families to tag along on your field trip so you can continue to learn together! If you don’t know where to take a field trip, our post on the Best Homeschool Field Trip Ideas may offer some inspiration.
3. Play Board Games and Watch Movies
When you can’t get outside, another great way to stay entertained in the house apart from read alouds is to play board games and watch movies together as a family. One idea is to end each day with a movie or game as a reward to encourage your students to finish their schoolwork. Or, your family can host a weekly game or movie night, inviting other families from your local community to attend.
4. Teach Your Students Baking and Cooking Skills
Winter is the perfect season to teach your students baking and cooking skills. Whether you have each student choose a favorite meal to make on their own or gather everyone to help create a special dish together, times creating in the kitchen and eating at the table will bring joy to any cold winter day.
Baking and cooking also offer a unique opportunity to incorporate and enhance your students’ study of geography. For example, for each week of the semester, you could create recipes from a specific country. During Italian week, your family might learn how to make delicious pasta or pizza. For Mexican week, perhaps amazing tacos and quesadillas. It’s also always fun to create a country’s recipe you’ve never heard of before, like a unique breakfast or dessert.
5. Get Outside When Possible
We know, we know—it’s cold outside. Still, it’s important for you and your family to get outside whenever the weather permits. Sure, you may not spend a whole afternoon learning in your local park like in springtime, but just a few minutes outside can go a long way in helping your family make it through the winter.
Being inside the house all day can cause students (and yourself, no doubt) to get a little stir-crazy. Young students especially have a lot of energy to release. So, whenever you can this winter, get outside with your family for a walk, a bike ride, sports, or anything else involving fresh air, a bit of exercise, and ideally some sunshine.
You Can Homeschool Through Winter!
Homeschooling isn’t always easy, especially when you can’t get outside as often as you’d like during the winter season. Still, you are your child’s best teacher. And with the right tools under your belt, homeschooling is not only doable, but well worth any challenges along the journey.
Hopefully the above winter wellness tips give you some inspiration for staying healthy as a family this cold season. Still, if things ever become too difficult, reach out to a fellow community member for advice, encouragement, accountability, and support. That’s what they’re there for!
If you’re not a Classical Conversations member but you’re interested in our community-based approach to homeschooling, click here. We’d love to hear from you!